Should I Pursue a Diploma or Foundation?

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You must have heard about Diploma and Foundation programmes. Chances are that you have also found out that both programmes are feasible pathways to a degree programme at the university. But which one should you choose? Is a foundation better than a diploma or vice versa?

In this blog post, we’ll be pleased to serve you pointers, as well as the benefits of both programmes. Read on to find out.


What is the difference between both entry qualifications?

A diploma is a higher qualification than a foundation because it is equivalent to a first-year degree in the university. If you intend to enter the work field faster, a higher qualification is preferred.

The reason why a diploma programme is seen as a higher qualification is that it requires a longer duration to complete — usually around 2 to 3 years. In contrast, a foundation takes only one year and allows a smooth transition into a degree programme.


Course Curriculum

A diploma programme will train and qualify you in a particular field. So, if you intend to pursue a career that requires more practical work rather than academic knowledge, you should choose a diploma over a foundation programme. The diploma courses will involve a progressional study of your chosen field and will be more in-depth as you continue.

A foundation programme, on the other hand, like a foundation in business or a foundation in science, will only prepare you with basic knowledge of your chosen field. Some schools even offer both core and elective subjects to explore different topics before choosing a degree path.


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Are you sure about your chosen field of study?

A diploma programme will be a great option if you are sure about your career path because it allows you to get straight to learning subjects vital to your chosen field of study.

Shall you intend to pursue another degree later, you will be limited to programmes related to your diploma. For instance, a diploma in electrical engineering will allow you to enter the second year of a degree in electrical engineering. However, if you want to pursue a different career path like Medicine, you will have to start from the first year.

On the other hand, a foundation programme is more flexible because it provides you with the basics for a degree. Most universities will allow you to enter into several non-science programmes like psychology, business, education and etc. if you have taken foundation in arts.


Do you plan to work immediately?

If you intend to start working immediately after school, a diploma programme is an excellent option because you can begin work immediately while you upgrade yourself with a degree later. Many employers will hire you with a diploma degree in customer service, sales advisor, technician, etc. However, you can still choose to continue with your studies upon completion of your diploma programme.

For a foundation programme, you will need to proceed to a degree programme upon completion. Therefore, before you can get a job, you must have completed your foundation and degree programme. Of course, you can choose to pursue a higher degree after acquiring your first degree.


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Would you require a loan?

MQA-accredited diplomas are qualified for PTPTN loans. If, for any reason, you have a financial constraint during your studies, you can access the PTPTN loan that comes with a low-interest rate. Also, you can apply for a PTPTN loan for your degree after completing your diploma programme.

Foundation programmes are not qualified for PTPTN loans. Therefore, if you encounter any financial problems, you may need to look elsewhere to access education loans.


In a Nutshell

The factors explained above should help you in deciding which one is best suited for you. Neither of the programmes is better than the other. Each one has its benefits and would depend on your preferences. So, consider each factor carefully before making a decision.