Studying Diploma is Faster & Easier than STPM, & Faster to Enter the Degree Course at Top Private Universities in Malaysia

Diploma vs STPM? Compare the Differences and Choose the Best Course to Study after SPM

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After SPM, students have a choice to either go for Form 6 and take the STPM or take other courses from private universities and colleges. The diploma course is one pathway that students should consider instead of taking the STPM exam.

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) is Malaysia’s version of the UK’s GCE A-Levels and is a Pre-University course recognised for entry into public universities in Malaysia. The STPM is also accepted for entry into private universities in Malaysia and overseas universities. On the other hand, the Diploma is offered at Private Universities and Colleges in Malaysia and upon completion, can be used to work or continue on to degree level.

Students who are not sure which course to study should go for the STPM or Foundation while students who are sure which course to pursue can go for the diploma course after SPM. If you are sure of which course to study, you can go straight into the diploma course for 2 years and study subjects that are specific to your course of interest. Upon completion of the diploma, you can continue on to Year 2 of the related degree programme.

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Please fill up the Form below and I will WhatsApp you and provide you with sound advise on how to choose the best private university or college in Malaysia to study at. If you do not give your mobile number or full name as in IC, your query will not be answered. Our knowledgeable & experienced counsellor will send you a message on WhatsApp & provide assistance from there.

Diploma vs STPM

How are the courses assessed?

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The assessments for a diploma programme at private universities and colleges in Malaysia is a mix of Assignments, Coursework, and written examination percentage. On the other hand, the STPM is exam based and modular.

With School Based Assessment in STPM, teaching and learning are integrated with assessment. Through the new examination system, students will also have more opportunities to obtain better results. Students are allowed to improve on their first term and second term results by retaking these term examinations at the end of the third term. Students who do not obtain satisfactory results for the third term may also re-sit it.

The diploma programme provides students with relevant, interesting, stimulating and practical experience via a variety of teaching and practical techniques. If you fail a subject in the diploma course, you just need to resit the particular subject only and continue on studying the other subjects.

Students will experience different dynamic learning processes are employed in the delivery of a diploma programme, such as lectures, tutorials, computer lab work, team-based project, real life system development, presentations, independent projects supervised by supervisors from university lecturers or industry experts. The learning is very much practical oriented. For a successful career, students should choose the best private university in Malaysia for their diploma education as it will equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills.

What are the Entry Requirements?

The general requirements are: Pass SPM with a Credit in Bahasa Malaysia. However, to obtain a place a certain stream, there are more detailed requirements. To qualify to the Social Sciences, the number of units for the three best subjects must not exceed 12, for the Science stream, the number of units not must not exceed 18 points, while for Religious Studies, it must not exceed 14.

To enter a Diploma course you will need at least 3 credits in the relevant subjects with a pass in BM and Sejarah. Some diploma courses may require 5 credits.

Is it easier to get scholarships?

Students with high distinctions have the advantage of scholarships for Diploma Programmes at the private universities. Since the diploma programme is much easier than the STPM, you would probably get a high score in the diploma and get a scholarship for the Degree course. However, if you choose the STPM which is extremely tough, although you may pass but you may not get 3As or 4As in STPM to apply for scholarships at Private Universities in Malaysia.

Are the courses difficult to study?

The STPM is acknowledged as one of the toughest exams in the world to study. With the new assessment in STPM your first exam will be in December and you will have not much time to study and the teachers do no have enough time to cover the material as well. There is no rest as you will need to keep studying to take the exams every 6 months.

The STPM requires you to take in too much information in 1.5 years. That in itself shows the inadequacies of a system which doesn’t give enough time for students to consume the information required. Furthermore, STPM needs a lot of study time in order to score well. If you are not ready to commit the time and effort, you should consider other options.

How many Subjects are there?

Students will take 4-5 subjects in the STPM while for the diploma, you will take about 30-35 subjects throughout the 2-year course.

What’s the Duration of the Courses?

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I was looking for an affordable design college that had a campus. EduSpiral advised me & helped me to apply.
Tan, Design graduate from First City University College

While STPM may only be an 18-month course from start to the release of results, you will need to wait an additional 5-6 months for public university intakes, a grand total of 2 years. If you add in the 6 months of waiting after completing SPM before entering Form 6 in June, it would be 2.5 years. If you’re just looking for the fastest route to a Degree, then this isn’t it.

From the time you enter Form 6 till the exam and getting into IPTA or Public University in Malaysia would be 2 years. If you had taken a diploma, you would have already completed it. There are 180,000 graduates each year and competition for jobs are high therefore the faster you graduate, the faster you get a job and start your savings.

Hence, if you take the diploma course, it would have taken you less time to complete the degree.

Top 10 Reasons to Study Diploma at the Best Private Colleges & Universities in Malaysia after SPM

Studying Information Technology (IT) was my dream but my results didn't achieve the requirements. But EduSpiral gave me in-depth advise & helped me to choose the right course that suited me. Harold, Diploma in Business IT at Asia Pacific University (APU)

Studying Information Technology (IT) was my dream but my results didn’t achieve the requirements. But EduSpiral gave me in-depth advise & helped me to choose the right course that suited me.
Harold, Diploma in Business IT at Asia Pacific University (APU)

Here are some advantages in studying a diploma course at a top private university in Malaysia:

  1. You can use the diploma to apply for a job in Malaysia or overseas.  After completing a Pre-University course, STPM or Foundation course, you have to continue on to the degree before going to work. A Diploma programme is the best choice for you if you want to gain some work experience or save up some money before continuing on your Degree. Most companies in Malaysia accept Diploma graduates for jobs, so you just start work after just 2 years of studying the diploma. Starting salaries for diploma holders range from RM1500 to RM2000 while degree holders range from RM2500 to RM3500.
  2. If you are a person who dislike to study but want a qualification that can get you into the workforce in the least amount of time, then taking the diploma is the best choice. Students who prefer more practical, hands on, industry-specific skills and knowledge should go for the diploma programme at a top university in Malaysia. The diploma generally is more practical and focuses on industry-specific skills. A degree course is more theoretical and academic. However, it is recommended to continue on to your degree as it is the minimum that most employers look for. Some courses such as culinary and design, a diploma is sufficient to join the workforce in Malaysia. Otherwise, it is advisable to continue your studies to degree level.
  3. Diploma in Culinary Arts Graduate from YTL International College of Hotel Management

    I contacted EduSpiral to find an affordable college for culinary arts. He arranged for me and my mother for a campus tour & helped me find a college that had excellent facilities that I could afford.
    Fu Wei, Diploma in Culinary Arts Graduate from YTL International College of Hotel Management

    A diploma programme is specific towards the area of study such as culinary arts, baking, hotel management, mechanical engineering, business, accounting, etc. Most of the subjects in the diploma will be related to the area of study. In a Foundation or Pre-University programme, you will take a wide range of subjects that are general such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Law, Business, History, etc. A Diploma course is designed to give you exposure to specific topics in your chosen area of study.

  4. A diploma course at a private university in Malaysia is easier than taking an external Pre-University programme like A-Levels, STPM, AUSMAT, CIMP, etc.
  5. If you take the STPM, which is very difficult and takes 2 years, you would have completed a 2-year Diploma course. The STPM is just a Pre-University programme which is one step lower than a Diploma.
  6. With at least 3 credits in your SPM or 3 Bs in UEC, you can join most Diploma courses in Malaysia. Generally, 2 years in duration with some at 2 years 4 months or 2 years 6 months. Very few diploma programmes are 3 years in duration. Note that TARUC requires 5 SPM credits to enter their diploma programmes.
  7. You can apply for the PTPN Loan  for a diploma course at a private university in Malaysia as long as it is accredited by MQA. You cannot apply for the PTPN Loan for Foundation, Pre-University or A-Level programmes. If you have financial constraints, then go for a Diploma course instead of a Foundation or Pre-University course. The amount of the PTPN Loan varies depending on your family income.
  8. After completing your diploma, you can go find a job or continue on to Year 2 of the degree if your college or university offers the degree or you can transfer credits into another university. If you transfer to another university, you may not be able to get the full exemptions to enter into Year 2 of the degree. A Diploma course is one step lower than a degree course, and can be considered equivalent of a first year Degree at university. That is why a diploma holder can skip Year 1 of the related degree and enter into Year 2. Pathway to degree from Diploma is, Diploma 2 years and then enter Year 2 of Degree programme. You will skip Year 1 of the Degree. It will take the same time to complete a degree from Foundation. Diploma courses in Malaysia are usually 24 months long with some at 30 months and rarely others at 36 months
  9. Students who are sure of what they want to study can go for a Diploma course. If you are still not sure, then you should go for a Foundation in Arts, Foundation in Science or an external Pre-University Programme like the A-Levels, Canadian Pre-University (CPU), South Australian Matriculation, etc.
  10. You can save money by taking a Diploma programme at a top private university in Malaysia and then transfer overseas for the final part of a related degree programme. Some private universities have special arrangements for their diploma to be exempted into the final part of the degree course where you may need to study 1.5 or 2 years overseas.

Top Private Universities Offering the Best Diploma Courses in Malaysia

Students should choose top private universities in Malaysia for their diploma education so that you can gain the best knowledge and skills for a successful career.

The Best Diploma Programs Offered at Asia Pacific University (APU)

EduSpiral took me & my friends to tour a few universities to help us make the right choice. He then met me & my father for further counseling & to assist in registering. Horng Yarng, Diploma in ICT at Asia Pacific University (APU)

EduSpiral took me & my friends to tour a few universities to help us make the right choice. He then met me & my father for further counseling & to assist in registering.
Horng Yarng, Diploma in ICT at Asia Pacific University (APU)

Diploma Programmes offered at APIIT

Outstanding Diploma Programs Offered at Taylor’s University

First Rate Diploma Programs Offered at UCSI University

YTL International College of Hotel Management (YTL-ICHM)

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Jessie, Diploma in Hotel Management at YTL International College of Hotel Management (YTL-ICHM)

 

Diploma Programmes at Multimedia University

Affordable Diploma Programmes at MAHSA University

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I found EduSpiral online and he met me and my Dad at the university to counsel us & take us around for a tour. As I didn’t come from a rich family, EduSpiral helped me to find a university that’s affordable and good.
Eric Ng, Diploma in Information Technology (IT) at First City University College

Top Rated Diploma Programs Offered at KDU University College Utropolis Glenmarie

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I enjoyed my time at IMI Switzerland gaining lots of knowledge and experience. EduSpiral had provided me with the necessary information on the course. Weng Kang, Culinary Arts at IMI Switzerland

The Best Diploma Programs Offered at HELP University Damansara Heights

First Rate Diploma Programs Offered at KDU Penang University College 

EduSpiral helped me to transfer my business diploma into UCSI University. He had advised me to go for a university with an English-speaking environment so that I can improve myself. Kwang Wei, Business graduate from UCSI University

EduSpiral helped me to transfer my business diploma into UCSI University. He had advised me to go for a university with an English-speaking environment so that I can improve myself.
Kwang Wei, Business graduate from UCSI University

Affordable Diploma Programs Offered at First City University College

Outstanding Diploma Programs Offered at Berjaya University College of Hospitality 

Diploma programs from the best colleges in Malaysia

Best Diploma Programs Offered at YTL International College of Hotel Management (YTL-ICHM), Malaysia

Diploma in Hotel Management at YTL International College of Hotel Management

EduSpiral helped me to find a college that’s affordable and with a job guarantee too!
Dora, Diploma in Hotel Management at YTL International College of Hotel Management

Affordable Programmes Offered at UCSI College

The Best Diploma Programs Offered at IACT College

Excellent Diploma Programs Offered at Saito College

Industry Ready Diploma Programs Offered at Point College

I found EduSpiral on Google after reading their article on culinary arts. He advised my online and then arranged for me to tour the college and talk to the counselor.
Kar Wai, Diploma in Culinary Arts at YTL International College of Hotel Management

Diploma Programs Offered at Reliance College Kuala Lumpur

The Best Diploma Programs Offered at UCSI University Sarawak

Transfer credits from Diploma into Degree Year 2 into Top Private Universities in Malaysia

My mother whatsapped EduSpiral & he provided vital information to help me make my decision to transfer my diploma. Soon Hong, Marketing at HELP University

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Soon Hong, Marketing at HELP University

Most diplomas can be transferred to another college or university into the Year 2 of the relevant programme. If you have taken the Diploma in Accounting, it is highly likely that you can enter into Year 2 of the degree in Accounting or Accounting & Finance. For the Diploma in Business Administration, you can enter into Year 2 of the degree in Business Administration depending on the exemptions.

However, if you go from the Diploma in Business Administration into the Degree in Accounting, then you may not get the optimum amount of exemptions because the subjects in your diploma are not similar with the degree course of the university that you want to transfer to.

To transfer your credits into another university, you will need to submit the following documents for exemptions:

  1. Transcripts from your current college or university
  2. Course outline for all the subjects taken
  3. Letter of completion or Diploma Certificate
  4. Copy of SPM Certificate

Common Factors in Choosing the Best Private University or College in Malaysia to Study Diploma

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I was not sure if I could handle engineering but after listening to EduSpiral, I was able to make the right decision.
Jun Chung, Diploma in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Asia Pacific University

Here’s a list of common criteria in choosing a top private university in Malaysia:

  • Diploma and degrees offered
  • Subjects offered in the diploma or degree (Are they relevant, up-to-date, and help you to achieve your career goals)
  • Accreditation by MQA and other relevant professional bodies in Malaysia
  • Entry requirements
  • Location of the university
  • Size of the student population
  • Student culture (English-speaking environment, ambitious, serious about studies, lifestyle or party university, etc)
  • Public vs. Private (STPM is tougher and choice of course & university is determined by the government)
  • Costs (tuition, hostel, food, transportation, etc.)
  • Financial assistance (Scholarships, PTPN Loan, EPF withdrawal, MARA Loan, etc)
  • Campus resources (labs, libraries, wifi, computer access, sports facilities, etc.)
  • Internship and co-op programs
  • Class size (Small class size for personal attention)
  • Faculty contact/classes taught by full-time qualified & experienced faculty
  • Quality/reputation/ranking of the private university in Malaysia
  • Safety (campus, community)
  • Make up of the student body (diversity, international students, gender, etc.)
  • Extra-curricular activities (Student organisations, clubs, sports, etc.)
  • Housing options (on-campus, off-campus apartments)
  • Student support services
  • Intake dates

Talk to the Best Education Consultant in Malaysia to Help you Make the Right Choice in Choosing a Diploma Course

Lonnie Sik, Founder of EduSpiral, has more than 15 years of experience counseling thousands of students on how to choose the right course & university

Lonnie Sik, Founder of EduSpiral, has more than 15 years of experience counseling thousands of students on how to choose the right course & university

Choosing a course to study after SPM is not a science, it is a process

Students in Malaysia need to talk to the right education counselors so that you get the right information to help you in making this life-changing decision. Talking to an experienced education advisor in Malaysia would help you to navigate through this confusing time of choosing the best course that fits you.

Experienced education counselors are able to analyse your interests, personality and exam results to help you make a list of possible courses for consideration. EduSpiral Consultant Services staff have more than 15 years experience in counseling students. Having worked in the private education industry, we have in-depth knowledge of each private university and college in what they are good at.

At EduSpiral Consultant Services, I have worked in the private higher education industry in Malaysia for more than 15 years advising students with facts and evidence on how to choose the right course after SPM. You should carefully think about what are the options available to you. To choose the best course that fits you, students may fill up our EduSpiral Career Assessment form for evaluation.

The EduSpiral Career Assessment form is a simple form designed by us that gathers information from students after SPM, O-Levels, UEC, STPM or A-Levels in order to assess their aptitude helping us to determine the most suitable course and career progression.

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