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Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

The University has adopted a policy that allows prior learning, whether certified or experiential, to be used as partial credit towards some courses, where appropriate.

Policy and Procedures for the Recognition of Prior Learning

1. Definitions

RPL: Recognition of Prior Learning
The process whereby previous learning that has occurred in any of a range of contexts (including school, college or university or through life and work experiences) is assessed by the University and recognised through the award of credit and/or exemption from a module or modules on a taught course of the University.
Relevant learning is either assessed on an individual basis or recognised as part of an approved exemption (listed in Annexe 1) for those who hold a particular professional award or who have the requisite certified learning undertaken at another Higher Education Institution.

APCL: Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning

Prior certificated learning (PCL) involves prior learning (such as professional development awards or employment-based awards), at HE level that has not been previously recognised via the award of credits or qualification(s) on the UK HE Qualifications Framework.

Individual applicants may apply for exemptions from modules on taught courses at the University based on evidence of learning at HE level that has been formally assessed and certificated. The University expects that such applications will only be granted following a satisfactory mapping of learning outcomes for the modules for which exemption is sought and course aims against such prior certificated learning. This might require an applicant to provide a portfolio of evidence.

Where the University has approved standard module or credit exemption for which any applicants who hold a specific professional award or other certificated learning will be eligible, this can be found in Annexe 1.


APEL: Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning

Prior experiential learning (PEL) involves prior learning gained through experience which can be assessed by academic staff of the University and formally recognised with the award of credit (or exemption from modules) towards a programme of study.

Applicants may apply for exemptions from modules on taught courses at the University based on evidence of learning arising from professional experience and related study or training which may not be formally certificated. This might require an applicant to provide a portfolio of evidence.

Credit Transfer
A system that allows credit awarded by one higher education body to be recognised and included towards the requirements for a programme at another higher education provider; or that allows credit gained on a particular programme to contribute towards the requirements of a different one.

This credit is not necessarily gained prior to admission to a course of the University. Several arrangements have been approved by the University of Warwick which allow the credit gained through a period of study with a partner institution (often in another country) to be transferred to credit awarded by the University of Warwick.

 

2. Policy for Recognition of Prior Learning

(a) There is no obligation for any department to consider individual requests for Accreditation of Prior Certified/Experiential Learning if it considers such requests inappropriate to the nature of provision offered. Departments wishing to consider applications should do so in accordance with the University’s policy, as set out in this document.

(b) The Academic Director of Undergraduate or Graduate Studies (or their nominee) will accept individual applications for the accreditation of prior learning from candidates citing prior certificated learning from Warwick or other institutions. All applications should normally be submitted prior to admission or re-admission1 to a course of study; retrospective applications will not be considered2

(c)

(i) The Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) will be the primary means of calculating the extent of exemption to be permitted towards the relevant programme of study.

Where the prior learning and/or experience was at an institution other than the University of Warwick, the proportion of a course for which applications for RPL may be considered is as follows:

Total credit value of course

Maximum proportion of credit required for programme for which RPL may be granted (credit limit)

Less than or equal to 360 credits at undergraduate level ( levels 4, 5 or 6, previously known as levels C, I or H)
[Applications for RPL in respect of courses consisting of more than 360 credits at undergraduate level will be considered by AQSC, or by the Chair of AQSC acting on its behalf]


One third or as approved by AQSC for a particular course (where above one third)

360 credits at undergraduate level 6 (previously known as level H) where applicants seek to top-up from a Foundation Degree to an Honours Degree or equivalent top-up approved by AQSC


Two thirds

An integrated master’s course consisting of 480 credits, at least 120 of which are at level 7 (previously known as level M)

One third, or as approved by AQSC for a particular course (where above one third)

A Postgraduate course of less than or equal to 180 credits at Qualifications level 7 (previously known as level M)

One third, or as approved by AQSC for a particular course (where above one third)

A Master’s course of over 180 credits at level 7 (previously known as level M)

Half

 

(ii) Where prior learning was undertaken at the University of Warwick, the proportion of a course for which applications for RPL may be considered is as follows:

(A) Where the programme3 for which AP(C)L is being applied for is the same as (or a direct replacement for) the programme on which the prior learning was originally undertaken, an application for credit transfer may be considered for up to 100% of the credit value of the prior learning.
(B) Where the prior learning was at Warwick on any other course or programme, the proportion of the course for which credit transfer may be considered will normally not exceed half of the total credit required for the award.

(iii) Where prior learning was undertaken at the University of Warwick, RPL should normally only be granted for a programme3 or module(s) that was completed and passed.

(iv) Where prior learning was undertaken at the University of Warwick, any approval granted for RPL should state clearly whether the prior learning will be recognised on a credit only basis or if marks previously awarded by the University of Warwick for one or more modules will also be transferred towards the programme being applied for.

(d) The prior learning which is used to provide a case for exemption should normally have taken place within five years preceding commencement of the course to which the AP(C/E)L will be applied.

(e) Students registered for a Postgraduate Award or Certificate should normally apply to transfer the credit they have obtained towards a Postgraduate Diploma or Master’s degree before their performance is considered by a Board of Examiners. In such cases only the higher or highest award will be conferred by the University.

(f) Where applicants wish to gain credit and exemption on the basis of a Warwick course for which they have received a University certificate, it is not expected that the certificate will be returned, but the student transcript will indicate that the highest award incorporates any other awards for which RPL has been granted.

(g) The University will accept certain professional qualifications or approved prior learning with a named Higher Education Institution as specified in Annexe 1 to this document for exemption from modules on specific courses.

(h) The University is aware of the need to be mindful of the implications of granting applications for AP(E)L where professional, statutory or regulatory body requirements affect University provision and where the impact of granting requests for AP(E)L could thus be disproportionately significant. It is the University’s view that the 5 year rule for prior certificated learning and the requirement to map previously certificated learning against intended future learning outcomes should provide adequate checks and balances.

(i) Prior learning (other than covered by 2c(ii-iv) above) recognised in line with this policy will not be graded. Student transcripts will record 'pass' for any element of a course for which prior learning is accredited.

(j) Special arrangements apply for the accumulation of Warwick Postgraduate Awards toward a Master’s degree, where this is provided for in the course regulations for the particular Master’s degree:

(i) A maximum period of 3 years is allowed to elapse between a student initially registering for any two Postgraduate Awards or other units of study which it is intended to accumulate toward the relevant Master’s degree.

(ii) A maximum period of study of eight years is allowed for professional development-oriented Master’s courses, it being noted that in all cases where the maximum period of study for the individual course is shorter than eight years, the maximum period stated in the individual course regulations is to be applied.

(iii) Each Master’s course to which these special arrangements apply should be approved with clearly defined progression stages identified for achieving the credit threshold for Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Master’s.

1the inclusion of readmission in this clause is to cover the situation where a student returns to the University to complete a qualification he/she had originally registered for but had not completed, leaving either with an intermediate exit qualification or no formal award.
2with the exception of Master’s courses in Warwick Medical School and the Centre for Education Studies where Course Directors may exercise discretion to prevent the differential treatment of a student who has registered for such a course at the outset of their studies rather that registering for modules one by one.
3A programme consists of a course leading to a degree or a directly associated diploma, certificate or award within the same subject area.

3. Procedure for consideration of requests for APEL

This procedure should be used for applications not falling under points 2(g) or 2(j) of the Policy set out at 2. above.

Applications for exemption must set out clearly how prior learning and achievement through experience meets the specified learning outcomes at the appropriate level of those modules for which credit transfer is proposed.

(a) Prior to admission to the course, unless certificated learning in the context of HE covered by 2(b) above, the applicant should submit to the Head of Admissions Service (Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Service) (for undergraduate courses) or Administrative Officer, Student Records Management (for postgraduate courses), information on the prior learning concerned. The information submitted should normally include:

(i) Confirmation from the awarding institution of the level of the course in accordance with the Qualifications Framework; the date of completion and the modules taken (e.g. a transcript).
(ii) Information from the awarding institution on the learning outcomes achieved, (for example, by means of a course/module specification) and details of the curriculum on the basis of which accreditation of prior learning is proposed.
(iii) If the application is for AP(E)L, information on the applicant’s relevant professional background, including employment and any relevant training courses or other study undertaken.
(iv) A description of how the applicant’ s qualification or professional experience relates to the learning outcomes and curriculum of the modules from which exemption is requested, including extracts from the module documentation of the department concerned.

(b) The department may also ask the applicant to complete a piece of written work or to follow an APEL module where this has been developed by the relevant department.

(c) At least two members of the department concerned should be involved in the consideration of the APEL application, including those staff working in the capacity of Admissions Officer, Course Director, or departmental Director of Undergraduate/Graduate Studies. The department should consider each application and forward the paperwork submitted by the applicant together with the departmental recommendation to the Head of Admissions Service (Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Service) (for undergraduate programmes) or the Administrative Officer (Student Records Management) (for postgraduate programmesfor consideration by the Academic Director of Undergraduateor Graduate Studies respectively (or their nominee). The departmental recommendation should specify clearly the modules for which exemptions are recommended and the total credit volume concerned.

(d) A letter will be sent by the Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Serviceor Student Records Management to the applicant informing them of the result of their application.

(e) The course fees and the period of study will be adjusted to take account of the credit transfer approved.

(f) For requests covered by point 2(g) above, the department concerned should send a recommendation for exemption, together with a copy of a certificate or transcript demonstrating achievement of the qualification concerned within the appropriate timescale, to the Head of Admissions Service (Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Service) (for undergraduate programmes) or the Administrative Officer (Student Records Management) (for postgraduate programmes). A revised offer letter will be issued where appropriate.

(g) For requests covered by point 2 (j) above, different arrangements apply. The Course Director should confirm that the prior learning has retained its currency and that the learning outcomes of the module(s) have remained broadly similar to when the student completed the module(s).


Annexe 1

The University will accept the following qualifications for exemption from the modules on the courses specified below. The principles regarding the maximum period of study and the timescale for completion of the prior learning concerned will apply.

Relevant department


Qualification

 

Exemption

 

Total credit volume

 

Warwick Medical School

Membership of a Royal College.

 

Module(s) on the MSc Diabetes, MSc Diabetes (Paediatrics), MMEd Medical Education (and, where appropriate, other degrees in WMS as approved from time to time by the Chair of AQSC), to be determined by the Course Director

Up to 40 credits (either two modules of 20 credits or one of 30 credits) at Qualifications Frameworks level 7 (previously level M)

Warwick Medical School

Successful completion of Phase I (Medical Sciences) course at International Medical University, Malaysia (for entry students must also have a first degree at an acceptable level in an accepted subject, as approved by the Director of Admissions for the MBChB)

Permits direct entry to Phase II of the MBChB course

Phase I of MBChB course

Centre for Teacher Education

University of Warwick PGCE (only for cohorts from 2011-12 onwards) Three modules on the MA Educational Innovation (with or without a specialism) course or three modules on the MA in Professional Education (delivered by the Centre for Professional Education)

60 credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 7 (previously level M) and 30 credits at level 6 (previously level H)

Centre for Teacher Education

Standard Universities UK PGCE programmes, gained within the last five years, from 2011 onwards. 60 credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 7 of the MA in Professional Education 60 credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 7
(previously level M)

Centre for Teacher Education and Centre for Education Studies

National College of School Leadership: Leadership Pathways and Leading from the Middle
National College for Teaching and Leadership: National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)
National College for Teaching and Leadership: National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)
Additional 4,000-5,000 piece of written work required.
One module on the MA Educational Leadership and Management or the MA Educational Innovation 30 credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 7 (previously level M)

Centre for Education Studies

Successful completion of the Teach First PGCE Programme with 60 Credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 7 60 credits at level Qualifications Frameworks 7 of the MA Educational Leadership (Teach First) 60 credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 7 (previously level M)

Centre for Education Studies

Diploma of Higher Education in Early Childhood Care and Education (Singapore) [validated course taught by Kinderland Learning Centre (KLC) – Route B]

Diploma of Higher Education in Early Childhood Care and Education (Singapore) [validated course taught by Kinderland Learning Centre (KLC) or other Singaporean government approved providers] and successful completion of the bridging programme [Route A]

Permits direct entry to third stage of part-time BA (Hons) Early Childhood Care and Education (Singapore) 240 credits at Qualifications Frameworks levels 4 and 5 (previously levels C and I)
Centre for Education Studies

Successful completion of the Teach First PGCE Programme with 60 Credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 7

60 credits at level Qualifications Frameworks 7 of the MA Educational Leadership (Teach First) 60 credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 7 (previously level M)
Centre for Education Studies

Successful completion of a Warwick Centre for Education Studies Master’s degree or an equivalent from another institution.

Doctor of Education (EdD) programme Year 1 modules (i.e. three taught modules from the Centre for Education Studies MA programme) and (graduates from Centre for Education Studies Master’s programmes only) Year 2 'Foundation Research Methods' module. 90 (120 for graduates from Centre for Education Studies Master’s programmes only) credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 7 (previously level M)
WMG

PMI Green Belt Course

WMG module ES91L Process Improvement Using Six Sigma 10 credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 7 (previously level M)

Warwick Business School

Successful completion of the Postgraduate Award in Energy Futures and Transitions

The following modules on the DLMBA programme (from the July 2017 intake) and either of the Executive MBA programmes (from the September 2017 intake):

  • Economics of the Business Environment (10 credits)
  • Strategic Advantage (10 credits)
  • Two 10-credit elective modules on the MBA programme
40 credits at FHEQ level 7 (previously level M)

Learning and Development Centre

Associate of the Higher Education Academy (AHEA) 50% of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic and Professional Practice 30 credits Qualifications Frameworks level 7 (previously known as M level)

Centre for LIfelong Learning

(a) Up to three mandatory units at Qualifications Frameworks level 4 of a Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector endorsed by Standards Verification UK
(b) One optional unit at Qualifications Frameworks level 4 of a Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector endorsed by Standards Verification UK, or an additional 3,000-4,000-word piece of written work, as determined by the Director of Academic Studies, Centre for Lifelong Learning
(a) Up to three mandatory units at Qualifications Frameworks level 4 of the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector

(b) One optional unit at Qualifications Frameworks level 4 of the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector

Up to 60 credits at Qualifications Frameworks level 4 (previously known as level C)

Centre for LIfelong Learning

Successful completion of the Sector Endorsed/SureStart Recognised Early Years Foundation Degree or the Foundation Degree Early Childhood Permits direct entry to the progression routes BA Early Years Professional Studies or the BA Early Childhood 240 credits at Qualifications Frameworks levels 4 and 5

RPL policy first approved by Senate 5 July 2017.

Forms for download:

RPL form (individual)