M.Phil in Liberal Arts Course, Syllabus and Scope

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Pranjal Singhal

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Alert: MPhil will no more be a bridge  between Master’s and PhD in India, as it is going to be discontinued as per NEP 2020 

Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts is an advanced post-graduate research program offered by a very few institutes in India. Candidates who have successfully completed post-graduate education in liberal arts or relevant field can apply for this course. Universities or institutes provide admission on the basis of post-graduate degree score. Some institutes conduct an entrance examination as well as a personal interview. The average annual fee of the course is INR 10,000.

M. Phil in Liberal Arts is a research based program that is generally treated as a prerequisite for candidates who intend to pursue Ph.D. in the field. M.Phil in Liberal Arts comprises the study of a wide range of subjects such as philosophy, literature, social and physical sciences. The program serves as the provisional enrollment for the related Ph.D. program.

Employment opportunities for candidates graduating in this course are available in various fields depending on the branch of specialization ranging from English literature to Business Studies. Average annual salary of graduates in this field is INR 350,000.

M.Phil in Liberal Arts Course Description

Liberal arts are those subjects or skills that in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free person to know in order to take an active part in civic life; something that includes participating in public debate, defending oneself in court, serving on juries, and most importantly, military service. The program may be a specialization in one of the branches of liberal arts or it may be an overall study of liberal arts. It is a 2- year course that requires candidates to carry out a thorough study and propose a thesis. M.Phil in humanities and in Social Sciences are courses that may be similar to this one.

M.Phil in Liberal Arts Course Highlights Table

Name of the course Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts (M. Phil in Liberal Arts)
Duration 2 years
Stream Liberal Arts
Average course fee INR 10,000/annum
Sectors of employments Multidisciplinary Industries
Average entry level salary INR 350,000/annum
Top entrance exams -

Who Should Opt for M.Phil in Liberal Arts?

Candidates having a keen interest in a comprehensive study of liberal arts should opt for this course. Also, candidates wishing to gain specialization in one of the various branches of liberal arts could apply for this course. If you wish to pursue a doctoral course i.e. Ph.D. in the subject, completing this advanced post- graduate program is the way to go.

Institutes for M.Phil in Liberal Arts

Only the following institute in India provides M. Phil in Liberal Arts.

Institute/University City Avg. Fee/Annum
Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh INR 10,400


Candidates applying should have successfully completed a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts with a minimum of 55% aggregate score. Other than the mentioned criterion candidates are also eligible to apply if they have scored a minimum of 55% aggregate score in an exam that is considered equivalent to Master of Arts in a specialized field of liberal arts. Aside from the M.A. score, some of the colleges conduct an entrance examination and a personal interview.

Admission Process for M.Phil in Liberal Arts

The admission process for Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts is explained below. The Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, offers this 2- year program.

  1. Candidates should have scored a minimum of 55% in M.A./ M.Com or of 60 % in M.S./M.Tech/MBA (or equivalent CGPA) with an adequate background in Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Candidates enrolled in the 4th semester of their M.A./M.S., or equivalent degree program, at the time of application to the M. Phil program at IITH, are required to submit grade sheets of Semesters I, II, and III. They will be needed to provide the final proof of the qualifying degree at the time of registration at IIT Hyderabad, failing to do which will result in cancellation of candidature.
  3. Shortlisted candidates are required to pass a written test and/or interview conducted by the Department of Liberal Arts. Candidates are examined in the area of specialization chosen under ‘SELECT SPECIALIZATION’ tab on the 2nd page of the online application form.
  4. Fulfilling the minimum educational qualification does not necessarily entitle applicants to a call for written test/ interview. The Institute reserves the right to call only the requisite number of M. Phil candidates based on qualification and suitability.
  5. Selected candidates are given monthly fellowships as per IIT Hyderabad norms.

Direct admission to M.Phil in Liberal Arts

Direct admission through management quota is also available in a few private colleges, though most of the colleges have a strict selection criterion. Government colleges do not provide direct admission since management quota is not available.

Lateral entry

Lateral entry is not available to Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts.

Duration of M.Phil in Liberal Arts

Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts is a 2- year program. It comprises a total of 4 semesters and an examination is held at the end of each semester.  

Distance Learning

There are no distance learning courses available for Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts. If you want to pursue this course, the only option is to go full- time.

Career Prospects After M.Phil in Liberal Arts

Career prospects for the Liberal Arts graduates are limitless in their respective fields of specialization. New opportunities in consulting and entrepreneurship are emerging every day at start-up enterprises or projects requiring everything from content, to foreign language, social metrics, and graphic illustration, and subsequently, so has the ceiling on compensation.

The different branches of liberal arts wherein candidates can pursue an M. Phil are listed below:

  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Political science
  • Public relations

What can you become after M. Phil in Liberal Arts?

There are a number of professional avenues that successful post- graduates of M. Phil in Liberal Arts can explore. Some major ones are listed here.


Economists research and analyze economic issues. They conduct surveys and collect data. Aside from this they also analyze data using mathematical models and statistical techniques.


An anthropologist’s job includes studying every aspect of humanity, from human anatomy and evolution to ancient artifacts and living cultures. Anthropology consists of different branches, namely:

  • Archaeology
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Sociocultural Anthropology


A sociologist’s job includes conducting research ethnographies, which consists of analyzing the origins, activities and interfaces of a social group for an in-depth analysis of economic, political as well as religious insights.

Public Relations Specialist:

A Public Relations Specialist works on behalf of a corporation or public figure in coordination with reporters to increase visibility and performance of a communications strategy.

Potential Salary After M.Phil in Liberal Arts

M.Phil in Liberal Arts

Job Salary/annum
Anthropologist INR 2,50,000
Economist INR 6,18,600
Public Relations Specialist INR 4,65,200

Course Structure for M.Phil in Liberal Arts

The generalized 2- year course structure is given below; each candidate must submit a thesis at the end of the curriculum for completion of the course.

Semester I
Selection of guide The selection of the guide must be done based on the topic of study and mutual consent between student and faculty.
Semester II
Four Courses At least two of the selected courses should be discipline specific
Semester III
Development of research proposal Presentation of the research proposal developed
Thesis Unit I Literature review, data collection and data analysis
Semester IV
Thesis Unit II Thesis writing and pre-submission seminar


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