Simple MA to Super MA

Dr. S. Ganesan

When we purchase a car, we see the basic models as well as higher end models. The add-on features attract us over basic models. A similar experience in higher education  happens, when we select a master degree programme. The highly preferred PG is Master of Arts (MA). Among MA, there are number of varieties and specializations. Normally, the MA programme has four theory papers in first year and another set of four papers in second year of study. However, few MA have 8 +8=16 papers too. The blending of academic enrichment activities such as – Dissertation/Project Work, internship, field work, practicals, etc, upgrade a simple MA to super MA status. The more of enrichment activities, the MA becomes academically rich. The student learners more from, activities, puts extra efforts for more credits, and enjoys specialization of his/her choice. Let us analyze some of the MA programmes offered by IGNOU.





The programme would be of great use for the teachers working in schools, personnel working in various institutions associated with history and culture (Museums, Archives, archaeological Survey etc.), working people in various organizations and all graduates who are desirous of acquiring a Master’s Degree in History.

Political Science
The aim of the Master’s Degree in Political Science is to provide the learners a sound base in political studies by an in-depth investigation into a broad range of political phenomena at the national, regional and international levels. The programme provides option for specializing in political theory, comparative politics, international relations and Indian government and politics. Learners would thus acquire skills in political analysis as well as sharpen their critical and analytical abilities.
Duration of Study
Annual Pattern Semester Pattern Total
Calendar year
(Jan-December) January-June
2 years (or)
Academic Year
(July-June) July-December

Public Administration:
The aim of the Master’s Degree in Public Administration is to provide comprehensive knowledge to the learners on the nature of public administration in India and in the globalization context with focus on the role of the state, Public sector a public private interface. The growing role of civil society groups, human resources, e-governance and public systems management will be the central focus. The programme would be able to develop the conceptual faculties of the learners on various administrative theories, postulates, models, processes, methods, instruments, techniques etc.
The M.A. Programme in Sociology is designed to provide advanced sociological knowledge, perspectives and skills to a wide cross section of learners, including those in remote and inaccessible areas. In terms of content, it focuses on classical and advanced concepts and theories, research methods and perspectives, social issues of development, state of sociology in India, social issues of development, education transnational communities, migration, urbanization, development of the largest section of the population and emerging concerns in contemporary society. With this backdrop, the programme aims to address the various emerging concerns of the discipline taking cognizance of need of the students on the one hand and the cognitive ability of this discipline on the other. This programme focuses on the following
• Sociological theories, concepts and methods applied to comprehend these processes.
• Social process and their inter-linkages with the global, regional and local manifestations.
• Issues involved in the process of development
• Socio-cultural dynamics of Diaspora and transnational communities
• Religion and related issues
• Education, urbanization, globalization and such other social process.

Number of Papers
1st year 2nd year Total
4 -8 papers 4-8 papers  8-16 papers

The aim of the Master’s Degree in English progarmme is to give the learners a sound understanding of English and American literatures and also other new areas in literature such as, Canadian, Australian and Indian English. The learners would develop an understanding of English and other literatures of their choice in their proper historic-critical perspectives. A good knowledge of reading, comprehension and writing skills would be a pre-requisite for this programme.
The MA-Hindi programme provides descriptive knowledge and specialization Hindi language. It enables student to precede further studies through research. It has two specializations, namely (1) Upanyas (2) Dalith literature. One can opt the specialization subjects in second year of study.
Number of Credits
1st year 2nd year Total
30-36 credits 32-36 credits 64-72 credits
(One Credit is equal to 30 study hours)
The Master’s programme in Philosophy is intended not only to enhance career prospects for students, but also to train the mind for better logical thinking, mental discipline, ability for analysis and synthesis, critical reflection on social and political realities. Philosophy broadens people’s vision towards national integration, genuine appreciation of other’s worldviews, better understanding of various thought patterns and peaceful co-existence. It also becomes a means to social transformation to build a better nation and to ensure social equality, human dignity and human rights for the citizens.

The M.A. (Education) programme aims at producing a team of well-trained individuals knowledgeable in education and its various dimensions. More especially the M.A. (Education) programme intends to:
• Provide learning-experience, which will enable students to understand and appreciate knowledge  structures and paradigms of education;
Fee Structure
1st year 2nd year Total
Rs.5600-9000 Rs.5400-8400 Rs.11000-17400/-

The programme offers an opportunity to learners for higher studies in Economics. Besides offering the core courses available in other universities, it includes themes in some of the emerging areas in economics such as insurance and finance that are expected to be extremely useful in the present scenario of economic liberalization and globalization. Some of the courses require an understanding of mathematical applications, particularly calculus and linear algebra. Students are expected to be conversant with basic mathematics covered at +2 level.

Anthropology is the study of human beings in time and space. The programme is based on integrated approach to the subject incorporating insights from physical, social and archaeological anthropology. The thrust is laid on an in-depth understanding involving holistic approach of anthropology using theoretical and practical techniques. The programme is aimed at developing professional competence of the subject in light of perceivable need for trained anthropologists in academic and research institutes, NGO’s, government organizations, health sectors and applied sciences.  The focus of the programme is to equip the learners to employ anthropological insight to desirous to understand essence of the subject.
Course  Practical Dissertation/Project Field Work Internship
MA (Anthropology) Three Two  One Nil
Ma (Psychology) Two  One  Nil  One
MA (Education) Nil One  Nil Nil
MA Extension & Developmental Studies Nil  Three  Nil Nil
MA (Gender  & Development Studies Nil Nil Nil  Two

Gandhi and Peace Studies:
• To provide opportunities of higher studies to the learners
• To provide quality education and post-graduate level in theoretical and applied Gandhian and Studies peace. Conflict Management and social regeneration.

In the recent past psychology degree has been in great demand with many schools, hospitals organizations in service sector and industries both private and public. Voluntary welfare agencies and correctional institutions also demand psychologists to deal with varied problem of human behavior.

Extension and Development Studies:
This programme has been designed with balanced blending of components from extension education and development studies with two project works and a dissertation. The programme will be useful to working extension and development professionals across the sectors and also to fresh graduates interested in pursuing carrier as extension and development professionals.
Specializations in MA
MA Education in (1) Higher Education, (2) Distance Education, (3)Educational Technology, (4) Educational Management & Adult Education
MA (Psychology) in (1) Clinical Psychology, (2) Counselling Psychology, (3) Industrial and Organizational Psychology
MA (Hindi) in (1) Upanyas  or (2) Dalita Sahitya
MA (Political Science) has choice of selecting 8-papers out of 20-papers in second year

Adult Education:
This programme is meant for all those interested in entering and seeking career in the field of adult education and allied areas as well as for those working with any institution in formal, non-formal or informal section. It aims at promoting professionals competency and capacity building of pre-service and in-service people in the field of adult education and allied areas.
Gender and Development Studies
The porgramme is likely to be of interest to academics and researchers; trainers, facilitators, supervisors; staff of organizations working in the area of gender and development; government personnel; personnel working in banks and financial institutions.

Achieving gender equality and gender equity requires multi-pronged approaches and strategies. One of the key approaches and strategies revolves around design and development of suitable educational programmes that equip practitioners and policy makers with the requisite knowledge and skills to make a valuable contribution in this sphere.

Women’s & Gender Studies
Women’s & Gender studies are emerging and growing areas of academic inquiry today. The modular MAWGS programme is aimed at students with a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with an interest in this area. The programme will acquaint students with the academic area of women’s and gender studies and its history, theoretical premises and progression to present day status.  It is expected that learners who have completed the MA programme would have a deeper understanding of formulations of empowerment. They would have been exposed to cultural, literary, political and socioeconomic dimensions within gender frameworks through either one of the two specializations. This degree will equip students with the ability to deconstruct the complex power hierarchies and relationships operating in society, from the perspective of women and gender.

Modular Structure
Post Graduate Diploma in Women’s & Gender Studies 
Master of Arts in Women’s & Gender Studies
Post Graduate Diploma in Distance Education 
Master of Arts in Distance Education

Distance Education:
This progarmme has been designed to develop human resource in various specialized areas of distance education. Those have earlier completed Post Graduate Diploma in distance Education from IGNOU, may take lateral entry directly in the second year of MA (Distance Education).
Translation Studies:
The Translation Studies programme intends to familiarize the learners with the theory and practices of translation. It is built around the concept of integrating learning with research in the vast areas of translation practices in the contemporary time. The programme provides opportunity for translators to explore job opportunities as academics and translators by honing their translation skills. As a fundamental act of cultural and knowledge exchange, it has become a key issue for accessing and managing knowledge as its various aspects - acquisition, preservations, creation, dissemination in the global world.

Rural Development:
The discipline of Rural Development is of vital significance for understanding the development issues related to rural society. The syllabus of M.A. Programme in Rural Development is designed to include such diverse academic contents as are essential in the making of this discipline in the Indian Context. An essential component of this programme is dissertation based on empirical research in rural areas. The programme will be useful to personnel working in various government departments /agencies, NGO’s, cooperative banks and other institutes engaged in rural transformation. It will also be beneficial for fresh graduates interested in pursuing career in the discipline of rural development.

The student must be wise enough to select the relevant MA of his/her interest to successfully complete the PG with good scores. Taking admission in MA with specialization activities needs self-motivation to enjoy academically. In the competitive world, the employers search for ‘what is more in your MA?. Let the super MA programmes match the requirements of job markets.
(The author is Regional Director of IGNOU, Regional Centre, Port Blair and can be reached at (M-8900936718}.

Friday, 18 January, 2019