Diplomas are legal documents that serve as proof of academic qualifications. The word itself has two different meanings, as it could refer to the piece of paper the details were printed on, as well as the actual academic qualification that was obtained. By academic qualification we mean that someone who passes a Diploma course, obtains a Diploma qualification, whereas someone who successfully completes a Degree course, would receive a Degree qualification.
The proper meaning of the word “Diploma” has become a bit vague and distorted over the years, because people tend to confuse the two meanings. It happens quite often that someone talks about a Diploma they received for doing something or completing a training course, when they mean to refer to the actual piece of paper they got. In other words, they don’t distinguish between the meaning of “document” and that of an academic Diploma “course” that was completed. The two should never be confused when used in an academic environment!
How does Diplomas.co.za see it?
For the purpose of this website, we’re going to focus on the second meaning, in other words the actual academic qualification. For that reason, we will be listing only Diploma courses on our site, as that is what we’re all about – Diploma qualifications!
What are the South African standards?
As explained above, the proper meaning of the word “Diploma” is sometimes a bit confusing, and because of this, not all countries have exactly the same definition for a Diploma qualification. When you’re thinking about going overseas to gain working experience, always keep this in mind. You need to enquire at which academic level that specific country classifies Diplomas, so that you can determine whether you meet the necessary requirements.
In South Africa, the standard academic level for Diplomas is lower than Bachelor Degrees but higher than Certificates. This means that Certificate courses are normally the entry level programmes, followed by Diploma courses that go into more detail, while Degree courses are the most advanced and stretch over a longer period.