Types of diplomas

Students can obtain the following diplomas:

Students are taught in English.

Please note: in Nigeria, higher education is not divided into and . Nigerian higher education institutions can offer both types of education, and some study programmes offer a combination of both. This means that for each diploma we have to determine whether it is HBO or WO.

Higher National Diploma (HND)

The NBTE determines the content of HND study programmes. The reason for this is that HNDs are part of TVET in Nigeria, just like secondary vocational education.

We compare the Higher National Diploma to 2 years of HBO or an associate degree.

Bachelor’s degree

  • Duration: usually 4 years or 5 years. Medical study programmes last 6 years.
  • Content: education focused on research or professional practice, sometimes an internship and/or a thesis.
  • Admission requirements: the West African Senior School Certificate from the WAEC or the Senior School Certificate from the NECO, usually an entrance exam (UTME) and sometimes extra requirements for subjects and grades. An educational institution may also accept other diplomas for admission.
  • Function of the diploma: access to master’s programmes.
  • Diploma: bachelor’s degree, such as Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Engineering (BE), Bachelor of Technology (BTech), Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) or Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). After completing some medical study programmes, students receive a doctor’s degree instead of a bachelor’s degree.

We compare a 4-year bachelor’s degree to an HBO bachelor’s degree or 2 years of WO. This depends on the content and purpose of the study programme.

We compare a 5-year bachelor’s degree to an HBO or a WO bachelor’s degree. This depends on the content and purpose of the study programme.

We compare the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) to a WO bachelor’s degree.

Postgraduate diploma

  • Duration: 1 or 2 years.
  • Content: education focused on research or professional practice. Sometimes the postgraduate diploma is part of a master’s programme.
  • Admission requirements: a HND with relevant work experience or a bachelor’s degree. The HND or bachelor’s degree may be obtained in a non-related field of study.
  • Function of the diploma: work and sometimes access to a master’s programme.
  • Diploma: postgraduate diploma in a field of study, for example postgraduate diploma in Business Administration.

The level of a postgraduate diploma varies. Please contact us for a credential evaluation.

Master's degree

  • Duration: 1 or 2 years.
  • Content: education focused on research or professional practice, sometimes an internship and/or a thesis. A 2-year master’s programme is usually research-oriented.
  • Admission requirements: usually a bachelor’s degree with first-class honours or second-class honours, sometimes a postgraduate diploma.
  • Function of the diploma: access to a PhD programme or work.
  • Diploma: master’s degree, such as Master of Science (MSc), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Engineering (ME) or Master of Business Administration (MBA).

The level of a master’s degree varies. Please contact us for a credential evaluation.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Duration: 2 to 3 years.
  • Content: research and a dissertation, in some cases several subjects with regard to the research specialisation as well.
  • Admission requirements: a master’s degree, sometimes with extra requirements, for example certain grades.
  • Diploma: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).