What Is The Difference Between Graduate Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Award?

Things can get a little confusing when exploring our academic options beyond the bachelor's degree level. Terms like graduate diploma, postgraduate diploma, and even postgraduate award start to enter the fray, and while they may sound similar, there are enough nuanced differences to warrant a better understanding. Without further ado, let's have a look at the various types of postgraduate offerings available in Singapore, using SIM GE as our point of reference for easier understanding.

14 Jun 2021

5 mins read

Things can get a little confusing when exploring our academic options beyond the bachelor's degree level. Terms like graduate diploma, postgraduate diploma, and even postgraduate award start to enter the fray, and while they may sound similar, there are enough nuanced differences to warrant a better understanding. Without further ado, let's have a look at the various types of postgraduate offerings available in Singapore, using SIM GE as our point of reference for easier understanding.

Graduate Diploma

A diploma is usually of a shorter duration than a degree course and should be viewed as an additional specialisation that improves a person's overall employability. So what then is a graduate diploma?

The graduate diploma is an academic or vocational qualification often taken after a bachelor's degree. It is usually awarded by a university or a graduate school and usually requires two terms of study to complete. In some cases, academic graduate diploma holders may progress to a master's degree on an accelerated pathway. For a graduate diploma qualification to be recognised locally, the awarding body must be registered with the Singapore Ministry of Education.

A good thing about graduate diploma programmes at SIM GE is that multiple intakes are offered across a year, with face-to-face teaching conducted by industry-based teaching faculty. These classes also offer learning support through additional workshops, providing comprehensive training at a reasonable cost.

The Graduate Diploma in Digital Marketing developed and awarded by the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) is one such example, allowing digital marketing practitioners to enhance their credentials by staying up-to-date with the latest in new media marketing, communications and analytics.

Diverse career prospects also await, with programme graduates ably equipped for the roles as listed:
  • Digital Marketing and Social Media Specialist
  • Digital Media Consultant
  • Creative Director
  • Digital Media Strategist
  • Content Manager
  • Social Media Influencer
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Web Analyst

Postgraduate Diploma

A postgraduate diploma is a qualification that is awarded in some countries such as England, India, Australia, Russia and many others.1 Just like graduate diploma, it is also commonly done after a bachelor's degree course. In some countries, the terms graduate diploma and postgraduate diploma are interchangeable, whereas in others, the postgraduate diploma is a higher qualification. To illustrate, Australia and New Zealand students in their first year of study in MBA courses are also referred to as postgraduate diploma students. It is only when they complete the full duration of the course that they can be labelled as MBA holders.

At SIM GE, postgraduate diploma programmes usually offer two intakes a year on a part-time basis. A variety of learning options include online self-study, consultations, workshops and lectures - all taught by experienced lecturers from SIM. Better still, you can go at your own pace with a flexible course tenure of between 1.5 and 5 years, just like the Postgraduate Diploma in Data Science awarded by University of London. Apart from mastering the mathematical foundations of statistics, data mining and machine learning, completing the programme goes a long way towards boosting career prospects in the roles as listed:
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Mining Analyst
  • Big Data Analyst
  • Hadoop Developer
  • NoSQL Database Developer
  • R Programmer
  • Python Programmer
  • Researcher in Data Science and Data Mining

Postgraduate Award

Finally, postgraduate awards or postgraduate certificates are taught at the same level as master's degrees and are ideal for those who wish to advance their knowledge and career prospects. They feature up to six intakes per year, with a structured curriculum of three modules taught by faculty of the awarding international university; this allows students to address real-world challenges and gain global experience by taking part in application-based projects and assignments involving the university, organisation and student.

For added perspective, look no further than the Postgraduate Award in Programme and Project Management, fully taught and awarded by the University of Warwick, through which graduates have moved on to project planning and management roles with industry heavyweights such as Alstom Power, IBM and Vogue to name a few.

In summary, choosing the right postgraduate offering for yourself really boils down to the admission criteria, preferred method of delivery, and tenure, before assessing which intake you would like to go for - all of which can be done when you check out the SIM GE courses in Singapore!
 

1 LinkedIn Pulse, 13 Apr 2015: Post Graduate Diploma VS Graduate Diploma (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/post-graduate-diploma-vs-marc%C3%A9ll-greeff/)


Posted online, 14 Jun 2021