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January 13, 2022

When looking to pursue a first-level postgraduate degree, there are often two options. You have to choose between a  Masters degree and a postgraduate diploma. Choosing the right postgraduate degree of choice can prove to be a herculean task, but with the right guidance, you should be able to choose easily. In this post, I will be sharing with you the similarities and differences between a Postgraduate Diploma and a Masters Degree, showing you which one of the two might be better for you. Let’s dive in.

Postgraduate Diploma & Masters: What Are They?

A postgraduate diploma and a masters degree are similar in that they are both postgraduate degrees, but they are different in so many ways. The major difference in both kinds of degrees lies in the fact that a postgraduate diploma typically consists of 120 credits, and as such takes lesser time to complete, while a masters degree usually amounts to 180 credit units and takes a longer time to complete.
Postgraduate diplomas are professional courses designed to hone your skills in a specific field or train you for a specific career path. They are qualifications typically taken after finishing an undergraduate degree.
A postgraduate diploma can be a great idea if you’re looking to boost your chances of securing a particular job. It can also come in especially handy if you are already in the workforce and you’re looking to boost your skillset.
They are at the same level as a master’s degree, though they are shorter in duration and do not earn as many points.
A master degree on the other hand is a postgraduate academic degree awarded to an individual after completion of the required units and a dissertation, that demonstrates that the individual has a mastery of the field of study.

Advantages Of Postgraduate Diploma

Shorter Time To Complete
Like we already noted, a postgraduate diploma typically adds up to a total of 120 units while a master’s degree requires you to study for 180 units of credit. This essentially means that it will take you a longer period of time to complete a masters than it will take for a postgraduate diploma. 

Additionally, a masters degree requires you to write a dissertation whereas a postgraduate diploma does not require it at all which means you finish much quicker.


A great reason you might want to opt for a postgraduate diploma over a masters degree is that a postgraduate diploma is often more affordable than a master’s. The shorter time it takes to study for a postgraduate diploma typically means that the university charges lesser tuition than it does if you are studying for a master’s degree.  

In the same vein, since you are registering lesser courses than you do when you study for a master’s degree, it, therefore, follows that a postgraduate diploma will be more affordable. 

With the above in mind, it is advisable that you opt for a postgraduate diploma over a master’s degree if you are constrained financially.

You Don’t Need A Dissertation

One of the scariest aspects of doing a master’s degree for some people is that they need to write and present a dissertation. A dissertation is a long essay on a particular subject written to qualify one for a university degree. It usually requires the writer to do research, then conduct an analysis of their findings. If you are committed to getting a master’s degree, it is something that you must do. However, if you are not a fan of long essays and dissertations, then a postgraduate diploma might be a better option for you.

It Can Boost Your Career

While a master’s degree is more of an academic degree, a postgraduate degree is more of a top-up degree aimed at boosting one’s career. What more? If down the road you decide that you want to study for a master’s degree, your postgraduate credit will count towards your master's credit unit.

Advantages Of Masters Degree

It is considered more prestigious than a postgraduate diploma

In many countries, a masters degree is considered more prestigious than a postgraduate diploma. Even thorough that claim is quite subjective, one can understand where it comes from. For one, with a masters degree, you can proceed to study for your doctorate degree, while the same cannot be said for a postgraduate diploma. However, like we noted earlier, you can study for your masters with a postgraduate diploma, then proceed for your doctorate.

Also helps your career

Even though a master’s degree is not as much of a professional degree as a postgraduate diploma, that doesn’t mean that it is not valuable for your career. If you are working in the discipline you study for your master’s, chances are that your master's degree will be put into consideration.

You can use it for further academic studies

Like we earlier mentioned, one of the key benefits of a master’s degree is that you can use it immediately for further studies. The basic requirement to pursue a doctorate degree is to have a master’s degree. Therefore, if you are one who has the ambition of further studying for a doctorate degree down the line, it is advisable that you opt for a master’s degree rather than a postgraduate diploma.

How To Choose The One That Fits Your Needs

So now that you know the advantages of both kinds of degrees, how do you then decide on which better suits your needs at this point? Here are a few yardsticks that will help you decide:

Your Finance

We have earlier noted that in most cases, a postgraduate diploma is often more affordable than a master’s degree. Therefore, if finance is a bit of a constraint, you should probably consider opting for a postgraduate diploma. However, don’t assume that postgraduate diplomas are cheap; they are just a bit more affordable than a master’s degree.
Your Academic Need
Finances should not be the only thing you think about when thinking about the right postgraduate degree for you. Your academic needs are very central to which of the two options you opt for. For example, if your goal is to further your education after your first postgraduate degree, then the best option for you might a master’s degree.


A master’s degree and a postgraduate diploma are both postgraduate degrees but have different uses. Knowing the advantages of each of these degrees will help you make a decision on which one is right for you. Here at the MSBM, we offer both masters and postgraduate diplomas. Get in touch today to start studying from anywhere in the world!