Ontario Qualifications Framework (OQF)

12 – Masters Degree


The qualification categories distinguish between levels of knowledge based on a continuum ranging from the mastery of particular, established bodies of knowledge and skills to levels at the frontiers of knowledge where new knowledge is created and established assumptions and methods are challenged. Each qualification may be seen as a reference point along that continuum. The descriptions of each qualification outline its purpose, typical admission requirements and typical duration.

Overall Program Design and Outcome Emphasis
Programs require the student to develop and demonstrate advanced research skills under supervision. Some programs require students to demonstrate the necessary research, analytical, interpretative, methodological and expository skills in course exercises.


  • Profession-oriented
  • Research-oriented

Preparation for Employment and Further Study
For either further study in the discipline or for employment in circumstances requiring sound judgment, personal responsibility and initiative, in complex and unpredictable professional environments.

Typical Duration
Three to five semesters. Normally 45-60 credits or the equivalent.

Admission Requirements
Baccalaureate/Bachelor's Degree: Honours or other undergraduate degree, plus bridging studies where necessary.

Ontario public university/consent holder pursuant to Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000.

Indigenous Institute

Qualification Awarded
Masters Degree


This section outlines the generic competencies that the holder of each qualification is expected to be able to demonstrate, with a focus on knowledge and skills transferable to the workplace or useful for further study. The descriptors indicate the different categories of competencies, which vary in nature and degree depending on the qualification. The capacity to work creatively and autonomously is required at all levels but in contexts that range from fixed routines to those characterized by ambiguity and uncertainty.

Depth and Breadth of Knowledge
A systematic understanding of knowledge, including, where appropriate, relevant knowledge outside the field and/or discipline, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice.

Conceptual & Methodological Awareness/ Research and Scholarship

  1. A conceptual understanding and methodological competence that:
    1. Enables a working comprehension of how established techniques of research and inquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;
    2. Enables a critical evaluation of current research and advanced research and scholarship in the discipline or area of professional competence;
    3. Enables a treatment of complex issues and judgements based on established principles and techniques;
  2. On the basis of that competence, has shown at least one of the following:
    1. The development and support of a sustained argument in written form; or
    2. Originality in the application of knowledge

Communication Skills
The ability to communicate issues and conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Application of Knowledge
Competence in the research process by applying an existing body of knowledge in the critical analysis of a new question or of a specific problem or issue in a new setting.

Professional Capacity/Autonomy

  1. The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:
    1. the exercise of initiative, and of personal responsibility and accountability;
    2. decision-making in complex situations, such as employment:
  2. The intellectual independence required for continuing professional development;
  3. The ethical behaviour consistent with academic integrity and the use of appropriate guidelines and procedures for responsible conduct of research,
  4. The ability to appreciate the broader implications of applying knowledge to particular contexts.

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge
Cognizance of the complexity of knowledge and of the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods and disciplines.