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A postgraduate certificate (PGCert, PgCert, PG Cert, PGC, PgC) generally is the credential awarded to an individual upon completion of a higher education postgraduate program designed to provide students with specialized knowledge that is at the master's level but less extensive than a postgraduate diploma or master's degree.
Although requirements vary depending on the program, a certificate program represents a focused collection of courses that, when completed, affords the student a record of academic accomplishment in a given discipline or set of related disciplines and is normally 225 contact hours or 60 credits. The standard entry requirement is a UK honours degree or an equivalent foreign qualification.
Like a postgraduate diploma, it is standard practice to use 'PgCert' or 'PgC' as a post-nominal designation after completing the certificate course.
When awarded for teaching it is known as a postgraduate certificate in education or PGCE.
Graduate Certificate and Diploma United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom a Graduate Certificate (post-nominals GradCert)(not to be confused with a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)) is a 1 year part time or full time qualification offered by many universities. The level of study is equivalent to that of a normal degree ordinary degree. Unlike a bachelor's degree with honours which normally takes 3 years of full-time study a graduate certificate can be completed in around one year full-time. A graduate diploma also takes around 1 year of full-time study or 2 years part time. The UK qualifications framework lists Graduate Certificates as a level 6 qualification and equivalent to a Bachelors Degree.
Graduate certificate and diplomas are also recognised as foundation courses for master's level study. Graduate qualifications can often be topped up to MBAs.
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