If you are considering what's your next step after secondary school, here's what you need to know about the Diploma programme!
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Jaideep Patel
Publisher for the Malaysia and Singapore offices of GTI Media Asia


Diploma programmes are a step below degree programmes. Most – if not all – diploma programmes are aimed at accelerating students’ understanding of hands-on and practical training and skills which are crucial for certain jobs. Thus, diploma programmes are usually focused on specific areas of work such as teaching, linguistics, graphic design, culinary arts or computer science.


It takes anywhere from 24 months to 36 months to complete a diploma programme. 

Structure & Assessment

The overall structure and assessment of diploma programmes depend on the university offering the course. However, students should be prepared for both coursework and final exams.

The diploma programme is a route worth considering for students who have obtained less than 5 credits in their SPM. With funding widely available (including the PTPTN loan) it is a viable pre-u programme for many.


Some of the more popular diploma programmes are:

  • Diploma in IT
  • Diploma in Culinary Arts
  • Diploma in Graphic Design
  • Diploma in Education
  • Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism Management

Expert tips

  • Decide as early as possible if the industry you want to enter requires practical skills
  • Consider a diploma if you intend to start work as soon as possible after SPM
  • Know that a diploma programme is eligible for the PTPTN loan

It is RIGHT for you if…

  • You need to consider joining the workforce early
  • You need in-depth knowledge of hands-on and practical skills
  • You obtained less than 5 credits for your SPM 

It is WRONG for you if…

  • You don’t know which area of work is suitable for you
  • You are aiming to enter top overseas universities
  • You are interested in more demanding degree programmes such as engineering or medicine