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  • Lian Yun-Perng, Physiotherapist

Diploma to Degree to Masters to PhD? Is it worth it?

I completed my Diploma in Physiotherapy in the year 2011 and then went on to finish my Bachelor's in Physiotherapy in 2014. Both of them took 3 years each and I don't regret pursuing them. I am fortunate to say that I was able to get a job not long after I graduated but the situation isn't that optimistic now. There are so many graduates (Diploma or Degree) fighting for the same job but who will get it?

To be honest, I don't see a difference between a Diploma or a Degree grad in terms of their clinical skill. It is more of the individual that makes the difference. So, why spend more money and time to pursue a Degree in Physiotherapy?

Here's why:

1. Professional Status

Again, it's subjective but on paper or on your business card, someone would be more inclined to respect you if you had Bsc. Physiotherapy over a Diploma in Physiotherapy . A degree has become a fundamental requirement in life.

2.Critical Thinking

It helps you develop skeptical, rational, unbiased evaluation of research evidence. I understand that this can be developed without pursuing a Degree but you will be put in a learning environment where you will be taught and tested in an undergraduate programme. Your lecturers will also be able to pick your brains.

3. One step closer to PhD

For those who loves learning and education, you will be one step closer to achieving your dreams of having a PhD. My head of school told me that I could pursue my PhD at Keele if I wanted to so most probably that could happen to you too.

PS: I didn't get a first in my Bachelors.

As for post-graduate studies, I think you should do it if you really have a passion for learning, education or research. Otherwise, you'll be wasting your time pursuing them if you intend to work as a clinician in Malaysia. Our scope of practice in Malaysia is pretty limited so your skills and knowledge will be underused and that might frustrate you. We have not reach the stage where we appreciate Post-graduates.

Thank you for reading!

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Lian Yun-Perng  

UK Qualified Physiotherapist
Bachelor of Physiotherapy

Keele University, United Kingdom
Diploma in Physiotherapy

AIMST University, Malaysia

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