June 29, 2022

What is the Difference Between a Honours and Graduate Diploma Program?

What is the Difference Between a Honours and Graduate Diploma Program?

So you are contemplating which 4th year program you want to complete but are confused about which program to choose and how this might impact your Masters application?

Both courses are actually more similar than different, which is why so many students are confused.

Both courses will take the SAME amount of time, will provide you with the same type of qualification, and will provide you with the SAME opportunities to apply for Masters or any other post-grad program.

When it comes to the Grad Dip - many universities will have their own names / titles for their courses and some of these courses may take slightly longer depending on how they structure their units.

For example, Monash University has a 4th year Grad Dip course called Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced, where students complete 6 week units once at a time, over the course of approximately 18 months.

Whereas, Deakin's course is called Graduate Diploma of Psychology. and follows a traditional 8 units split over 2 semesters full time, taking approximately 8 months.

The Difference Between a Graduate Diploma (Grad Dip) and Honours

The only difference is that Honours is the lower costing course which is why it is so competitive.  An Honours program can be approximately a $10,000 to $20,000 cheaper in price - a huge difference! In other words, a Grad Dip program can cost you over $20,000. All of these fees can be covered by a Student Loan though.

Of course, the title 'Honours' or 'Honours in Psychology' sounds prestigious, however, from my personal experience, it is merely a name and does not hold significant value for your career.

For example, since completing my own Grad Dip in Psychology, I have gone on to publish multiple articles and books in neuroscience, have built a career working in clinical research, and founding my own tutoring business, Get Psyched, helping hundreds of psychology students Australia-wide.

The most important predictor of career outcomes will be whether you scored a H1 (80+) or not on your coursework and thesis, as well as relevant work experience to show you are a good candidate for working roles.

Either way, a 4th year program will open many doors for you if you can remain focused and work hard.

Many students will need to seek support though from external specialised psychology tutors and courses to bolster their practical writing and statistical skills to help them stay on top of their coursework.

If you need additional support to achieve HD grades, reach out to us at Get Psyched.

Keeping it short and sweet today - hopefully this article has reassured you that a Grad Dip is still a good pathway if you do not get into Honours.