Recognition of prior learning
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Recognition of prior learning (RPL) was previously known as credit recognition.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) acknowledges the skills and knowledge that you’ll bring to your studies at UTS through previous education or employment experience. Formerly known as credit recognition, recognition of prior learning is still sometimes referred to as this, as well as advanced standing.
If you receive a UTS offer of enrolment, and you've undertaken previous studies at another institution, you may be eligible to apply for recognition of prior learning. UTS doesn't determine recognition of prior learning until an offer of enrolment is accepted.
For more information please call 1300 275 887, or send an enquiry online.
Assessment of prior learning
To be granted recognition of prior learning, your previous education or employment must be assessed as being equivalent to the UTS subject outlined in the Credit Recognition Policy and Procedures. This assessment will take into account each of the following:
- currency of knowledge
- relevance of your previous learning
- learning outcomes
- volume of learning
- content of study, and
- learning and assessment approaches of your previous learning.
Prior learning can be recognised only once in any individual UTS course. This means that prior learning considered as equivalent to a specific UTS subject(s) or other course component, can’t be recognised again for another subject or course component in that course. Prior learning may also be recognised through a process of subject substitution, where a student doesn’t have to complete a subject and an alternative subject(s) of equivalent credit point value is added to their study plan.
Process and types of prior learning
Recognition of prior learning can be determined by:
- Articulation: via established agreements outlined in the Recognition of prior learning tool, which details arrangements for recognition of prior learning with external tertiary institutions, or
- Case by case recognition of prior learning following the submission of a recognition of prior learning application and assessment of previous education or employment.
Recognition of prior learning may be granted as either specified credit, or unspecified credit:
- specified credit (also known as subject exemption): where the prior learning is considered equivalent to a specific UTS subject
- unspecified credit (also known as unspecified elective/general advanced standing): where the prior learning is not considered equivalent to a specific UTS subject. Unspecified credit may be approved to count towards an elective component of a UTS course.
Timeframe for applications
If you’re a domestic student, your application for recognition of prior learning should be made after you receive a course offer, prior to your initial enrolment. Applications are processed with the recognition of prior learning being approved on enrolment, or at the latest, before the end of the second week of the session to allow for any adjustments to your study plan.
For late UAC offers, applications for recognition of prior learning should be submitted at the time of your enrolment or as soon as possible after enrolment, but no later than one week after the start of the teaching session.
If you’re an international student, you'll need to consider the impact of recognition of prior learning on your overall course duration, and the requirements of your student visa. Application for recognition of prior learning must be made at the point of applying for your UTS course.
We'll endeavour to process the application prior to issuing your Letter of Offer. If the duration of the UTS course changes due to recognition of prior learning, the Letter of Offer will state the revised duration of the course. The Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) issued to you for the purpose of obtaining a student visa, will also reflect the revised duration of the course. Where sufficient information is not available to assess an application at the point of offer, recognition may be approved after the offer is issued.
Applications for recognition of prior learning made after the first session of study will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and must be supported by a written statement. The statement must include full disclosure of any previous applications and reasons why subsequent applications should be considered.
How to apply for recognition of prior learning
Start by researching potential recognition of prior learning through faculty websites (specific guidelines and requirements including recognition limits or published precedents) and the Recognition of prior learning tool for pre-determined recognition of prior learning arrangements. A list of faculty websites is provided below to assist you:
- Design, Architecture and Building
- Information Technology
Research and compare UTS subjects with our previous study content and learning outcomes.
Complete the Application for recognition of prior learning (PDF, 404kB).
Attach your certified official academic records (transcripts) and qualifications, along with any documentary evidence that may support your application. This includes, but is not limited to
- Subject outlines - must include topics covered, class hours, type of assessment, textbooks used and note the year in which the relevant subjects were completed.
Some Faculties may also request a:
- Comparison table - must match the details of the completed previous study with the details of the UTS subject for which recognition is being sought (subject learning objectives, content and assessment).
- Portfolio - must showcase previous work like design or multimedia projects, drawing or photography.
All students, except postgraduate students undertaking online degrees, are required to submit their application forms and documentation at our our Student Centre.
Note: Any recognition of prior learning granted may not meet the accreditation requirements of professional bodies and organisations. Please seek advice from the accreditation body on whether the basis for the awarding of prior learning still meets their requirements.
Official academic record (transcript)
Your official academic record (transcript) must be certified and sighted as a true copy of the original by one of the authorised offices:
- UTS Student Centre
- a Justice of the Peace where the registration number is clearly indicated (opens an external site)
- Australian Overseas Diplomatic Mission
- UTS Authorised Representative or Agent
- Public Notary Office
- the Administration of the Institution which issued the relevant document.
Documents not in English
Any documents that aren’t in English must be officially translated and submitted together with certified copies of supporting documents. Officers authorised to translate official documents into English include:
- NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators & Interpreters) accredited translators (opens an external site)
- a translator from a reputable translation company in your home country - please note that the translated documents must have an official (translation) seal and be signed by the translator
- an official translation from the institution that issued the document
- UTS registered student recruitment agents.
The comparison table must outline the subject match between the prior learning, e.g. completed subjects/units of study and the UTS subject(s) for which recognition is being sought. UTS subject details can be found in UTS Handbook.
|UTS SUBJECT NUMBER AND NAME||PRior learning INSTITUTION SUBJECT NUMBER AND NAME|
|List of subject learning objectives||Match the relevant previous study objectives to UTS subject learning objectives and provide a detailed statement of achieved learning outcomes|
|List of subject content||Match the relevant previous subject content to UTS subject content and explain the similarities between individual topics|
|List of subject assessments||Match the relevant previous assessment items to UTS subject assessments and show how they are similar|
Recognition of prior learning based on employment should compare a UTS subject's learning objectives with your competencies. It must also demonstrate your understanding of the UTS subject content.
Please note: All documents submitted with recognition of prior learning application become the property of UTS.
Transferring UTS students
If you've applied for an internal course transfer by submitting an online application form via My Student Admin, then your previously completed subjects including recognition of prior learning will be automatically transferred into your new course.
If you've applied for a new course via UAC or by submitting a direct application, then you'll need to a request a recognition of prior learning assessment after your offer release.
Please note that you may not be able to use all of your previous credit in your new degree, as the new course may have a different course structure.
Advice to applicants
You will be officially notified in writing via your UTS webmail account of the outcome of your recognition of prior learning applications.
The timeframe for a recognition of prior learning assessment may vary, depending on the complexity of the assessment of your prior learning or previous qualifications. However, we aim to contact you regarding your assessment within four to six weeks of submitting your application.
Review of decision
You may request a review of the decision made in relation to an application for recognition of prior learning in accordance with Rule 6.2.
The application for review must be lodged at the Student Centre within 20 working days of the original notification of decision.
How do I appeal the recognition of prior learning decision?
- To appeal the decision, you must complete a new Application for recognition of prior learning (PDF, 404kB)
- In your new application, please provide a personal statement that includes full disclosure of any previous applications and the reasons as to why this appeal should be considered
- If appealing the outcome of subject equivalence, you must provide additional documents that are separate from any documents that you may have already provided to the University. These documents may include a more detailed subject outline, subject notes, weekly activity breakdown etc. and comparison table. The subject comparison table must outline similarities between the completed subject and a UTS subject learning objectives, content and assessment for which recognition is being sought.
- If your appeal relates to a ruling from the recognition of prior learning policy, procedures or specific Faculty rules, you must submit a statutory declaration explaining why your circumstances should be considered, as well as provide relevant supporting documentation where applicable.
Note: All documents submitted with this application become the property of UTS.
Cancellation of recognition of prior learning
If you wish to rescind a recognition of prior learning that has already been approved, submit an eRequest and a reason for the cancellation. Your request will be assessed in relation to your course structure and course progression.