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Top 7 Master's Degrees and Programs for International Students in 2023


Are you an undergraduate student who wants better career prospects? Or do you perhaps want to be more knowledgeable in a particular field? Either way, it is a good idea for you to pursue a master's degree in a top study destination abroad. A master's program offers a more intensive learning experience as compared to a bachelor's course. Here is an analysis of what a master's degree is, its types, its benefits, and so on, to help you go better prepared into the program abroad.

What is a Master's Degree?

It is a graduate-level qualification for anyone with an undergraduate or bachelor's degree. Hence the name, graduate degree. If you successfully complete a master's course, you should have advanced skills and knowledge related to your chosen subject, as well as various soft skills and transferable skills through highly focused education and independent research.

It usually takes two years to complete a master's degree through a full-time program. That said, the duration of a master's degree depends on your specific postgraduate course, school, and study destination. When it comes to academic credits, the standardised European higher education system requires you to complete between 90 and 120 credits for a master's degree. On the other hand, it takes up to 60 credits and 180 credits respectively, to complete a graduate degree in the US and the UK.

Now that you know what a master's degree is, let us discuss the broader types, best programs, requirements, and so forth.

Types of Master's Degrees

Graduate degree programs are broadly classified into two types:

  • Master's by coursework
  • Master's by research

The former is a program that involves certain core units of study and some elective or specialisation options. If you join a master's by coursework or taught master's program, you will have to attend classes, take part in assignments or projects, and take examinations where applicable. In some taught master's degree courses, there are minor theses as well. The latter is a postgraduate program that focuses more on research. It is designed for someone who wants better knowledge and research skills so that they can use them as they prepare for a PhD program or in their job.

A Master of Research (MRes) program focuses mainly on research work and thesis writing, but it also has modules that deal with principles, tools, and methods of research. Master's by research degree programs are available in virtually any discipline, but some schools differentiate them as MRes programs in liberal arts as well as technology and science. It usually takes one to two years for an MRes program to be over. If you are unsure whether a PhD is for you, it pays to join an MRes program so that you can do a self-analysis and find out whether you want to explore advanced research or not.

There are some master's degree courses that follow on from undergraduate programs, called integrated master's, and others designed for working professionals, known as executive master's. Types of master's degrees as well as the abbreviations and names for them, also vary according to the entry criteria and subject area.

It is also possible to categorise master's degrees in terms of subject matter, level of specialisation, type of coursework, and entry requirements, as you can see in the list below.

7 Best Master's Degrees in 2023

The following list describes the types of master's degrees based on the most common course names used in university listings. As there is no standard system, two institutions may use different nomenclature for these programs and different course content.

An MSc in Nursing program is among the highest-paying master's degree courses available for international students. It facilitates a registered nurse in building leadership capability as well as advanced skills and knowledge in the nursing field. The degree program makes many different career options accessible to you, including the ones in the following table.

Career paths

Average salary

Nurse anaesthetist


Nurse practitioner


Nurse midwife


Nurse administrator


Clinical nurse leader

$38 per hour

An MBA course also helps you to improve your leadership, organisational, and management skills so that you can become a quality manager, leader, or entrepreneur. An MBA program can be of many different types, including general and specialised. The analytical and critical thinking skills of an MBA graduate aid them in pursuing some high-paying career paths, including the options in the following table.

Career paths

Average salary



IT manager


Sales manager


Training and development manager


Business operations manager


Master of Finance

This degree program helps you to be more sharp in terms of your skills and knowledge related to financial management. With the communication, research, and accounting skills that you earn from a master of finance degree, you will be able to pursue many different jobs that come with high pay. It is among the best graduate degree programs for those who are keen on studying mathematics and financial topics.

Career paths

Average salary



Finance director


Finance manager


Financial analyst


Financial advisor


MSc in Cybersecurity

This is another profitable postgraduate degree option available to international students as well. The master's course arms you with knowledge of topics such as ethical hacking, digital forensics, risk management, and cryptography. If you are good with computers and wish to make a mark in the world of tech, an MSc in Cybersecurity is among the best postgraduate programs you may want to pursue. If you graduate from the program, you will be very skilled in cybersecurity and learn ways of protecting IT devices from various cyber threats.

Career paths

Average salary

Information security manager


Cyber security engineer


Network security engineer


Cyber security analyst


Information security analyst


MSc in Data Analytics

This master's program aims to prepare you with advanced statistics and computing knowledge, as well as analytical skills and management expertise to analyse and deal with sensitive data for improved decision-making. It will help you pursue a role that requires analytical acumen and data-based decision-making skills, including any of the following positions:

Career paths

Average salary

Analytics manager


Data scientist


Data engineer


Business intelligence analyst


Data analyst


Master of Arts in Political Science

An MA in Political Science offers you deep insights into the economic, political, and social landscape of city and national governments. It makes you ready for a role that requires you to deal with issues impacting society, take part in high-level decision-making, and create public policy.

Career paths

Average salary





Political campaign manager


Policy analyst


Urban and regional planner



MSc in Computer Science

An MSc in the Computer Science field helps you gain in-depth skills and knowledge related to computer architecture and hardware, besides other topics like mathematics and statistics. You can use the skills and knowledge you develop from the MSc program in many different roles that come with competitive pay, including the following positions:

Career paths

Average salary

Computer network architect


Computer hardware engineer


Computer scientist


Software developer


Computer programmer


Requirements for a Master's Degree

Master's degree requirements vary depending on the nation, university, and course you are considering. It is important to learn about the common and specific requirements beforehand to determine your intended semester and intake. The most common master's degree requirements for international students include the following:

  • An undergraduate or bachelor's degree, which requires three or four years of study
  • Acceptable scores on an English language proficiency test, such as the TOEFL or IELTS

Depending on the program you apply for, the school may also require you to submit a specific GMAT or GRE score and your proof of work experience. Full-time work experience is usually part of the master's degree requirements for international students pursuing MBA courses, but not all schools have this criteria.

Cost of Studying a Master's Degree

The cost of a graduate degree depends on the specific field of study you want to explore in the program, as well as your study destination and school of choice. No two schools have the same fee structure for graduate programs, so it pays to check with the institution where you plan to study. Besides, it is more affordable to pursue a master's in some countries as compared to others. If you have a specific school or graduate degree program in mind, you may also reach out to our expert counsellors for more information.

What Master's Degree Should I Get?

It depends mainly on your academic interests and goals. For instance, a master's degree in education may be ideal for you if you want to be more knowledgeable, authoritative, and skilled as an educator. So, find out what you want to do after earning a graduate degree to help choose the best program for you.

Need help choosing the best master's program for you in a foreign country? Our counsellors are always on hand to help you make the best possible choice.

Contact us right away!

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