What does it mean when a university has a program which title is 'program name' MSc/Diploma (MScDiploma).

When a person graduates, does he/she get MSc or Diploma (MScDiploma). What is the difference between these two?

There are also variations like MScDiplomaCertificate

Noticed that UK universities use such titles

  • In my experience these are programs which can be done as a MSc or you can stop before doing the master thesis and graduate with a postgraduate diploma. Do you have a specific program you are asking about?
    – earthling
    Aug 27, 2014 at 10:31
  • @earthling what is the point of stopping before doing the master thesis? I am mostly concerned about software engineering program at a UK university Aug 27, 2014 at 10:43
  • I have seen some students who believe the master thesis will be too difficult for them and I have seen some who use it as an 'escape hatch.' That is, they can leave with a PG diploma and later return to finish the thesis and get their masters. As far as the point, different people have different needs / desires.
    – earthling
    Aug 27, 2014 at 10:45
  • @earthling interesting. Haven't thought about that. But this still leaves the question regarding MScDiplomaCertificate Aug 27, 2014 at 10:47
  • I think StrongBad's answer explains it quite well.
    – earthling
    Aug 27, 2014 at 10:52

1 Answer 1


I am not sure it is consistent across all departments, but my UK Psychology department offers an MSc/Diploma in Psychology that can result in an MSc, a diploma, or a certificate. The course is designed to allow students who currently have a degree that does not meet the requirements for accreditation by the British Psychology Society, to get an accredited degree in one year of study. Many BSc degrees in Psychology are not accredited by the BPS since they lack, or don't require students to take or pass, a critical component (e.g., modules on statistics or biological aspects of Psychology).

Even though all students take the same modules, due to differences in the requirements between the university and BPS, the final degree a student gets depends on how well they did. The course offers both undergraduate and graduate modules. If you pass everything, you get an MSc. If you pass enough credits, you may qualify for a certificate from the university, but not meet the BPS requirements depending on which combination of modules you failed.


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