Is a second Master useful for PhD Candidates?


I am currently a Phd Student in Contemporary History (Greece and decolonization) and I would like your opinions whether a second master (I have already one) would be useful. If I decided to do one more, I would have to choose between "MSc in Political Science and Sociology" and "MSc in International Relations and Strategic Studies".
My interests are somehow between the above and an "MA in International History" would cover both these fields (History and Theory of Foreign Policy, Social History, Social Science etc". But there are no such programs here. So, what do you think?


I don't think a second masters is particularly helpful, especially if you have a PhD.


Thank you, that's what my supervisor says, but I think that I have some knowledge gap.


I agree with the post above, I don't think a second Masters will be helpful with a PhD.


I have a friend who just completed his 3rd masters degree, but he did not have a phd. And he was doing another masters because it was paid for by his government, and so he would have something to do, instead of being unemployed.

I also have another friend from South America who was doing her third masters degree when I met her, and she was doing this because of the MONEY from the scholarship. She was going to repair her kitchen with the money.

I honestly think - for myself- a masters degree in something like medical statistics would help me a lot, because I enjoy working with datasets and statistics, but my phd is in another area so I can never apply for jobs in the dataset/numbers field, because I don't have a piece of paper that says I can do this.

So I guess it depends on how another masters will help you, either academically, financially...or personal fulfilment etc.


It's unclear what you think it would be useful *for*.

If it's to enhance your academic job prospects - probably not as the prospects are generally poor so the best way to spend your time would be focussing on publications. If it's to plug a knowledge gap - can this not be achieved by reading? If it's to prep for a non-academic career, then maybe, but would you really want to be doing this at the same time as a PhD? Be aware that you will never know everything about everything!

That's not to say that there's never a good reason to do a second masters, but if you frame it in terms of utility, you have to be sure that it is definitely going to be useful. I have an MSc and PhD, and am contemplating doing a second part time MSc over the next few years. For me the aim would be to acquire some specific highly technical skills that are in demand in my field. In that sense it would be useful for me to do it, and it would be harder, though not impossible, to reach the same level of skill through self-directed learning.


I think it depends on each situation. I'm similiar to you, but different LOL

BA History and Comparative Theology
MA International Relations

I have just been accepted on a PhD History programme, combining both history and IR, but I've decided to do an MRes first, simply because it fits into my own situation - relocating back to the UK after 25 years, not sure where we as a family want to settle, etc., etc.

I do, however, think that usually a second masters is unnecessary. Can I ask? Are you in Switzerland? Your choices seem very familiar to me - and we're leaving Switzerland because of it.