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Difference Between Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees

The Australian AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) level system is divided as follows:
There are a total of 10 levels in the AQF framework, with level 10 being the highest (Doctoral Degree).

Levels 1-4 are Qualifications Certificates, which fall under vocational education.
These certificates can be obtained by completing courses at TAFE/VET-type institutions.

Level 5 is the Diploma, which is also considered vocational education.
It can be understood as an Australian Advanced Diploma.

Level 6 includes two types of qualifications:
Advanced Diploma: This qualification is offered by some vocational education institutions and some higher education institutions.
Associate Degree: Associate Degrees are typically higher education qualifications.

Level 7 is the Australian Bachelor Degree.

Level 8 includes three types:
Bachelor Honours Degree
Graduate Certificate (GC)
Graduate Diploma (GD)

It’s important to note that these three qualifications fall between a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
Among these qualifications, the Bachelor Honours Degree is the most prestigious and can even lead to a direct Ph.D. program.

However, domestic bachelor’s degree graduates cannot apply for it; only those who have completed their bachelor’s degree in Australia under certain conditions can apply for a Bachelor Honours Degree.

Level 9 is the Masters Degree, which includes both coursework and research-based master’s degrees.

Level 10 is the Doctoral Degree, which typically includes both coursework-based and research-based doctoral programs.

Author: Sim K

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Sim K

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