A postgraduate diploma is a qualification awarded typically after a bachelor’s degree. This could be a vocational course studied after an academic degree, such as a Legal Practice Course, the resulting diploma allows the student to become a trainee solicitor in a law firm. Alternatively, postgraduate diplomas allow a graduate student to study a new academic subject at degree level, but in a short space of time. For example, the law conversion course allows a postgraduate student to squeeze the important components of a three year undergraduate law degree, into only nine months.
Postgraduate diplomas are not popular in many countries, but are commonly awarded in Australia, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland.
Students may be assessed in various ways such as:
- tutorial participation
- work experience or training
- research/thesis writing
- project work
- oral and written presentations
- essays, reports and case study analyses
- short written assignments
Postgraduate diplomas last approximately one to three years depending on your educational background (degree, subject, experience).
Generally, you will need to have completed a bachelor degree with good grades to be eligible. In rare cases you can be considered with no bachelor degree as long as you have extensive work experience in your proposed field of study. You may need to 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.
For Myanmar students, you can generally get accepted with a Bachelor degree, although some universities may require additional study. This is because of the 10 year duration of Myanmar high school instead of the more common 12 year duration in other countries. Your chances will probably be higher if you have studied your bachelor degree outside of Myanmar, if you got high grades, and you have work experience. Check with your university to be sure of the requirements.
You may choose to take an English language exam such as TOEFL or IELTS or a high school equivalence exam such as the GED, SAT, or IGCSE. Read through the qualifying exams section to find specific information about available exams and how to study for them.
One way to make your application more attractive to universities and for scholarships is to have a work history related to your subject of study. For example, if you want to study education, you could increase your chances of acceptance to university and getting a scholarship by working as a teacher. This would make you more experienced and knowledgeable and seem more certain that this is the subject that you are really interested to study.
Postgraduate diplomas are similar in price to master or Ph.D degrees. Since the postgraduate diploma does not lead to a degree, it is often not supported by scholarship programs therefore making it expensive.
After finishing a postgraduate diploma, people usually begin work in a field directly related to the postgraduate subject. This is due to the fact that the person has a degree already and has taken the diploma to get a certification or specialization in this subject in order to work in this area. Most diplomas are vocational in nature.