The Major Difference between Postgraduate Diploma and Master Degree

The Major Difference between Postgraduate Diploma and Master Degree: If you already have a degree and want to further study, two options are a postgraduate diploma and a Master’s degree. These degrees are both offered at the graduate level. They also help students develop practical skills. And they help them extend knowledge in a certain field. They also help students outstandingly improve career prospects.

But, they have many important differences that you should consider before taking the plunge into further study. Keep reading this article to find out more about the major difference between postgraduate diploma and master degree.

It is also important that before we go into the difference between a postgraduate diploma and master’s degree, we understand what they mean. Hence, we will be having a definition of the two immediately. 


What is a Master’s Degree?

A master’s degree is an academic degree which is awarded by universities or colleges. And this is after the end of a course of study showing mastery or a high-order overview of a certain field of study or area of professional practice.

It typically requires previous study at the bachelor’s level. And this is either as a different degree or as part of an integrated course. However, within the area studied, master’s graduates are expected to have advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics.

They are to seek high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation, or professional application. And they are to seek the ability to solve complex problems and think carefully and independently.

What is a Postgraduate Diploma?

A postgraduate diploma is a postgraduate qualification which is awarded after a university degree. It also supplements the original degree and awards them with a graduate diploma. It is also a program of study available to graduates who have a bachelor’s degree.

The United Kingdom, Canada and Australia offer a wide range of postgraduate diploma programs. But in the United States, the closest equivalent is the postgraduate certification. So, in other countries, the program may be called an advanced diploma or postbaccalaureate.

A postgraduate diploma can be an academic course or a vocational course. For instance; a legal practice course or a nursing course.

The Major Difference between a Master’s Degree and a Postgraduate Diploma

Master’s Degrees

Master studies aim at the acquisition (by the student) of an advanced training, aligned to academic or professional specialization, or to the initiation in research work. In general, master’s degrees have prudent orientation that addresses one or different disciplines with a comprehensive approach. Masters’ degrees involve 60-120 ECTS credits. And they are typically completed in one or two academic years.

The last position is with the presentation of a final master’s thesis. But, you must be holding a bachelor’s degree or equivalent for you to be granted admission. Master studies consist of official master’s degrees and UAB-specific master’s degrees.

Postgraduate Diplomas

A graduate diploma differentiates itself by offering a high level of specialization. It is also an update in a discipline or knowledge more solid than those of master’s degrees. This is usually with a clear professional orientation.

However, the capability of these studies is lesser to those of master’s degrees, generally between 30 and 60 ECTS credits. A postgraduate diploma may likely grant admission to students without a university degree.

But, provided that when they finish the program they will not get a graduate diploma, but a certificate of achievement which is signed by the rector of the UAB.

Other Exceptional Major Difference between a Master’s Degree and a Postgraduate Diploma

The major difference between the two is the academic scope. Master’s programs are usually between 60 and 120 ECTS credits. And it is 1 to 2 academic years. Whereas, postgraduate diplomas typically impart between 30 and 60 ECTS credits.

Master’s degrees can also be official or specific of the university. But, there are no official postgraduate diplomas. To access a master’s degree, it is required to be in possession of a university undergraduate degree or an equivalent title. To access a postgraduate course the association of the program may grant admission to students without an undergraduate degree but with professional experience in the field.