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Who is eligible to do a DipGrad?

Anyone who has earned a degree. In some cases, a student who has not earned a degree may also be eligible, for example the holder of a 3-year level 7 diploma. Discuss your situation with the DipGrad Director.

What is the difference between a Diploma for Graduates and a Postgraduate Diploma?

A Postgraduate Diploma such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) consists of 400-level papers. A DipGrad typically consists of 100-level, 200-level and 300-level papers.  You have to be a graduate to do a DipGrad, but the DipGrad consists of undergraduate study, not postgraduate study.

Should I do a DipGrad or a Masters degree?

 As a general rule, a Master’s degree is more appropriate if you are planning to continue studying in the same subject area as your undergraduate studies, whereas the Diploma for Graduates is a good choice for studying in a different subject area. That being said, there are a small number of Master’s degrees which, like the Diploma for Graduates, are open to graduates irrespective of their previous undergraduate study. Where such a choice exists, a number of factors might be considered in deciding on the best option for you, including duration of study, workload, eligibility for student allowance, overall cost, and your hoped-for study outcomes.

If you apply for the Diploma for Graduates and a Master’s pathway is available which might be a viable alternative to your proposed DipGrad, then an adviser from the relevant department will be drawn into the conversation in order to discuss which option is right for you.

Why do a degree plus a DipGrad instead of a double degree?

Suppose you do your first degree, consisting of 20 papers at 18 points each, with a major in Microbiology (MICR), and suppose you also want the equivalent of a major in English (ENGL). You could do a second degree, majoring in ENGL. Since you can cross credit one year’s worth of work from your first degree, you may need to do only 13 papers for the second degree. Some of these 13 papers are needed to satisfy the ENGL major subject requirement, for example three 200-level ENGL papers and four 300-level ENGL papers. The remainder may be chosen according to your interests.

But what if you don’t really have such broad interests, and would prefer to do just the seven ENGL papers in addition to your first degree? This is where the DipGrad is a better alternative than a second degree. The seven ENGL papers, of which four are at 300-level, are all you need for a DipGrad endorsed in English. Instead of spending five years doing 33 papers to gain a BSc in Microbiology and a BA in English, you spend four years doing 27 papers to gain a BSc in MICR and a DipGrad endorsed in ENGL.

What is the difference between an Unendorsed DipGrad and an Endorsed DipGrad?

Unendorsed DipGrad

If you've done extra papers during your degree and want them to be useful, you can build on them to earn a DipGrad. All you need are seven papers of which at least four are at 300 level. The papers may be from several different subjects, so the undendorsed DipGrad is more flexible, and perfect for people who have broad interests.

Endorsed DipGrad

This is more specialised, and the idea is to concentrate your papers in one specific subject as if you were acquiring an extra major subject. You would need to do at least three of your 300-level papers in the subject of endorsement, but this an absolute minimum and more would usually be expected.

Whatever your chosen subject may be, the approval of the department teaching that subject is crucial and it is possible that they may require more than seven papers in total, or more than four 300-level papers in their subject. If endorsement is approved, the diploma you eventually get will mention the name of the subject, which tells everyone that your course was approximately equivalent to majoring in the subject.

Can I continue to receive a student allowance if I do a DipGrad?

The DipGrad is a level 7 qualification, just like a bachelor’s degree. Postgraduate qualifications are those at level 8 or above. The restriction on receiving allowances when doing postgraduate study therefore does not apply to the DipGrad.

Can I change my DipGrad papers after I’ve been admitted to a programme of study?

You may change  your course in the usual fashion, but should discuss the proposed change with the Director who may consult with the relevant departments about the suitability of the new programme of study.

I’m going on an overseas student exchange; can I put some of the papers towards my DipGrad?

You may count up to 60 points obtained on exchange towards your DipGrad. In practice that means 54 points (3 Otago papers). It’s best to go on exchange when you are doing both a degree and a DipGrad, so that excess points can be absorbed by your degree.

Is there any limit to how long I may take to finish my DipGrad?

No, once you’ve passed papers they remain available for you to use until eventually you count them towards a qualification.