Should I take diploma or college foundations?

Published by on Apr 17, 2013, 12:05 pm

It's difficult if you're torn between two choices. Oh we're not talking about romantic love! Today, we tackle on two entry programmes to a degree - diploma and college foundations. Most often we receive questions from students asking us how the two are different and which one is better.

confused baby

So let's go through the many reasons why one should choose diploma or take college foundations.

It is an entry requirement to a degree

Both serve as pre-university programmes. Upon completing diploma or college foundations you can advance to a degree course. The only difference is diploma is more suited to students who wish to work and take a  higher education such as degree later.

It is a fast and easy route to getting a degree

The requirement for diploma and foundations is lower compared to degree.  But when it comes to speed, Foundations take only one year to complete whereas diploma may take one to two years. In foundations, examinations are easier because they are given at the end of each semester hence students can focus on subjects and take exams piecemeal. After  foundations or diploma, the student can proceed to taking a degree which takes another three years.

Work opportunities

Obviously, diploma wins in this category. The reason for this is because diploma is much like a degree except that its level and syllabus only covers the 1st or 2nd year of universities studies.  Less emphasis on academics, diploma courses focuse on getting a person trained and qualified in a particular business or trade. There are jobs that only require a diploma. In Malaysia, the salary range of a diploma holder range from RM1,200 to RM2,500 [salary range updated as per Payscale].

Focused on academic content

While diploma prepares a student to take on a job, college foundations help students adapt to university life.  The content in foundation programmes is focused. This helps increase academic knowledge and study skills as well as improve English language competence.

Access to government/private scholarships

If you're strapped on cash, a diploma holder is more likely to find more scholarship grants than someone who completed college foundations. College foundations are offered by private institutions of higher learning and are designed for that course and university.


Written by Lyn Cacha

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