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A Master of Arts in Scotland can refer to an undergraduate academic degree in humanities and social sciences awarded by the ancient universities of ScotlandSt Andrews University, the University of Glasgow, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh. In addition, the University of Dundee awards this degree as a result of its historical links with St Andrews University. Undergraduate MAs are also awarded, with several material differences, by the other ancient universities in the British Isles: Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin (see: Master of Arts (Oxbridge and Dublin)).

The degree can either be finished as a Master of Arts with Honours within fours years or as a Master of Arts "ordinary degree" within three years.[1][2] The Master of Arts awarded by the ancient universities of Scotland is evaluated as an equivalent to the Master of Arts or Magister Artium.[3]

Subjects awarded

The MA applies only to fine art, humanities, social sciences and theology within these universities. The Honours degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc) is awarded for four years of study in the field of science and the honours Bachelor of Laws (LLB) is the four year legal degree (again with an ordinary available after three years).

There are a few subjects which can award either an MA or BSc. For instance, students studying management at the University of St Andrews or psychology at the University of Dundee may be awarded either an MA or a BSc depending on whether they are a member of the faculty of arts or the faculty of sciences (respectively).

The Universities of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh also offer the degree of Bachelor of Divinity (BD) as a four-year course. The Bachelor of Divinity is offered at the University of St Andrews, but as a postgraduate degree for a student who has already completed a Master of Arts - the undergraduate degree in divinity/theology is designated Master of Theology (MTheol)).

Newer undergraduate degrees are either undergraduate Bachelors or undergraduate Masters in the advanced undergraduate degree scheme as above.


As opposed to the Oxbridge MA (which has no honours as there are no separate exams for the award of MA), the Scottish MA is awarded with the same system of honours as other British undergraduate degrees, for example "MA (Hons) Upper Second Class".




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