There are two types of Masters degree in Nigeria. Professional masters degree and Academic master degree award and the maximum time to complete these master’s degree differs.
Academic Masters programme duration is usually within the range of 18 – 21 months. Thesis completion and other factors may extend the time.
Professional Masters programme duration is usually within:
- The full-time : 1 year six month
- The part-time : 2 years
These degree programs are designed to lead the student from the first degree to a particular profession. Professional master’s degrees are most often “terminal” master’s programs, meaning that they do not lead to doctoral programs.
Professional degree programs usually require completion of between 36 and 48 units (one to two years of full-time study), and usually do not offer a thesis option. They do not always require that the bachelor’s degree be in a specific field, but they may recommend a certain amount of prior study or coursework in the subject area.
These programs usually require the completion of between 30 and 60 credit hours and could reasonably be completed in one or two academic years of full-time study. They may lead directly to the doctoral level and requires thesis.
Summary: Professional Masters is a terminal degree while Academic Masters is a step towards a PhD. It depends on what you want to do afterwards. If you intend to leave the university environment completely and work in the industry then go for Professional Masters.
If you intend to continue in the university/academic environment, doing research get PhD, then go for Academic Masters.