Study Abroad Options for Polytechnic Student

A diploma is NOT enough

The difference between a polytechnic diploma and a bachelor’s degree is not limited to just the time spent at the institution, but can also include the salary differences and the level of a job position. This is not to say that bachelor’s degree graduates will always earn more than polytechnic graduates but, in Singapore, a bachelor’s degree is usually more valued than a diploma. A candidate with a bachelor’s degree has a better chance of earning more money and receiving faster/better promotion in the future.

If you feel a hunger for knowledge or you simply wish to upgrade your diploma to a bachelor’s degree, now you will find many doors open up to you locally or overseas. Comparing to local options, it is definitely a life-changing experience to study abroad with one of those renowned universities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Overseas options for polytechnic graduates

Most polytechnics have set up advanced standing arrangements with overseas universities. What this means is that polytechnic graduates in Singapore can apply to pursue undergraduate courses at those universities and receive credit exemptions of between 0.5-2 years depending on their course of study, their GPA and the university they are applying to. Here are options for polytechnic students:

When applying to a bachelor’s degree, graduates with a polytechnic diploma could be granted advanced standing (credit exemptions) on a case-by-case basis. With UK universities, you can often be granted 1 year exemptions  if the accumulated GPA is above 3 (and of course your diploma major needs to match the university degree you apply to); with Australian universities, usually 1-2 year exemptions are granted if the accumulated GPA is above 2.7. Contact our friendly team of consultants for more information about advanced standings as it is complicated.

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Some modern universities in the UK offer 1-year top-up degree which enables polytechnic graduates to get a bachelor’s degree in 1 year. These universities are not ranked as highly as Russell Group universities but you can save 1 year of tuition fees and living expenses compared to studying the degree from year 2. A good GPA from the top-up degree can lead to a Master’s degree at a highly ranked university in the future. Please read more:

If you are not qualified for direct entry into the university, you may wish to consider a diploma pathway program or a foundation year program. Both of them take longer for you to get a bachelor’s degree but they give you the chance to start all over again.

A diploma pathway is a full-time academic program equivalent to studying the first year of a bachelor’s degree. The program enables you to improve your study skills and to develop necessary academic knowledge. Successful completion of the diploma pathway program guarantees you direct entry into the second year of a range of bachelor’s degrees with top universities. If your desired major is not available through diploma pathway or you wish to have more options (such as law, medicine etc), you can consider a Foundation year program. Please read more:

Are you in Singapore? You are eligible for our free services.

We are the overseas university application centre in Singapore. Fully funded by universities, our services are free for students in Singapore. Contact us to get free advice and assistance on your application, visa and accommodation.

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