There are two types or postgraduate studies in the UK; taught and research programmes. The taught programme requires students to attend a three term full academic year course, pass and -of- year exams then complete a research project or write up end of study thesis.
Postgraduate programmes in the UK are usually weighed at 180 credits for a full programme; 120 for the taught part and 60 for the thesis.
Master by research programmes, however, are based on compiling and accepted research proposal then the researcher embark on a research phase under academic supervision leading to successful completion of the thesis/project. This type of project do not include continuance assessment or end-of-year exam.
It’s a postgraduate research-based programme typically completed in two full time years. And combines regular coursework and end of study around 40,000 word thesis. It is common for a PhD candidates in UK universities to be enrolled for an MPhil programme and afterwich they will be permitted to continue their research leading to a PhD degree (usually between one and two years).
A PhD is a research-base degree programme and considered the highest academic award in UK higher education. It involves a writing up of around a 100.000-word thesis/project and culminates by an examination before a panel of internal and external examiners expert in the field in which the candidate is given the opportunity to defend his/her work and findings. PhD candidates are required to present a PhD proposal which adhere to well defined structure, research and technical requirements.