Difference Between a Degree and Diploma

Once you leave school and start looking at further or higher education, you are going to start seeing the options of Degrees and Diplomas being made available. But what is the difference between a Degree and a Diploma?

First, let’s clarify what a Degree is. Degrees are an academic qualification and course that is studied and achieved at university, usually they are studied over several years ranging between 2 and 8 years in total. There are four main categories of Degrees, foundation, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral.

Diplomas are courses and qualifications that are usually studied over just one year and tend to be more vocational or professional in nature. The courses are usually entirely coursework based and can be completed without the need to attend a university. The entry requirements for Diploma study also tends to be easier than that of a Degree.

The Advantages of Holding a Degree

Although Degrees take longer to achieve, they have the ability to open several doors to students, in both the academic as well as the professional world. Degree qualifications are accepted and understood worldwide and are often a requirement for people looking to emigrate to new countries.

Regardless of which field your Degree in based, you can enter into many higher level positions within the workplace when holding a Bachelor’s Degree. For example, if you wanted to join the armed forces, if you held a Degree, you could enter directly into officer training, rather than having to start as a Private and work your way up.

The Advantages of Holding a Diploma

Due to the flexible nature of Diplomas, it’s possible to achieve a Diploma qualification quickly and at a much lower cost. Rather than having to spend thousands to attend university, you can achieve most Diplomas for just a few hundred Pounds.

Diploma qualifications tend to be more far reaching than Degrees. For example, if you held a Diploma in Business Administration, you would be qualified to work in many different business environments and your experience gained through the study of the course will be more relevant and up to date.

The final (and probably most significant) difference, the time it takes to achieve a Diploma qualification is far shorter than that of a Degree. It is perfectly possible and feasible for someone to enrol and gain a Diploma qualification within a year of study if they wished to do so.

Are Diplomas the same Level of Difficulty and Study as a Degree?

This all depends on the level of Diploma you are studying. If you’re studying a Level 3 Diploma, this is only equivalent to one A-Level. However, if you’re studying a Level 5 or Level 6 Diploma, these are equivalent to a Degree qualification.

It is possible to start on a Level 3 Diploma and work your way up to a Level 6 Diploma so that you hold a qualification that is equivalent to a Degree should you wish to do so.