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Postgraduate diploma

A postgraduate diploma (PGDip, PgDip, PG Dip., PGD, PgD, PDE) is a postgraduate qualification awarded typically after a bachelor's degree. It can be contrasted with a graduate diploma. Countries that award postgraduate diplomas include Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Jamaica the United Kingdom, Spain, South Africa, India, Ireland, Nigeria, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore and Trinidad and Tobago


  • Australia and New Zealand 1
  • Canada 2
  • England, Wales and Scotland 3
  • Ireland 4
  • Portugal 5
  • Singapore 6
  • Sri Lanka 7
  • Spain 8
  • References 9

Australia and New Zealand

Australian and New Zealand universities offer postgraduate diplomas (PostGradDip). A postgraduate diploma indicates master's-level studies. It typically constitutes as the first year of a two year Master's degree. A bachelor's degree is required, although in some rare cases an advanced diploma is sufficient.


In Canada, a postgraduate certificate program consists of two to three semesters, which can be completed in less than one year in some instances. A bachelor's degree or a diploma is required to be accepted in this type of program. It offers the advantage of not requiring to write a thesis and to focus on a concise subject. It is recommended for students wishing to enhance their professional skills as it concentrates on a more practical application in order to enter the labor market. Depending on the province, the title can vary: Post-Graduate Diploma, Post-Graduate Certification, Post-Baccalaureate or D.E.S.S. (in the Province of Quebec). See links to the Canadian education system, as the various regions can be quite different.

England, Wales and Scotland

There are a vast number of postgraduate diplomas available in England and Wales. This could be a vocational course studied after an academic degree, such as the Legal Practice Course or the Bar Vocational Course; the resulting diplomas allow the student to enter legal training, relevant to either the solicitor or barrister professions, respectively. Postgraduate diplomas allow a graduate student to study a more advanced programme than at the bachelor's level. It is contrasted with a graduate diploma, where a student studies a new academic subject at degree level, but in a short space of time, such as the Graduate Diploma in Law (also known as the Common Professional Exam), which allows a postgraduate student to study the seven foundation subjects of a three-year undergraduate law degree, in a period of nine months.

Postgraduate diplomas are considered by the National Qualification Framework (NQF) to be at a comparable level to a master's degree, however, they require fewer study credits to achieve (120 Credits) when compared to a full master's degree (180 credits). They are typically classified into Distinction, Merit, and Pass, similar to most master's courses. Many schools of architecture commonly operate a 2-year postgraduate diploma course providing RIBA part 2 education in this fashion.

A postgraduate diploma is commonly awarded to students who have completed the master's programme and continuing a one-year advanced course similar to the first year of a PhD programme.

A postgraduate diploma typically represents 120 credits of postgraduate courses (whereas a full master's degree is usually 180 credits). Postgraduate diplomas are usually abbreviated as PGDip, PG Dip, PgD, PgDip, and, similar to a PgCert, diploma holders are permitted to use 'PgDip' or 'PgD' as a post-nominal, which is usually listed after all other academic degrees in ascending order, but before any professional qualifications.


The postgraduate diploma (Dioplóma Iarchéime in Irish) has been awarded by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council since June 2005 in institutions associated with the council. This is purely a professional type course compared to the graduate diploma it replaced, and is offered in arts, business, engineering, and science initially.


A Postgraduate diploma, from Portugal, awarded after the completion of master's degree first year of study

In Portugal a postgraduate diploma (in Portuguese Pós-graduação) can be awarded under two circumstances: 1) as part of an independent program of studies; 2) after the completion of the first year of study in a masters program.[1][2]


The postgraduate diploma is a postgraduate academic qualification taken after a bachelor's degree. It is usually awarded by a University or a graduate school. It usually takes 2 or more study terms to complete, a wide variety of courses are offered. It is also possible for graduate diploma holders to progress to a master's degree. Only postgraduate diplomas that are registered with the Ministry of Education (Singapore) are recognised by the industry.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, a postgraduate diploma is a postgraduate academic qualification taken after a bachelor's degree.


The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is awarded by a variety of Spain universities and follows the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) grading system.

For example, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).[3]


  1. ^ See Article 10, Decree-Law no. 216/92
  2. ^ See Article 39, Decree-Law no. 115/2013
  3. ^ [2]
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