But wait, what's the difference between Award, Certificate and Diploma?
This is such a common question as they all seem as if they're on the same level yet different. Let us explain.
An Award Qualification will generally be the shortest study time qualification, usually needing no more than 130 hours of study and giving 13 credits. An ‘award’ will involve studying fewer modules and involves less Total Qualification Time (TQT) and Guided Learning Hours (GLH) as prescribed by the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF).
The Certificate Qualification follows on from the award and, in terms of GLH and TQT, starts at just 130 hours (13 credits), although other courses might take as much as 370 hours (37 credits). A certificate qualification is often considered a good midway qualification because it will offer the knowledge you may need to progress to the next rung of the career ladder.
Diplomas, as far as the RQF is concerned, will be the most comprehensive qualification that will take the longest to complete. A diploma will usually require more than 370 hours to complete, within the RQF system giving 37 credits. A diploma will go into more depth in the studied area and provide more advanced knowledge and skills.
Which one should I pick?
Generally speaking, it is always best to opt for the Diploma course as it covers the most knowledge and skills to give you a comprehensive and meticulous learning journey, ultimately setting you up better for the future. A diploma is going to appear as the most attractive to a future employer.
But there are no rules; ultimately, the decision is up to you. If you have any queries, please get in touch with a course specialist who will be able to advise you.
Whatever level of qualification you are aiming for, in whatever area of work, we can help you from that very first award to any further qualifications that you need.