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Recognising your experience and previous learning

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the process of formally recognising the knowledge you have gained through your experience and through any previous formal or informal study.

You can use this recognition to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. You might also use it to help gain your place on one of our courses.

You must demonstrate how you have learned from your experiences - recognition is not given simply for gaining the experience itself. The learning you are demonstrating will also need to be at the same level, or above, as the qualification you are planning to study.

There are two ways to qualify for RPL.

  • Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning - you will need to demonstrate relevant learning you have gained through your life and work experiences.
  • Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning - you will need to provide evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained and undergone formal assessment at college or university.

We will provide support and guidance to help you through whichever process is relevant to you. 

How do I apply for RPL?

To gain credits in recognition of your previous experience, you will need to complete this online application form.

Could I be eligible for RPL?

There are lots of ways you could qualify for RPL. It could be beneficial if you

  • want to improve upon your existing qualifications
  • are looking to retrain or change careers
  • have been out of the education system for a long time and lack formal qualifications or confidence, but want to use your previous experience to contribute to a qualification at Sheffield Hallam.
  • want to use your experience to gain a qualification and help progress your career
  • are unemployed and looking for a way to demonstrate your learning to prospective employers

The type of learning that could be recognised includes

  • study at a college, higher education institution or other learning and training provider
  • non-formal learning or training in the workplace, or community-based learning
  • skills and knowledge gained through volunteering or activities or projects in your community
  • extra-curricular activities at school

From October 2017, a standard charge of £50 per application will be applied for recognition of prior learning at postgraduate level. No charge will be made for undergraduate applications.

This charge will be applicable for all applications relating to experiential learning. For applications relating to prior certified learning, the charge is only applicable in relation to non-Sheffield Hallam credit, with no charge being made where a student has previous credit from Sheffield Hallam.

The charge is payable at the 'expression of interest' stage of the application and is non-refundable.

Find out more

To find out more about our RPL process please contact admissions on 0114 225 5555.

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