The Difference Between Postgraduate Diploma and Master’s Degree in Canada

difference between postgraduate and masters degree

A Master’s degree and Postgraduate diploma are two of the most popular options available for students looking to further their education in Canada after their undergraduate studies. While students know this, not many have a good grasp of how they work and what differentiates them. Most of the resources online focus more on Master’s Degree and PhD, so the former seems like the only natural step after undergraduate studies. 

But each student’s situation and goals call for a different approach, and a postgraduate diploma can also serve a need. It is an option for an individual who doesn’t want something time-intensive or research-focused. Those whose situation changed halfway through their Master’s Degree can find a postgraduate diploma helpful. Instead of simply dropping out altogether, they can recourse to a post-graduate diploma. The same thing applies to anyone who finds out halfway through their Master’s Degree that dissertation isn’t their thing. 

What Is the Difference Between a Postgraduate and Master’s Degree?

Below are some of the differences between a Master’s Degree and a Postgraduate Diploma. 

A Masters Degree is a Longer Qualification

Though a Masters Degree and a Postgraduate Diploma are on the same academic level, the former is a more extended qualification. When studying full-time, a Masters degree takes one year to complete, the modules worth 180 credits. In contrast, a postgraduate diploma takes two terms, with modules worth 120 credits. Postgraduate certificates last just one term, with modules worth 60 credits only. Each surpasses the next with modules worth 60 credits. 

Postgraduate Diplomas are Vocational 

Postgraduate diplomas are vocational. This means postgraduate diplomas focus on helping students acquire practical skills and specific skills in their chosen field. While a Masters degree involves completing a series of modules and writing a dissertation. You may be better off with a postgraduate diploma if you’re looking to go into journalism or law. Usually, postgraduate diplomas give you access to work programs that allow you to gain some experience while studying. But if you’re looking to become a professor or a researcher, a masters degree aligns better with your goals. 

A Master’s Degree Requires an Undergraduate Degree 

You can’t go for a masters degree without having an undergraduate degree or equivalent title. It’s different with a postgraduate diploma. Some programs grant admission to students without an undergraduate degree as long as they have professional experience in their chosen fields. Additionally, a masters degree can be specific to a university. But all graduate diplomas are always university-specific. 

Master’s Degrees are More Expensive 

Importantly, money is another significant differentiator. A masters degree is quite expensive compared to a postgraduate diploma. Many people find a postgraduate diploma more affordable. Individuals enrolled in a postgraduate diploma can easily take career breaks because of their length. If they wish, postgraduate diploma students can also combine their academic pursuit with their current job. 

Overall, being research-based, a masters degree allows you to contribute knowledge to the world through your research, insights, and discoveries. In addition, you can pursue further education like a PHD with your Master’s degree. Your chances of gaining recognition and applause are high. While a postgraduate diploma enables you to acquire a qualification that can quickly enhance your career in any particular field. 

Maple Education Canada has the best educational consultants in the country. Considering going for graduate studies in Canada? Reach out to us by filling our Inquiry form.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Olu Philip

    Please I am planning for masters in communication, but I haven’t know any university that will suit my characteristic like economy, weather and others

    1. Maple Education

      Hello Olu, can you please send the following info to
      Email address
      Phone Number
      Date of birth
      Highest level of education
      Program studied
      Final grades
      Name of school
      Year of graduation
      Activities (job) since graduation
      Current city of residence
      Intended program in Canada

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