Course duration and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

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What is Recognition of prior learning?

Find out when you can start your course and how long it might take to complete

Learning at Work courses start in January and September, and students can generally complete their qualification within 1 to 3 years. But you can use Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to complete your course quicker.

With RPL, you use the learning you have gained from training courses, employment, voluntary work, private study and previous attendance at college and university towards your degree.

Using Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

You can use RPL for up to two thirds of the credits you need for your degree.

On an undergraduate degree, this is up to 240 of the 360 credits you need. Depending on your circumstances, you should expect to spend approximately:

  • 2–3 years to earn 240 credits (with 120 credits of RPL)
  • 1.5–2 years to earn 120 credits (with 240 credits of RPL)

On a postgraduate degree, you can use RPL for up to 120 of the 180 credits you need. Depending on your circumstances, you should expect to spend approximately:

  • 2–3 years to earn 180 credits (with no RPL)
  • 1–2 years to earn 120 credits (with 60 credits of RPL)
  • 1–2 years to earn 60 credits (with 120 credits of RPL)

RPL can come from 3 areas: 

  • A recognised qualification you have studied for and passed, for example a HNC, HND or Foundation degree
  • Rank in the Armed Forces
  • Evidence of your skills and experience which are mapped to our modules

Most standard qualifications are equivalent to a prescribed number of credits. A HNC is worth 120 credits at level 4, while an HND is worth 240 credits at undergraduate level (level 4 and level 5). 

Some defence forces training and experience have standard RPL credit ratings. 

If you don't have an eligible standard qualification or NATO Armed Forces Rank, you may be able to claim credit for what you've learnt as part of your career based on your skills and experience.

Claiming RPL

You can claim RPL when you apply for your course. Please contact the Learning at Work office to discuss a potential RPL claim before submitting your application form.  They will be able provide guidance on what you can claim for, how many RPL credits you may be eligible for and the most appropriate form of evidence, such as providing certification or developing a portfolio of evidence

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