Direction versus duration

May 29, 2008

Your article on the misconceptions of one-year versus two-year MA courses in the UK is misfocused ("Misperception of masters could hit UK recruitment", 22 May).

The problem is the perceived role of the MA degree in the UK, not its duration. At my previous institution, we had more MA programmes than actual academic staff (minor exaggeration). Some of these were designed as preparation for further research degrees, but several (most in fact) were seen as the fourth year of the undergraduate programme - and this was within the same department. Having done an MA in Britain that was research oriented, as well as teaching on several, I can safely say that the scope exists within one-year programmes for a full and robust research-oriented degree. But can those who teach on these courses be arsed?

Mikel J. Koven, Senior lecturer in film studies, University of Worcester.

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