Which master’s degree to study?

09 Sep 2022

Do you want to improve your professional profile by taking a master’s degree but you have doubts about which master’s degree to study? A master’s degree is a specialisation course in a specific subject, generally aimed at students who have already completed their Bachelor’s degree and who have some experience in the working world. In this post, we will explain in more detail what a master’s degree is, what types of master’s degrees exist and what are the requirements to access them to resolve any doubts you may have and to be able to guide you better in choosing your master’s degree. We will also show you Elisava’s Master and Postgraduate programmes, such as the University Master in Design and Communication.

What is a master’s degree?

Many students, when they finish their university degree, decide to specialise in a specific area related to their field of study and thus direct their professional career towards a more specific area of work.

In this sense, in post-compulsory education, master’s studies stand out, providing advanced training of a specialised or multidisciplinary nature, aimed at academic or professional specialisation, or initiation into research tasks.

Master’s programmes usually last one or two academic years and require 60 to 120 ECTS credits, together with the submission of a final master’s thesis. Admission to a master’s programme requires a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

Alongside master’s programmes, there are postgraduate diplomas, which also have a clear professionalizing vocation and offer a high degree of specialisation in a more specific discipline or field than a master’s degree.

The workload of postgraduate studies is less than that of master’s degrees, normally between 30 and 60 ECTS credits. They are also open to students without a bachelor’s degree who can prove their professional experience in a certain field, although they are not eligible for a postgraduate diploma, but only for a certificate.

Difference between an official master’s degree and a specific master’s degree

Master’s degrees provide students with specialised and multidisciplinary advanced training. There are two types of master’s degrees: official master’s degrees and specific master’s degrees.

Official master’s degrees, commonly known as university master’s degrees, are aimed at both professional specialisation and initiation in the field of research. They are official state degrees recognised at the European level and give access to doctoral studies.

The other master’s degree programmes are specific master’s degrees, officially called professional master’s degrees, and consist of a qualification endorsed by the prestige of the university that offers them. In the case of Elisava, these are degrees awarded by the faculty following current legislation in the educational field. Their curriculums follow similar assessment processes and academic requirements to those applied in official studies, the main difference being that a specific master’s degree does not give access to doctoral studies.

At Elisava you can take both types of master’s degrees, both an official master’s degree and several Elisava-specific master’s degrees.

Why do a master’s degree?

Master’s programmes are studies designed to encourage students’ professional development, acquire new knowledge and skills, and perfect one or more of their competencies. In this sense, taking a master’s degree will consolidate the knowledge that students have gained during their university studies and will contribute to improving their professional profile.

These are some of the main advantages of studying for a master’s degree:

  • It broadens knowledge, strengthens training and allows to start a process of specialisation, which helps get a job linked to the desired speciality, as having studied a master’s degree in a specific field proves that you are an expert in that subject.
  • It improves individual competence through an eminently practical approach that allows the knowledge acquired during the degree to be put into practice and to focus on labour skills.
  • Doing a master’s degree allows you to do professional internships in the main companies in the sector and to have access to a job board with job offers from the companies that collaborate with the university or institution that teaches the master’s degree.
  • It favours the creation of a network of contacts within the specialisation itself that can be useful in the working world.
  • Studying for a master’s degree is the first step towards starting to work on a research topic and writing a thesis that will lead to a doctorate.
  • All in all, master’s studies serve to recycle knowledge through constant training that allows you to be up to date with the changes in a specific professional field, also favouring the improvement of the internal position in the company itself.
Which master’s degree to study?

Before choosing which master’s degree to study, it is advisable to take into account some prior considerations that will allow you to choose the option that best suits your interests, goals and needs.

  • Question your academic future: depending on your previous training and your professional and academic goals, you should consider one or another type of master’s degree. To do this, it is important to know, first of all, whether you want to specialise in the same field as the degree you have studied or in a different one.
  • Evaluate the offer of master’s degrees in Spain and the curriculum of each centre: find out about the existing academic offer and the competence that will be acquired according to the master’s programme chosen.
  • Look into the professional opportunities: this involves taking notice of the focus of each master’s degree, which may be more research-oriented or more professionalizing. If you are interested in research, it is important to remember that it is necessary to take an official master’s degree that allows you to access a doctorate.
  • Admission criteria and requirements: depending on the centre and the type of master’s degree, there are different requirements. Generally, a university degree is required, but according to the centre, language certificates or a selection process for candidates may be required.
  • Internships: check out the internship options offered by the centre in companies or research centres, practical training that provides added value and that may translate into a future job opportunity.
  • Scholarships and grants: the cost of the master’s degree is one of the most decisive factors when deciding which programme to choose. Some centres offer financing methods or have their scholarships, and you can even apply for public scholarships and grants.
  • Schedule and orientation: the schedule and length of the master’s programme should also be considered. In this sense, the class schedule and the duration of the master’s degree (between 1 or 2 years) must be taken into account, as well as the availability of the interested person and the time that can be dedicated to the studies.

University Master’s Degrees at Elisava

Elisava offers a wide range of specific Master’s and Postgraduate programs structured in six areas: Graphic Design, Communication, Product Design, Space Design, Innovation and Management, and Interaction and Technology.

The educational plan of these programs combines theoretical and technical knowledge with different degrees of specialisation oriented towards clear professional training. In this sense, they open up their students to work on projects in collaboration with companies, institutions and NGOs and allow them to have the professional experience to facilitate their employment.

Studying at Elisava is an excellent option for continuing professional training in different areas of design, marketing and advertising.

Among the benefits and advantages of studying at an educational institution like Elisava are its more than 50 years of experience in the field and its high international recognition; the prestige of its teaching staff, made up of more than 800 professionals; the feedback between design and engineering studies, both taught at the faculty; its wide range of master’s programmes and its complete facilities; its international collaboration with companies, institutions and NGOs; its large community of students and former students, and its privileged location in the centre of Barcelona.

Below you can check all of Elisava’s Master’s and Postgraduate programmes, which are divided into Master’s and Postgraduate Pro, Masters Beyond and Executive Master’s programmes, all of which are specific master’s degrees. In addition, Elisava offers an official master’s degree, the University Master’s Degree in Design and Communication, which allows you to develop research activities and train to conceive, formalise and analyse design strategies.