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A postgraduate degree is an extremely important one that needs to be chosen wisely to have a stable career ahead in the future. M.Sc. or Masters in Science is one such course that people from academic backgrounds or interested in research must pursue to gain more in-depth and industry-specific knowledge.
The course encompasses specialisation in the chosen discipline, such as mathematics, physics, and economics. This two-year programme revolves around the subdisciplines of the selected subject. For instance, subdisciplines of economics include welfare economics, developmental economics etc. This way, the degree strengthens the fundamental core while building upon it for specialisation.
Several prestigious colleges in India offer this reputed degree infused with theoretical core knowledge and practical learning fundamental for jobs and future careers. This includes the popular IITs and the Delhi University, among other colleges of the country. For those into intensive research, there are a variety of college options abroad as well including the top colleges of Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford University.
There is a systematic entrance process for all these colleges, given this program is extremely prestigious in addition to being a postgraduate degree. The entrance process for almost all colleges includes an entrance test revolving around the chosen discipline and even interviews for some. The rigorous process of entrance requires a lot of pre-preparation and practice.
The syllabus of Masters in Science varies according to the discipline. Given below is a brief list of the M.Sc. syllabus for various courses –
1. Masters of Science Information Technology
Information Technology is a vast field often confounded with Computer Science given the huge similarities between the two. The syllabus encompasses Database Management System, Computer Networks, Programming Language, and Computer Graphics among other subdisciplines.
2. Masters of Science Biotechnology
This field has recently been on the rise because of the existing global health events. It has a very interesting syllabus covering plant and animal biotechnology, immunology, molecular biology and etc.
3. Masters of Science Mathematics
If you are a maths fanatic too and seek to pursue it ahead then Masters of Science in Mathematics is the right subject for you. It discusses vector analysis; advanced differential equations; advanced abstract algebra; differential geometry; numerals, complex and real analysis; linear programming and other related subjects in even more detail.
4. Masters of Science Economics
Economics has always been an extremely prestigious and respected discipline despite being a discipline of Social Sciences and Humanities. This is why several colleges began offering Masters of Science in Economics. The subject critically examines areas such as Econometrics, Time series and Regression of Analysis, and Macro-Micro Economics. However, a key point to note is that many colleges in India don’t offer a Masters of Science degree in Economics, given the popular view of Economics being a Social Sciences subject. Yet there are many colleges abroad and in India like the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai or the University of Calcutta that offer this program.
5. Masters of Science Psychology
Psychology had earlier been a very rare subject unknown to the general masses. It was specifically for students from medical backgrounds later pursuing research in neurology and psychology. The picture of the current academic landscape, however, has lately begun changing a lot. The emerging significance and attention given to mental health problems have led to a spurt in the number of students taking up psychology as a career option. As a result, if you as well are a psychology student inclined to clinical psychology and/or developmental psychology, then this degree course of Masters of Science in Psychology is the best one for you. Psychology is a very elaborate and enormous field. As a result, the structure of the course is quite arbitrary, in that sense, often more than other Masters of Sciences. The most common subdisciplines of Psychology are Advanced Social Psychology, Organisational Behaviour, Lifespan Psychology, Human Resource Management, and Counselling and Behaviour Modification.
6. Masters of Science Physics
From Classical and Quantum Mechanics to Nuclear and Particle Physics or Molecular Physics, this vibrant degree course is usually designed to give a detailed insight into the subject of physics. Some other themes discussed in the syllabus include Astrophysics, Computer Applications in Physics, Advanced Optics, Electronics and etc.
7. Masters of Science Chemistry
In the postgraduate program in Chemistry, most colleges include Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical and Analytical Chemistry, Chemistry of Materials, Advanced Quantum Chemistry, Advanced Chemical Kinetics and Electrochemistry, Chemical Biology, Chemical Dynamics and Electrochemistry, Transition and Non-Transition Metal Chemistry and Computational Chemistry among others.
MSc Specialisation Syllabus
This degree of Masters of Science focuses on specialisation and critical study of the chosen subject. As a result, the entire syllabus of the two years is similar to the specialisation syllabus of it. Detailed syllabus and subjects have been listed in the respective headings, yet the course curriculum varies depending on the college selected. Some of the specialisations commonly offered include Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Zoology, Botany or others.
The subject list of Masters in Science is diverse yet cohesive one prepared in such a way that it promotes critical understanding so that students (who later become researchers) are capable of providing useful insights about the industry. Often people believe M.Sc. is exclusively meant for students of Sciences like Physics, Biochemistry, Electronics. This, however, is not true at all. M.Sc. can be even done in subjects of Social Science and Humanities such as Economics, Geography, Psychology etc.
The common structure of all M.Sc. programmes is as follows –
1. Core and Elective subjects
2. Research and/or Thesis
3. Internships or Fieldwork
4. Individual/Group projects and practical
Most colleges follow an examination pattern for M.Sc. such that it gives 70 per cent weightage to theory and 30 per cent to practical. Credits are accorded to the above mentioned extra-scholastic portions such as dissertation and internships.
MSc future prospects
Given how prestigious an M.Sc. degree is believed to be in India and abroad, a variety of job options are available to Masters's students of Science. A few options with significant details are given below –
1. Research Assistant – several companies such as Infosys, Wipro, McKinsey or Nielsen recruit research assistants and consultants for various fields. A research assistant is required to conduct experiments and scientific research even at times get involved in data gathering and eventually critically analyse for further study and solution. An average starting salary of a Research Assistant or Associate, or Consultant is anywhere in between Rs. 3 Lakhs per annum to Rs. 7 Lakhs per annum.
2. Professor – Colleges such as IITs, IIMs or Delhi University recruit assistant and associate professors for a variety of academic fields, not just as a guest or permanent faculty but as researchers as well. You can even pursue a PhD. alongside this for continued professional education.
3. Public Sector Opportunities – Central and state governments release advertisements and tenders for vacancies to which recruitment happens on the basis of educational qualifications and interviews. These can be temporary or in other words, contractual jobs but may often land you a permanent job in your preferred sector. For instance, Niti Aayog, ICMR, ISRO and related organisations working closely with the government provide plenty of opportunities for M.Sc. students.
Best colleges in India for MSc
Almost all the colleges which offer postgraduate courses offer this program; however there are some that have an immensely high value attached to them. Following are some of the colleges that one can aim for –
1. Indian Institute of Science (IISc, Science)
Ranked No. 1 in the NIRF 2021, this college provides the best research programs including MSc in Life Sciences and Chemical Sciences.
2. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Madras)
Except the first, all top 5 places of colleges for research is dominated by IITs of the nation. Of these, the first is the IIT-M. This college offers MSc courses with specialisation in Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics.
3. All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS, New Delhi)
Popular among medical students, AIIMS Delhi offers MSc in interesting fields such as Nuclear Medicine Technology, Cardiological Nursing and etc.
4. Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR, Mumbai)
This institute by Tata offers MSc with specialisation in Biology, Chemistry, Computer & Systems Science (including Communications and Machine Learning), Mathematics, Physics and Science Education.
5. University of Delhi (DU, Delhi NCR)
This reputed university for undergraduate programs also provides quality postgraduate education. This includes an M.Sc. degree in Biochemistry, Biotechnology or Physics, or Chemistry and other interesting scientific and analytical fields.
Best Books for M.Sc.
Books for preparation for M.Sc. entrance exams depend on your specialisation discipline. Here is a list of the few books to refer to for specific courses –
1. M.Sc. in Physics
a. Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics and Introduction to elementary particles - David Griffith
b. Mathematical Physics - Boas/H.K.Das/Arfken Weber
c. Classical Mechanics – Goldstein
2. M.Sc. in Chemistry
a. Organic Chemistry – Francis A. Carey Morrison and Boyd
b. Inorganic Chemistry – James E. Huheey Puri, Sharma and Kalia
c. Analytical Chemistry: Theory and Practice – U.N.Dash
3. M.Sc. in Mathematics
a. Differential Equations - S. L. Ross
b. Calculus – M. J. Strauss, G. L. Bradley and K. J. Smith
c. Linear Algebra and Its Applications – David C. Lay