However, the primary focus of higher education qualification is to equip you better to enter the professional world. Each student who steps out of school has so many dreams and a specific career in mind. But the question is, which is the best course that will help you achieve your goal? It would be best if you give serious thought to this question, as there is a plethora of terms and courses that the world has to offer. If you are not particular about what you actually want and fail to do enough research, there are chances that you will more likely end up in the wrong course.
If you are someone who wants to have a hands-on experience while learning, diploma courses could be ideal options for you. But, before you fix your mind on this specific educational pathway, you should know what diploma courses are. You can also learn about the benefits of this course and if it is worth it investing your time, money and energy into this course. So, let’s get started.
What Are Diploma Courses?
A diploma is an academic award that is given by a college or university to a person who has successfully completed a work-related course. These are technically designed and career-focused. And diploma courses are available in four different types. They are: a diploma of higher education (DipHE), graduate diploma, postgraduate diploma, and higher national diploma (HND).
What Level Qualifications Are Diploma Courses?
The value of any degree course is based on its level of qualification in the educational system. The various diplomas have a different level of qualifications. The diploma in higher education (DipHE) is rated as level 5 qualification according to the Regulated Qualification Framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and also by the European Qualifications Framework. Whereas, the graduate diploma is rated as level 6, according to the Framework for Higher Education Qualification (FHEQ). At the same time, it is at level 10 or level 11, according to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). And the postgraduate diploma is qualified as level 7, according to the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). According to the FHEQ it is rated as level 7 or 8, whilst based on the SCQF rating it is at levels 11 or 12. At the same time, the higher national diploma (HND) is equivalent to level 5 qualification.
What Are Diploma Courses Equivalent to?
The graduate diploma, though being a short term course, is a Bachelor’s degree level qualification.
The diploma in higher education (DipHE) is equivalent to the first two years of an undergraduate degree programme.
A graduate diploma is tantamount to the final year of a Bachelor’s degree. And in some countries, it is also considered as being at a level between Master’s and Doctorate.
A postgraduate diploma is a year of study that can be considered equal to the first year of the PhD programme.
The Higher National Diploma is equivalent to a foundation degree and is also considered as a comparable qualification to the first two years of a Bachelor’s degree programme. Therefore you can use the HND as an entry-level qualification to directly enter the final year of a Bachelor’s degree with Honours at a university.
How Much Credit Points Will You Gain from Diploma Courses?
By achieving the Higher National Certificate (HNC), that is an embedded course of the HND that you will be finishing in the first year; you will acquire 120+ credit points. By the time you graduate from an HND course, you will be awarded 240+ transferable credit points.
Though it is a short term course, the postgraduate diploma is a higher level of study. In just a year, you will gain 120 credit points.
A graduate diploma is valued for 80-120 credit points.
What Are the Benefits of Choosing a Diploma Course?
- With a postgraduate diploma, you will be able to study a more advanced programme than at the Bachelor’s degree level.
- In graduate diplomas, you will be able to gain a degree-level knowledge of a new academic subject and at a shorter span.
- A postgraduate diploma student will study seven foundation subjects of a three-year course in a shorter span.
- With diploma qualifications, you can have the upper hand in making your career choices and sharpening your skills.
- Diploma courses are more economical than other available degree courses. So if you are someone who yearns to get a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate qualification, but are low on funds, diplomas can be your saviours. As with these you can achieve the same level of qualification and with a lesser amount of money.
- Diploma courses are short term courses. And so, you do not need to spend your entire youth and half of your life in education. Instead, as a diploma graduate, you will start earning sooner and enjoying life better.
- Most of the diploma courses are flexible. Hence, you can choose to take it full time or part-time.
- It requires less effort, and are taught by a ‘ learn by doing’ approach. And so you do not need to force yourself each day to go to college. But the fact that you would be doing something exciting and fun will help you wake up each day with joy and full of energy.
- As you will learn practical lessons, you will develop and sharpen the practical skills that will better equip you to face the real working world.
- Because employers are aware of the fact that diploma graduates are confident and that they possess practical skills, they are highly sought after. So once you graduate, it would not be difficult for you to find a job.
- There are numerous courses offered by diploma pathways. As a result, you can easily find and pursue your area of interest.