As university education grows more common, it takes that little bit more to stand out from the crowd. For holders of a bachelor's degree, a master's is the obvious next step to take. A master's degree can greatly improve your employability as many employers and recruiters see it as a sign of initiative and a commitment to self-improvement. This is especially true if it is in a subject directly related to your career. A variety of master's programmes are available. Some are entirely made up of taught content, while others place emphasis on research. Most full-time programmes last a year or two; studying part time will extend the course length by at least 50 per cent. Taught programmes offer a structured approach, with regular assessments. Opting for a research-based course such as a Master of Philosophy, however, will probably require more self-discipline.