Accreditation of prior learning

Your learning prior to studying at UWL may qualify for credit
Your learning prior to studying at UWL may qualify for credit

At UWL we value the experience you have gained through prior qualifications, learning and work. Your learning prior to studying at UWL (certificates and/or work experience) may qualify as credit and award you Advanced Standing. This means you could get exemption(s) from part of your chosen course or start at a higher level than the normal entry point. You will also save on the cost of your course for each module you have accredited. Read on for information about:

You can also view our list of externally accredited modules with our partner institutions.


How to get accreditation

We assess your past experience and/or qualifications to see if they can count towards the course you plan to study. You can apply for academic credit if you have:

  • relevant work or voluntary experience
  • passed a credit-rated module at a college or university
  • have a professional qualification
  • participated in other courses or training

Advantages of accreditation

  • Reduces the time of study
  • Gets your prior work and learning experience valued
  • Avoids repetition of learning
  • Makes financial savings
  • Gets your learning credit rated
  • Puts your academic credits towards qualifications.

Advanced standing

Students may enter a UWL course with Advanced Standing at a stage later than the normal entry point. Advanced Standing for individuals can be awarded through Recognition of Prior Certified Learning or Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning or a combination of both. Advanced Standing also plays an essential part in Articulation Agreements. Because the curriculum of our own and other organisations changes over time, Advanced Standing agreements should be reviewed on a regular basis. For Articulation Agreements with other educational institutions, Advanced Standing is determined solely through RPCL.

Types of accreditation

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the general term used for accreditation activities, whether based on prior certificated learning or prior experiential learning. There are four ways to get RPL:

Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning

Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) looks at your prior studies and professional qualifications to see if these can exempt you from modules on the course you wish to study.

With RPCL you may be able to start at a later stage of the course or reduce the duration of the course. To see if you have any RPCL exemptions, you must consult your course leader as soon as possible before the start of the course.

Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning

Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) is a process for assessing work experience in the field of your studies for credit on your course.

You must enrol on the RPEL module and compile a portfolio of evidence to show how your work experience has covered the learning requirements for a course module. You can combine credit for learning (RPCL) and credit for learning from experience (RPEL) to start your course at a higher level.

Your course leader will be able to discuss the RPEL module requirements with you; you may need to start this process before the start of your course.

External Accreditation

External accreditation is the credit rating of courses run by external training organisations. It is a credit recognition of learning achieved outside University awards. Assessments of work produced by an employee in accredited organisations are moderated by University staff and reviewed by external examiners, prior to being sent to the University Accreditation Committee.

UWL has built partnerships with a number of organisations and has over 30 external accreditation modules that you can enrol on in addition to, or in conjunction with your studies.

Visit our list of modules to see if any compliment your course.

Articulation Agreement

Articulation Agreements are for students who have studied a particular course at another institution. Their prior University study can make them eligible to enter a later stage of a designated UWL course.

For further information about accreditation options, please contact​