PG Certificate, Diploma or Masters?

There is a confusing variety of courses in the market for dentists who want to further their skills and career. We can help you to identify the best option for you.

When choosing a course to suit your needs, we think you should look carefully at what the provider is actually offering:

  • Who validates the award? Do they have credibility and standing in postgraduate medical education? FGDP courses are validated by our hosts, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, which shows they meet a high standard. RCSEng accreditation ensures that they are internationally recognised and respected.
  • Is there a robust assessment component? Neither the term ‘certificate’ nor ‘diploma’ is regulated, so look for a credible assessment as part of the award. FGDP Diplomas provide high-quality assessment to meet the standards expected by the GDC. You can trust the proper validation of your skills on completion of all our courses.
  • Who recognises the award? If a university recognises an award as prior learning to qualify for progression to their own postgraduate qualifications, you can be reassured that it carries the full credit structure you would expect. FGDP Diploma courses provides articulation agreements, wherein you are granted credits to commence the course beyond the standard point of entry and complete Masters programmes in the UK and abroad. 


The term ‘certificate’ says nothing about the depth and breadth of study, so beware. Postgraduate Certificates should normally represent 60 units at the appropriate level in the Higher Education framework- this is the case for our qualifications. Look for evidence of credible assessment as part of the award.


Like certificates, the term ‘diploma’ says little about the depth and breadth of study. Postgraduate Diplomas should normally represent 120 units at the appropriate level in the Higher Education framework. Assessment is critical at this level for the award to be credible. FGDP Diplomas provide a depth of study to hone your skills and validation of the standard achieved and represent 120 units...


A Masters Degree adds value above a Diploma in its requirement for a research project, topping up the credits to 180 and will certainly be useful if you have an interest in theory and research. But remember that a Masters degree will not add value over a good Diploma if it’s practical skills that you are looking to build and to demonstrate. FGDP Diplomas stand out for their practical application – you will gain real, practical clinical skills.