Recognition of Prior Learning

Information for Staff

Assessing certificated learning applications

In assessing learning accredited at another Higher Education Institute, the following information should be considered:

  • Knowledge of the former institution.
  • The previous academic record/transcript, including the name of the course or programme of study and NQAI level.
  • Syllabus and course description, learning outcomes, number of contact hours, form of assessment(s). Where an application applies to a module(s), this information should be assessed for each module.
  • Time elapsed since prior learning was achieved.
  • Advances in the relevant field(s) of study.
  • Does the learning relate to specific UCD modules?

In assessing applications relating to learning previously accredited at UCD, such applications are normally submitted as part of a transfer application where the modules do not automatically map to the programme a student is transferring into. Alternately, they may relate to UCD pre-modular achievement credits. In such cases, the following information should be considered:

  • The official UCD transcript.
  • Module/Course title, code and credit value.
  • Grade/Mark awarded on completion of the module/course.
  • Time elapsed since prior learning was achieved.
  • Advances in the relevant field(s) of study.
  • Does the learning relate to specific UCD modules in the new programme?

Assessing experiential learning applications

Applicants are advised of a number of approaches to mapping and assessing prior experiential learning in order to demonstrate learning outcomes. They are asked to provide information according to the following areas:

  • Future learning plan and the role of RPL in this.
    • What is your main reason for considering third level education now and how best would RPL contribute to this?
  • Life/work experience, including experience and skills gained through volunteerism/care work.
  • Education details: second level and any subsequent education and training courses undertaken, including work-related training
  • Other achievements, including awards or prizes or publications.

They are further advised that they may also be required to do one or more of the following:

  • Complete a portfolio of evidence,
  • Attend at an interview,
  • Undertake a simulation/practical exercise,
  • Undertake a diagnostic test(s),
  • Complete a piece of work or special assignment,
  • Produce an artefact.

In assessing experiential learning applications, the following questions should be considered:

  • How much experience does the applicant have and in what roles?
  • What is their identified skill set?
  • What evidence is provided? What information is provided through references?
  • What training have they attended and when?
  • What learning outcomes have been met based on their prior learning?
  • How relevant is their experience to the UCD programme of study (including specific modules)?
  • To what extent do their learning outcomes apply to the current UCD programme of study (including specific modules on the current curriculum)?
  • Does the learning relate to specific UCD core/option/elective modules?
  • What period of time has elapsed since the prior learning was achieved?
  • What advances have been made in the relevant field(s) of study?

Notifying applicants of decision

Applicants should be informed of the RPL outcome/status of their application within four weeks of submission.


Useful resources