Master’s Degree or Postgraduate Diploma? How to choose between the two

Tue 1 Dec 2020

An Online Master’s Degree Gives You In-Depth Academic Preparation
An Online Postgraduate Diploma Can Be Completed Faster
Flexible Learning Programmes Are Ideal for Both MA and PGDip Students

One of the best things about going back to school/university for postgraduate qualifications today is the sheer number of options you have to choose from. With many different programme types, lengths, and delivery methods, every ambitious professional has a course that is right for them.

However, this abundance of choice can also make it difficult to sift through your options to find the course that is the right match for you, your interests, and your career goals. This question is especially common among those who are trying to decide between master’s degrees and postgraduate diploma (PGDip) courses. For a few pointers on how to know whether an MA or a PGDip is the better path for you, keep reading.

An Online Master’s Degree Gives You In-Depth Academic Preparation

An MA degree is the classic route for postgraduate study. As the name suggests, a Master’s Degree requires advanced coursework and independent research that allows you to develop full mastery of a particular subject. MA courses are generally comprised of a combination of a few coursework modules with a heavily weighted dissertation or major project involving original research.

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Pursuing an MA gives you the chance to prove your capacity for independent work 

Individuals most suited to an online masters degree are those who are drawn in by both aspects of the course – the comprehensive coursework and the independent dissertation or project. While an MA degree takes longer to complete than some other options, it demonstrates to employers that you have the dedication and work ethic needed to complete rigorous original research, and that you have unique ideas and expertise to contribute to your field.

An Online Postgraduate Diploma Can Be Completed Faster

For those who want to gain recognised qualifications quickly, an online postgraduate diploma could be particularly beneficial. These courses generally include the same modules as an MA, but do not require the candidate to submit a dissertation or major project. This means the course can often be completed more quickly.

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A PGDip can help you gain specialised subject knowledge and advance your career efficiently

Coursework is delivered at the same level as an MA, so your qualification still demonstrates a capacity for advanced level graduate work. For example, the PGDip courses offered by Falmouth Flexible require students to complete the same modules as MA students, but can be completed in 14 months rather than the 2 years it takes to obtain an MA. With a PGDip qualification, you gain specialised, fundamental knowledge at a faster pace.  

Flexible Learning Programmes Are Ideal for Both MA and PGDip Students

Whether you choose an MA or a PGDip, pursuing your qualifications online can magnify the benefits of each option. The diverse online community of classmates that students are likely to meet on Falmouth’s courses brings a global perspective to online discussions and tutorials. This is the perfect environment for MA students to develop their ideas through peer discussion and discovery.

Online course delivery also makes it easy for postgraduate students to balance their studies with their work responsibilities. This can be especially beneficial for professionals who want their studies to be minimally disruptive to their careers. Not only can these individuals choose a PGDip course that will let them obtain a qualification more quickly, but they can also complete their coursework on a flexible schedule that fits with their existing commitments. As a result, both MA and PGDip students can benefit from the flexibility of online learning. 

Do you want more information about choosing postgraduate flexible learning programmes?

Contact Falmouth Flexible to find out which of our courses is the best fit for you and your career. 

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