Once again, things differ in the UK. Here it is possible to gain an MSc by dint of either
1. Having a degree in the field you are doing your MSc in. This degree will typically be taught, and then be assessed by examination or thesis.
2. Having a degree in something else. You undertake a two year taught course, which is assessed by examination. This is rather like a BSc course, but without the first year.
Of course, your mileage may vary. The degree typically awarded as a consolation prize for not having a very good PhD thesis is the MPhil. Note that PhD's in the UK are not examined, and indeed not taught at all. There is at least one taught Doctorate in the UK, the University of Southampton's EngD in Transport Engineering, but this is very much the exception.