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 offer flexibility in your study programme so you can work at your own pace, in your own time. Most of our students complete our qualifications within 1.5 to 3 years.

Using Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

You can use Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to complete the course quicker – typically in 18 months to 3 years for undergraduate courses and 12–18 months for postgraduate courses.

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.

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

  • 240 of the 360 credits you need to get an undergraduate degree
  • 120 of the 180 credits you need to get a postgraduate degree

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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