Generally, a diploma is like a concentration in a subject area. It may be taken after high school (but a graduate diploma-also known as a postgraduate diploma-is taken after you have completed a bachelor degree). You study a diploma if you wish to know a bit more about a specific subject, such as law so that you can work in that field.
A diploma is awarded for successful completion of a program intended to provide students with employment skills. Any association, organization, or educational institution may grant a “diploma” for the completion or study of some subject or field. A “diploma” is NOT a “degree” and is not considered an academic instrument in many places. Rules vary widely on what can be called a diploma. These rules are often based on the country’s definition. If you are looking for a diploma, be sure to learn about the length and the amount of credits required to complete the diploma.
Generally, a diploma is a qualification one can study for after completing high school, but is not long enough or does not contain enough credits to be considered a degree. Most students prefer to study a degree instead.
Students may be assessed in various ways such as:
- written assignments
- essays, reports and case study analyses
- oral and written presentations
- project work
- tutorial participation
- class participation and quizzes
- work experiences
A diploma is usually one to three years in length, but this varies according full-time or part-time status of the student and if any work experiences or training is required for completion. A diploma is longer than a certificate or training. Because of the length and cost and differences in quality of diplomas, students usually prefer to start a degree.
Eligibility varies from country to country. Generally, you will need to have completed high school as well as prove you can speak the language of instruction (usually English language for international programs), and be able to get funding/scholarships to pay for your studies, accommodation, food and other costs. You must be able to get a passport and visa if the study is in another country. To get the visa you will need to prove adequate funding for university and living fees.
You can increase your chances of getting accepted by having as many qualifications, exams, and related experiences as possible. This means that you could take an English language exam such as TOEFL or IELTS, a high school equivalence exam such as the GED, SAT, or IGCSE, and you can volunteer or work in an organization related to what you are planning to do in the future. Read through the qualifying exams section to find specific information about available exams and how to study for them.
The cost is usually the same for studying an degree, though it is usually faster to study a diploma. You will have the same related costs as with a degree, including tuition and fees, accommodation, food, travel, and passport/visa costs.
With a diploma, students usually find a job and enter the work force with the skills they have gained from the course. However, students may decide to continue studying and may move on to an associate degree or a bachelor degree.