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Definition

The terminology ‘recognition of prior learning' is used to describe the process which relates to awarding credit based on recognizing learning achieved within a defined or formal higher education programme, or outside of it. It occurs in two forms:

  • Prior certificated learning (or accredited learning) is accredited or otherwise certificated by an institution of higher education, including the University of the West of England, or another external body.
  • Prior experiential learning (or accredited experiential learning) is that which is achieved through experience gained by an individual outside formalized learning arrangements and where the learning outcomes are open to assessment by the College.

Learning achieved outside the College may, within limits set by the Academic Regulations, contribute to an award of the University of the West of England where it has been accredited or otherwise certificated by an institution of higher education or body and is recognized for credit purposes by the University.

Credits for Learning Undertaken Within the University

There is no limit to the amount of credit from prior certificated learning that a student may transfer from one award achieved from study and assessment under the University's academic regulations to another, provided that the student is proceeding towards a higher award. Students must seek approval to transfer between awards and apply for credit to be accredited against the learning outcomes of the new award.

The process is not automatic and the programme team retains the right to determine entry for both logistical and educational reasons.

Credits for Learning Undertaken Externally to the University

Where prior certificated learning (accredited learning) contributes to the credit requirements of an award of the University, this shall not exceed two-thirds of the total credit requirements for the award.

Process for the Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning

The College applies UWE process for accrediting prior certificated learning. The process is based on the matching of the learning achieved by the student, with the specified learning outcomes for modules or groups of modules for which the accredited learning will be a substitute or with those required of programmeme learning outcomes.

To be recognised as contributing credit to an award of the University of the West of England, the evidence of prior certificated learning (accredited learning) must be capable of demonstrating:

  • authenticity, the applicant completed what was claimed;
  • direct comparison, by matching the learning outcomes with those of comparably specified modules approved for the award sought, or with those required of programme learning outcomes;
  • currency, the learning is in keeping with expectations of current knowledge in the area of expertise required.

The scrutiny of prior certificated learning (accredited learning) for the purpose of University recognition of credit towards a named award shall be undertaken by designated staff within each faculty. Such staff shall have an appropriate subject, discipline and/ or professional expertise and shall have regard to relevant University information and guidance on recognized qualifications and certificated learning.

The recognition of prior certificated learning (accredited learning) shall identify the level and the amount of credit in accordance with procedures set down by the University. The amount of credit being recognized must be of the equivalent level and same or greater size as the module against which it is being accredited.

Prior certificated learning (accredited learning) may be recognized by the University as contributing to the credit requirements of its awards.

Recognition of prior certificated learning (accredited learning) may be internal (credit achieved under the regulations of the University of the West of England) or external (credit achieved through study at another UK or overseas institution).

Prior certificated learning (accredited learning) may be achieved prior to, or concurrent with, learning undertaken under the Academic Regulations.

Evidence of the prior certificated learning (accredited learning) shall be open to scrutiny and verification by the University. This is in order to establish that the learning achieved by the student meets the learning outcomes of modules or groups of modules valid for the award for which the student is registered or with those required by programmeme learning outcomes.

The University may recognize credit or credit equivalence from a successful study in the other UK and overseas institutions which can then contribute towards the University's awards. Such study may have been completed before or be undertaken in parallel with a student's registration at the University.

Students who are registered for an award and undertake a period of study outside of the UK which is assessed by another institution may transfer the credit achieved towards the University award.

All decisions to recognize credit awarded by, or certificated by an external institution or body will be reported to the relevant examining board and identified against the relevant module/s. This will be identified as recognized certificated learning (accredited learning) on the student's certificate of credit.

An applicant for the recognition of external prior certificated learning (accredited learning) may receive credit through University recognition of the following if supported by verifiable evidence:

  • credit awarded by other Higher Education Institutions;
  • qualifications or credit awarded by recognized agencies (e.g. professional bodies or other awarding bodies).

Applicants to a programmeme or award may wish to transfer credit achieved elsewhere or seek University recognition of certificated learning to contribute credit to the award. Faculties must have procedures in place to verify such credit or learning before it can be formally recognized and recorded as contributing to the requirements of the UWE award.

Registered students who wish to apply for recognition of prior certificated learning (accredited learning) or prior experiential learning (accredited experiential learning) as contributing credit towards their credit total for an award are required to apply to the relevant faculty.

Credit awarded for prior certificated learning (accredited learning) will not:

  • carry marks or grades awarded by another institution;
  • carry marks achieved under study and assessment under the University's assessment regulations;
  • be used to gain an award in its entirety.

Marks or grades used in the prior certificated learning (accredited learning) process will not be shown on the University of the West of England Notification of Credit and Assessment Marks, nor will they be used in the calculation for honors or another differential level of award.

Further information in the link: GCET APL POLICY 27-3.pdf

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