Postgraduate Diploma Vs Postgraduate Certificate

Oct 20, 2021

A master's degree can be helpful in advancing your career, but it can take a long time to acquire. That's why the apparent choice is to acquire a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certification. If you are having trouble deciding between the two, this article can help you compare and decide what is best for you.

Postgraduate Diploma vs Postgraduate Certificate

Should you acquire a Postgraduate diploma?

The postgraduate diploma (also known as a PgD) is a vocational qualification that can be acquired after completion of a university degree.

In most cases, the qualification of a diploma is on par with a Master's degree. But, if one is to satisfy their dissertation and reach a set goal of study credits (University-specific) - they can transform the diploma into a full Master's.

If you are considering a Postgraduate diploma, you can expect it to take a year or two from start to finish, depending on your time commitments. To be able to apply for a Postgraduate diploma, you must also have fulfiled a Bachelor's degree in the past.

The pros of a Postgraduate Diploma:

  • Less expensive than a Master's degree
  • Gives the ability to raise potential income bracket
  • Longer time commitment than a Postgraduate certificate

Should you acquire a Postgraduate certificate?

The postgraduate certificate (also known as Pg Cert) is a type of vocational qualification on the level of a Master's Degree, which provides a niche variety of tools and skills specific to a profession.

A postgraduate certificate fits into an odd hand of programmes that can take anywhere from two weeks to multiple years to complete.

In most cases, students that apply for a postgraduate certificate are looking to find themselves in a new field or profession, by avoiding the lengthy and difficult programme at the Master's level.

This means that a postgraduate certificate gives you the freedom to select and branch out into fields of study that you have not gotten a chance to experience yet. However, in most schools, you must be admitted as a graduate before being able to apply.

The pros of a Postgraduate certificate:

  • More affordable than a Master's degree
  • Dedicated course schedule to developing a specialist role
  • Allows exploring new fields of study
  • Shorter time commitment than Postgraduate diploma

Here are the most prevalent differences and similarities between a Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate certificate:


  • A postgraduate diploma can be developed into a full Master's degree, unlike a postgraduate certificate.
  • A postgraduate certificate can be completed within weeks, unlike a postgraduate diploma with a minimum time commitment of a year.
  • In most cases, a postgraduate diploma acts as a professional license, proving the owner's credibility and experience.


  • Both programmes take a lesser amount of time than a traditional Master's programme.
  • They are comparable in price and are more affordable than a Master's degree.
  • Each programme provides students with the flexibility to explore themselves in different fields of study.

To conclude, when making your decision to advance in a career and add layers to your skillset, both the Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate diploma are excellent options that can help you build your credibility. Now - it's left to you to make the decision and choose the qualification that's the best fit for you.

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