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We know that you might already have some experience which is related to your studies when you join the University. This might be because you studied something to a similar level, or you have a lot of work experience that is related to your studies. We will take this into account, and it might mean that you don’t need to study a particular module if we can recognise this part of the course as already completed.
We don’t want you to learn the same thing twice, so you will need to apply for this before you join us. In some cases we recognise that you may not have understood the skills you already have, so we may be able to look at this after you have joined us. To help us give you the best experience, this will need to be done within the first 2 weeks of starting your study.
If you are studying on a course with professional body requirements, such as Nursing, we may not be able to apply the procedure. This is because some professional bodies need you to demonstrate all of your learning and skills as part of your course before you can be awarded. If this applies to you, you can find more information in your course handbook.
We want to recognise the value of your previous study or work experience and give your achievements the recognition they deserve. You may be able to receive a reduction in the cost of studying.
You might have taken additional courses or worked in an area for a long time, and this might give you experience in some of the modules, classes or assessments that you will be doing while studying with us. If this is the case then we’d like to know, and you may not need to do these modules if this is the case.
We will assess your experience with you. If the experience is because of courses that you’ve done, this is called recognising previous study. If it’s through employment or volunteering, this is recognising previous experience.
This process is not about giving additional recognition to lower level qualifications or experience that you have used to gain entry to the University, such as A Levels or BTECs. It is to recognise experience and learning equal to the level at which you will be studying with us.
You might have enough experience or learning that means you can start at a higher level of your course than normal.
This means that you won’t need to study a large part of your course, because we will recognise that you have already achieved this learning.
If we recognise that you have some experience or learning that can be used toward your course, we will confirm that you have passed this without having to study it.
This is something that you will need to discuss when you apply to study with us, so that we can make arrangements for you to join at the right point. We do this through the Admissions Policy.
We have set out a table below to show you the maximum credit you can request. This may be different if you are studying on a professional course and you should check your Course Handbook for more information. Please note that course structures based on 20/40 credit modules have been taken into consideration in the below table. We can’t give you credit for part of a module, only for full modules.
Maximum amount of Recognised Previous Experience and Learning on Staffordshire University Courses
60 credits at Level 6 or above
30 credits at Level 6 or above
120 credits with at least 90 at Level 6
60 at Level 6
120 credits with at least 60 at Level 5
120 credits including at least 60 at Level 5
60 credits at Level 4 or above
160 credits with at least 90 credits at level 7
60 credits at Level 7 (including the Dissertation)
60 credits at Level 7
30 credits at Level 7
Credit bearing doctoral awards (e.g. DBA, EdD,
360 credits at level 8
This enables students to advance onto further stages of a course where they have already gained the experience needed for that level. It also enables the University to demonstrate the value of our awards in the same way for students coming in with previous experience, and those without that experience.
You can count your previous learning only once and you can only use a maximum of 30 credits from a completed award towards an award at the same level. On courses with 20/40 credit modules, the maximum you can use is 20 credits. So, if you have a BSc (Hons) degree, you can only reuse a maximum of 30 credits from that award towards another degree.
You can use learning that you’ve previously gained to contribute to a higher-level award. For example, if you have a Certificate of Higher Education, you could use appropriate credits from that award towards an Honours degree.
We can only formally recognise previous learning if it’s equal to a full module.
You can normally request credit for any appropriate learning carried out within the last 5 years. We set this deadline to make sure that your previous learning is up to date and relevant.
Your previous experience and learning will contribute towards the amount of credit you need to achieve your award. We call this exempted credit.
We will only use module marks from your current study with Staffordshire University to work out your degree classification.
Requests should be made before your course starts. You will need to speak to our Admissions and Enquiries team if you wish to request credit in this way. They can pass your request on to your Course Leader. If you need to ask for this after your course starts, you will need to speak directly to your Course or Module Leader.
Your Course or Module Leader will discuss this with you and look at your evidence. If they are in support, they will complete a mapping document and application.
To help us give you the best experience, you need to tell us about your previous learning within the first 2 weeks of starting study. You will need to continue with your study on the module whilst we decide on your request in case this isn’t supported.
There is usually no charge for this process, unless we need to inspect a lot of non-standard certificated evidence.
Requests should be made before your course starts, and you will need to speak to our Admissions and Enquiries team. They can pass your request on to your Course Leader. If you need to ask for this after your course starts, you’ll need to speak directly to your Course or Module Leader.
Your Course or Module Leader will discuss this with you and look at your evidence. If they are in support, they will complete a mapping document and will ask you to complete an assessment so that you can demonstrate your learning from your experience. This is normally a portfolio assessment, and the normal School moderation process will be used when assessing this.
In order to ensure that we can fully assess your experience there will be a charge for this assessment, please refer to the Tuition Fee Policy for the most up to date information.
So that we can assess your previous learning or experience you will need to provide evidence of the learning or experience that you want us to recognise. You will need to ensure that all evidence is translated into English if necessary.
For previous study we will need to see evidence of your certificates or achievements.
You will need to provide evidence if you want us to recognise your previous experience. We may also ask you to complete an assessment to demonstrate the learning you have taken from your experience.
Your School will look at everything that you have provided. We will need to make sure that you have evidence of an appropriate match between your previous study or experience, and the Staffordshire University module, or modules you are requesting credit for. When we are doing this, we will check both the content and the level of your experience and learning.
We will also look at:
Each decision will be made on a case-by-case basis. We will map your previous experience or learning against what you will need to prove that you’ve learned to complete a stage, level or module on the course.
If you are an applicant on a Higher or Degree apprenticeship course, you will be required to undertake an Initial Needs Assessment (INA). This will help us to identify your prior learning and experience.
The INA will look at evidence and compare this with the outcomes of knowledge, skills and behaviours expected for the course. We might use this evidence to reduce how long you need to study on your course, and also the cost of the course.
If your apprenticeship course includes a validated university award, such as a Bachelors or Foundation degree, your prior learning will be looked at using this recognising your previous experience and learning policy.
You may be studying on a Staffordshire University course which is delivered by one of our partners. You will be notified where this is the case, during your application and when you receive your offer.
If you are studying a Staffordshire University course at another college or provider, you should contact them to understand how you should submit your request and who will make the decision.
If this is a decision that has been made during your application, or for recognition for a whole level, you can use the Admissions complaints process.
If this is a decision that has been made relating to individual modules once you have enrolled, you can appeal if you feel that there has been an error or irregularity in the process. We will consider your appeal using the University Complaints and Appeals Procedure.
If you are studying on a course which has a progression agreement with a Staffordshire University course, your education provider will tell you about this and explain how the agreement works.
Students progressing to Staffordshire University under these arrangements are not required to complete a request for recognition of previous learning. The volume of credit in How much credit can I get on my course? applies.