What Is a Postgraduate Diploma?

A postgraduate diploma is most commonly offered outside of the U.S. in countries such as Canada, Australia and England. Postgraduate diplomas are earned after students complete bachelor's degree programs. Read on to learn more.

What is a Postgraduate Diploma?

Postgraduate diploma programs are offered to students who have already earned a bachelor's degree. They are more common in countries outside the United States, though some schools in the U.S. do offer these programs. Depending on the country, this type of program may also be called a postgraduate certification, advanced diploma or post-baccalaureate. A postgraduate diploma takes between six months and two years to complete, typically consisting of 2-3 semesters of work. A postgraduate diploma offers studies at the graduate level. This type of diploma may be awarded in some countries to those students who have completed most of a master's degree program, without the dissertation or thesis paper.

Requirements of a Postgraduate Diploma

While most postgraduate diploma programs require students to have obtained a bachelor's degree prior to enrolling, some will accept an advanced diploma, graduate certificate or significant professional experience instead. A postgraduate diploma program offers students advanced, practical knowledge of one subject area. This may provide knowledge in new subject areas for students who are thinking about changing careers or disciplines. Students can even pursue preparatory courses for a master's degree program. Some programs also include hands-on experience, such as that gained through internships.

Benefits of a Postgraduate Diploma

A thesis is not required as part of a postgraduate diploma which, for some, can seem like a great benefit. A postgraduate diploma gives students opportunities to focus precisely on one subject. This type of diploma program also concentrates less on theoretical learning and more on hands-on, practical applications for the job market. Many postgraduate diploma programs also offer direct entry into master's degree programs at partner universities.

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