Diploma courses in Malaysia. Should you study Diploma?

With various study options available, this guide will help you make the best decision.
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Upon completing your secondary school education, you will be faced with the dilemma of which pathway to choose when furthering your studies.

While it can be overwhelming to be faced with so many differing options, it is important to note that all of these programmes are designed specifically to match the learning requirements of each students. All you need to do is find out what works best for you!

These days pursuing a diploma has become one of the more popular options for Malaysian students due to various reasons. This guide will help you breakdown everything you need to know when considering a diploma.

What is a Diploma in the first place?

Well first of all, a diploma is generally NOT considered a pre-university programme. A diploma has a higher qualification than pre-university programmes and can be considered the equivalent of a first year Degree.

Pre-university programmes require you to complete your degree in order to be work ready whereas with a diploma you can immediately enter the workforce upon completion. However, you may still pursue a degree (starting from its second year) if you wish to do so.  

In accordance with this, a diploma is usually practical in nature and allows for a more hands on learning experience in the field of its study. This is to ensure you are well trained and have industry specific knowledge.

Diploma courses are offered in specific niche areas such as Diploma in English, Diploma in Business Management, Diploma in Information Technology, etc. Pre-university programmes on the other hand offer certifications in broad and general fields such as arts or science.

How are the Diploma courses structured?

The academic structure of a diploma is also well rounded with a balance between coursework, assignments and examinations. The final grade of your diploma will also take into account all of these different components. This is unlike other pre-university programmes which more often than not use examinations as the sole method of assessment.  

What's the duration of a Diploma programme?

A diploma typically takes between 24 to 36 months for completion.

Should I choose a diploma?

There are a few plus points when you choose a diploma. Here are five reasons why you should study a diploma:

  1. It's the cheaper alternative
  2. Speedy entry into the workforce
  3. Specialized and specific courses
  4. Lower entry requirements
  5. Balanced assessment methods

Let's talk more about each of these benefits.

1. It is the cheaper alternative


If you find yourself having money constraints or a limited budget to further your studies, a diploma would be the way to go. This is because the diploma pathway does not require you to continue with a degree before working.  Besides that PTPTN offers loans for all diploma courses in both private and government institutions*. Other pre-university courses are not eligible for a PTPTN loan with the exception of foundation programmes in selected institutions.

2. Speedy entry into the workforce


With a diploma you will be able to enter the workforce sooner than your pre-university counterparts. This is because a diploma trains you for a specific field in line with careers hence leaving a degree an option rather than a necessity.

3. Specialized and specific courses

Specialized Course

Diploma courses are generally a lot more specific and sometimes even offer a combination of different modules under a single diploma. This is to make sure you have all relevant skills needed for specific careers.  If your career ambition is one that requires practical training (chef, videographer) a diploma would be the better option.

4. Lower entry requirements

Entry Requirements

Pre-university programmes generally have higher entry requirements than most diploma programmes. Entry requirements vary depending on the institution, you may be ineligible in one institution but well above another’s requirement. Be sure to do your research!

5. Balanced assessment methods


Not everybody are able to score in their examinations ans quizzes. In a diploma you are assessed through many different methods such as presentations, coursework, assignments and tests all carry weightage in your final grade. 

List of Diploma courses in Malaysia and fees

Take a look at this list to help you decide.

Now that you have all this information, it’s time to ask an important question,

Should YOU Choose a Diploma?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is studying a Degree better than Diploma?
Well, that depends. A Diploma is more in-depth which is also a choice often made by those who wish to change their career. While studying a Degree takes more time than a diploma which typically ranges around 3-4 years. It also covers various subject area.

What are the best courses to study Diploma?
There are a variety of Diploma courses available out there. Typically the top choices for Diploma are Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Diploma in Psychology, Diploma in Culinary Arts, Diploma in Design and Diploma in Engineering.

What is the starting salary for a Diploma holder in Malaysia?
On average, a Diploma holder usually earn from a minimum of RM1600 a month. However, bear in mind that all jobs and companies are different, so the figure might be slightly different from what is stated here.


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