What is the Difference Between MPhil and MBA?


The main difference between an MPhil and MBA program is that MPhil degrees are usually offered in various fields of work, while the MBA is based on more business fields and entering the corporate world.

Both MPhil and MBA are academic qualifications sought after by aspirants in whatever field appeals to their interest. Both courses offer specializations in various fields and are very good options.

MPhil or Master of Philosophy is an advanced course usually taken after graduation in particular fields of work. At the same time, an MBA or Master of Business Administration is a course that can be taken after graduation or after graduation.

Mphil programs require extensive research in that particular field and a research thesis and article to be published in HEC-approved journals, while MBA programs focus more on course work.

Comparison table Between MPhil and MBA





The Master of Philosophy is an academic research program and can be undertaken by candidates from any field such as Commerce, Science, Humanities, etc.

The MBA is a more corporate-oriented business and management course that can be taken by candidates from all fields.

Credit Value

MPhil degrees have no credit value as they are not made up of individually assessed units or modules and is entirely a research-based qualification.

MBA normally has a credit value of 180 CATS / 90-120 ECTS and is considered more of a professional and corporate course based on academic subjects.


The basic qualification to enroll in an MPhil degree is to have completed a master's or postgraduate degree from any recognized university or institution with a minimum of 55% grades.

The basic qualification criterion is that the person must have completed a Bachelor's degree course from any recognized University or Institute with a minimum of 50% grades. There may also be different entrance exams for different universities.


The minimum length of an MPhil course varies from 1 to 2 years depending on the institution. The maximum time within which MPhil must be completed is 3-5 years.

A traditional full-time MBA course takes 2 years to complete, while part-time and long-distance courses can take even longer. Some institutions also offer fast-paced MBAs that top out in one year.


MPhil is often used by people who would like to have an advantage over others in research and more importantly in the field of teaching.

The MBA is taken by people in the business and management fields to gain access to the corporate file.

What is MPhil?

MPhil or Master of Philosophy is a higher educational qualification sought in research. It is mainly done after the postgraduate degree and is considered one of the first steps to a doctorate.

The program’s highlight is that it consists entirely of one person’s independent research work and thesis rather than academic units and well-formulated assessments. MPhil is at level 7, alongside other master’s programmes based on national qualification frameworks.

The course can also be referred to as a pure research degree. Although it appears to be a master’s degree from the title of the course, it falls somewhere between a master’s degree and advanced research postgraduate training.

In some countries, the course is included in ‘second-round qualification’. The MPhil degree is awarded in almost all subjects and is considered a ‘generic’ degree.

There are mainly two ways to register for an MPhil degree. They can be obtained as an independent degree, which means a terminal degree or can even be a step towards completing a doctorate on that particular topic. The type of enrollment will determine the duration and evaluation of the course, while the content of the study and research will remain the same.

A full-time independent MPhil takes two years, while a part-time program can take four to five years. Another important factor that must be taken into account is that obtaining this degree is based solely on the independent research work of the candidate.

The MPhil thesis and research paper should indicate that the candidate has a deep and adequate understanding of their particular field in the current scenario. As MPhil is based on research papers and not individually assessed modules or units, they have no credit value.

Initial training in the program’s investigative methods has a normal credit value but does not contribute to the overall credit value of the title. But even though MPhil does not carry any credit value, it is still a globally recognized master’s degree.

What is MBA?

MBA or Master of Business Administration is one of the most sought after courses after graduation in India and abroad. It is considered a kind of ‘elite’ qualification for those professionals in the business field.

It is a professional degree mainly focused on management and business topics. The program attempts to instil leadership, initiative, and excellent skills required in the business and entrepreneurial world.

Today, these programs are considered very prestigious and therefore have well-restricted application and entry requirements. Many universities prefer candidates or students with some experience in their field of graduation, while others conduct entrance exams with scores.

The course mainly focuses on giving advanced knowledge to the student in a particular subject. Therefore, getting an MBA degree from a well-known and renowned institution is a good sign and adds to the CV. The MBA is generally considered suitable and effective for individuals or professionals in a particular field with work experience as career enhancers.

MBAs are normally terminal degrees, and people study them as a final educational qualification, although there are a variety of pathways open afterwards. According to the national qualification frameworks, the MBA is at Level 7 and other master’s programmes.

The program has a credit value of 180 CATS / 90-120 ECTS and is available worldwide in a few different formats. These are designed to meet the specific career goals of candidates. The various options available in the MBA are:

  1. Standard MBA Programs
  2. Accelerated MBA Programs
  3. Executive MBA Programs
  4. Postgraduate Entry MBA
  5. Dual MBA Programs

The reputation of the university or institution is very important in the case of doing an MBA. Several national, regional and international organizations accredit business schools and thus make them reputed and sought after.

Main difference between MPhil and MBA

  1. MPhil is primarily chosen by candidates interested in research and wishes to have extensive knowledge, usually to enter a teaching field. At the same time, MBA is pursued by those who wish to specialize in business and entrepreneurship.
  2.  The main difference between MPhil and MBA is that while MPhil is pursued after completing a graduate degree, MBA can be pursued after graduation.
  3. Usually, MPhil degrees do not carry any credit value as they do not have well-formulated assessments in place of the research thesis. At the same time, MBA focuses entirely on academic subjects and thus carries a certain credit value.
  4. MPhils can be done as a terminal degree and a pathway to a PhD, whereas an MBA course is done primarily as a terminal degree and does not typically continue to the next level.
  5. At some institutions offering MPhil- PhD degrees, MPhil holders receive some exemptions concerning doctoral courses, while these types of exemptions are not found in an MBA.


Both MPhil and MBA are qualifications sought after for higher levels of education and help to specialize in fields of interest. While MPhil degrees can be enrolled only after graduation, MBA programs can also be pursued.

These degrees from renowned institutions give candidates an advantage over others who do not possess them, thus enhancing their careers.

Courtesy: Queens College


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