PG Diploma vs Masters in Canada: Understanding the differences and choosing the right option

By Team MyStudia  |     |  July 31, 2021

It’s time to address a topic that has been on our minds for a long time- what is the difference between a post graduate diploma/certificate and a masters degree. Of these, which one is better and what should I choose? Before choosing one it is important to understand what it means and what the differences are between the two degrees. 


Understanding Post Graduate Diploma:

PG Diploma in simple terms is the academic course which can directly be pursued after completing your graduation. This course is perfect for those trying to gain professional training in any particular field. PG Diplomas are short in duration and come without any compulsion of a dissertation project. In Canada, a short term PG Diploma often offers a minimum of 120 credits. 


Understanding Masters Degree:

A Masters Degree is a professional and intensive academic degree which, in Canada, requires a work experience of 1-2 years. It is longer in duration and often comes with a compulsory dissertation project. In Canada Masters degrees often offer a minimum of 180 credits. This degree becomes the natural next step for those wishing to pursue PhD and getting into academia. 


The difference between a PG Diploma and Masters Degree on the basis of:

  1. Eligibility: A Masters degree in Canada requires students to have a good score in your undergraduate program in addition to a 1-2 year work experience. Whereas a PG diploma requires an undergraduate certificate from a recognised university with a minimum score of 60-65%. This degree often does not require students to have work experience. 
  2. Duration and Credits: As discussed earlier, a PG diploma is shorter in duration. They are mostly 1 year (can also be 2 years depending on the specialisation) courses that offer a minimum of 120 credits. Some short courses with 60 credits are also available in various universities. The Masters course is ofet 1.5-2 years, longer in duration and they offer 180 credits.
  3. Cost: Due to the shorter duration of a PG Diploma, often it costs less than a masters program. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. There are some universities in Canada that offer cost-effective masters courses such as the University of Manitoba and University of Regina. 
  4. Employability and scope: A PG Diploma offers students 1 year work permit after the completion of the program however a Masters degree offers a 3 year work permit in Canada. In addition to that a masters degree often opens the gates to the world of academia and gives you an edge over others. 


What is the best option for me?

From everything we have read till now we know that both the degrees have their pros and cons. So what is the perfect match for us? Well that depends on a lot of factors some of which are: 

If you are someone who only has an undergraduate degree and no work experience then a PG Diploma is the way to go. However if you have work experience and you want to get a deeper knowledge and experience in your field then Masters is the right choice.

If you are someone who has low grades and wish to still pursue a degree and work experience from Canada then you can look into different PG Diploma courses however if you have a good score in your undergrad in addition to a strong CV then you should apply for Masters courses. 

Use the MyStudia Search page to find the best match programs for you. For free counselling sessions, reach out at or +91 61907400


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