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Getting a Post Graduate Diploma: Everything You Need To Know

So, you’ve completed your undergraduate degree and are now wondering what to do next. A postgraduate diploma could be the perfect option for you!

This article will provide you with all the information you need to know about postgraduate diplomas, including what they are, their benefits and disadvantages, and whether or not they are worth it. 

From a graduate diploma in psychology to what’s the equivalent of post-graduate diplomas, read on for everything you need to know about postgraduate diplomas!

What is a post-graduate diploma?

Also known as a PGD, a postgraduate diploma is a higher education qualification that can be taken after completing an undergraduate degree. It usually takes one year of full-time study, or two years if you are studying part-time. Taking it online is also an option for many people.

Postgraduate diplomas are available in various subjects, from business and management to engineering, psychology, and healthcare. One of the most common reasons for taking a postgraduate diploma is to improve your career prospects and earning potential.

Sometimes, a postgraduate diploma can be taken as a standalone qualification. However, in other cases, it may be possible to ‘top up’ your postgraduate diploma to an equivalent master’s degree with just one additional year of study.

What are the benefits of a postgraduate diploma?

Many people look to postgraduate study for many reasons. Here are some of the most notable benefits and advantages of taking a postgraduate diploma:

Time and cost-effectiveness

One of the main advantages of a postgraduate diploma is that it can be completed in a shorter amount of time than a master’s degree. This means it is less expensive and time-consuming, making it more achievable for many people.

Most post graduate diplomas can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years if you are studying part-time.


Another advantage of a postgraduate diploma is that they are often more flexible than other higher education qualifications. This means they can be tailored to your specific needs and interests, and many institutions offer the option to study online.

This flexibility makes postgraduate diplomas an attractive option for people already in full-time employment, as they can often be completed around work commitments.

Improved career prospects

Suppose you’re looking for a career change or want to move up the ladder within your current organization, especially in business and management. In that case, a postgraduate diploma could give you the edge over other candidates.

In many cases, having a postgraduate diploma can improve your job prospects and earning potential. It also demonstrates to potential employers that you are willing to invest in your development.

Specialized knowledge

Another benefit of a postgraduate diploma is that it allows you to develop specialist knowledge in your chosen field. For example, if you want to work in psychology, taking a graduate diploma in psychology online will give you the skills and knowledge you need to pursue this career.

This specialized knowledge can be extremely valuable, both in terms of your career prospects and your future earnings.

What are the disadvantages of a postgraduate diploma?

Of course, like all qualifications, there are also some disadvantages to taking a postgraduate diploma. These include:

It’s not a master’s degree

One potential disadvantage of a postgraduate diploma is that it is not the same as a master’s degree. Although the two qualifications are similar, a postgraduate diploma is generally considered slightly lower in status.

This may be important to you if you are looking to study for a Ph.D. or if you want to work in a highly competitive field.

It’s not always necessary.

Another potential disadvantage is that a postgraduate diploma may not be necessary depending on your career goals. For example, suppose you want to work in a field where experience is more important than qualifications, such as teaching or social work. In that case, a postgraduate diploma may not be essential.

It’s important to consider whether a postgraduate diploma is right for you and your career before you commit to studying for one.

No guarantee of success

Although a postgraduate diploma can give you an edge in the job market, there are no guarantees of success. Ultimately, it is up to you to make the most of your qualification and use it to further your career.

What is the difference between a postgraduate diploma and an undergraduate degree?

An undergraduate degree, also known as a bachelor’s degree, is your first step into higher education. It usually takes three or four years to complete, depending on the country you are studying in.

A postgraduate diploma, on the other hand, is a qualification you can take after you have completed an undergraduate degree.

While an undergraduate degree gives you a general overview of your chosen subject, a postgraduate diploma allows you to specialize in a particular area. For example, if you have studied psychology at the undergraduate level, you could take a postgraduate diploma in clinical psychology.

What’s the difference between a postgraduate diploma and a certificate?

In general, postgraduate diplomas are more advanced than certificates. They usually take longer to complete and cover more complex material.

Certificates are typically shorter and can be taken as standalone or as part of a larger qualification, such as a postgraduate diploma. For example, you might take a certificate in marketing as part of your postgraduate diploma in business. 

Apart from the length and level of difficulty, another key difference between a postgraduate diploma and a certificate is that a postgraduate diploma is usually required for certain jobs. Check out how hard is an mba for more about this field. 

What is the equivalent of a postgraduate diploma?

In the UK, a postgraduate diploma is equivalent to a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MSc). It is generally the same in the US as in a Master’s degree.

In Australia, it ultimately depends on the institution you study at as to what a postgraduate diploma is equal to. In some cases, it may be the same as an MA or MSc, while in others, it may be considered equivalent to a Master’s degree.

Is a postgraduate diploma worth it?

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on your circumstances. While we can’t decide for you, here are some factors you should consider when making your decision:

Your career goals

One of the most important things to consider is your career goals. A postgraduate diploma may not be necessary if you want to work in a field where experience is more important than qualifications.

On the other hand, if you want to work in a highly competitive field or pursue further study, a postgraduate diploma could give you the edge you need.

Your financial situation

While postgraduate diplomas are typically cheaper than master’s degrees, they are still not free. You will need to consider whether you can afford the tuition fees and living costs before deciding.

Your level of commitment

Like all postgraduate studies, a postgraduate diploma requires a significant commitment of time and effort. You should only undertake a postgraduate diploma if you are sure you can commit to the study required.

Final Thoughts

With all of this in mind, we hope you now understand postgraduate diplomas better. If you think a postgraduate diploma is right for you, the next step is to start researching your options.

Most postgraduate diplomas will likely be completed online, such as in Lerna Australia,  so you have plenty of choices regarding institutions and courses. Whatever you decide, we wish you the best of luck in your studies!

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Jen Hensey

Hi, I’m Jen! I’m a Financial Consultant and I’m a mother of two lovely daughters, Aira and Ellie. I love eating (yes eating, not cooking! LOL), writing, and spending time with my little girls! We’re based in the Golden State of USA, California!

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