M.Phil. is a research degree that can later become a part of a PhD or can also be referred to as a standalone degree. Like other master’s programs like M.Sc., MA, etc., M. Phil. is a single independent research project rather than a selection of assessments or modules.
M.Phil. means Master of Philosophy, where a student undergoes a complete research-based master’s study. As master’s degrees like MA are more involved in different units and assessments, M.Phil. usually has an extended dissertation, which is then defended by the student at a viva voce exam.
On the other hand, a PhD consists of an academic contribution that adds to the research done by the student around the subject. A PhD also contains publishable quality. However, M.Phil. doesn’t meet that criterion. Nevertheless, M.Phil. is shorter than a PhD, which normally takes three to four years to complete. Also, a student must know that a standalone M.Phil. dissertation is shorter than a PhD thesis.