Get credit where credit is due

You’ve worked hard to get where you are – whether that’s through prior study, work and other learning experiences.

With Macquarie’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy you could get credit for all that hard work. We recognise formal qualifications as well as informal learning. RPL reduces the duration and cost of your course so you can get to your future sooner.

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Prior learning types

We consider two main forms of prior learning for potential credit.

Formal learning

Formal learning is part of a structured program that leads to the full or partial achievement of an officially accredited qualification undertaken at a tertiary institution (eg university, TAFE or private college).

Examples of officially accredited qualifications include:

  • diplomas and advanced diplomas
  • associate degrees, bachelor and postgraduate degrees.

To be assessed for credit based on formal learning, you will need to supply the following items.

  1. Official transcripts: a copy of your official transcripts for all relevant previous studies, and new international students should include any currently enrolled units you intend to complete prior to commencing at Macquarie University. Contact your previous institution to obtain a copy of your official transcripts.
  2. Enrolment advice: if you are a new international student and if any of your currently enrolled units that you intend to complete prior to commencing at Macquarie are not listed on your transcripts, official enrolment advice should be provided. Contact your current institution to obtain official enrolment advice.
  3. Unit outlines: detailed unit guides (also known as unit outlines, course guides, outlines, and syllabi) must be provided for each unit on your transcript that you wish to have assessed for credit. Unit guides should normally include information on the course content covered, learning outcomes, required readings and assessment methods. Unit outlines are not required if you are applying for an articulation listed on the Articulations register.

Note: Supporting documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation .

In our assessment, consideration is given to prior learning that is:

  • Current. Formal learning attained within ten years of the date of application for credit will generally be considered current.
  • Relevant. Formal learning will be considered relevant where there is evidence to demonstrate that:
    • you have achieved a quality and standard of learning equivalent to tertiary studies at an appropriate level
    • you have attained the learning outcomes of specific unit/s of the degree. Learning outcomes and other information for Macquarie University units are available through the Unit Guide
    • your prior learning was equivalent in discipline content, depth and breadth.

Macquarie has assessed several individual units from other institutions for equivalency to Macquarie units. Check the Credit Transfer register for unit equivalencies.

Macquarie has developed many articulation arrangements based on qualifications from other institutions. Check the Articulations register for existing arrangements.

If you are applying for an articulation arrangement listed on the register, you do not need to provide unit outlines. Only your transcripts and enrolment advice will be needed as your qualification has already been pre-assessed for credit. If required, contact your Admissions Officer for further information.

Macquarie assesses overseas qualifications using Australian Government guidelines to determine their comparability to qualifications on the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

If you are seeking credit for a PACE unit based on completing a PACE-like unit at another institution, you will need to provide the following documentation along with your RPL request:

  • official academic transcript
  • official and detailed unit outline of your prior unit
  • a completed PACE RPL form for each of the units that you are seeking as specified credit. You may need to submit additional documentation to support the information in your form.
  • your current CV
  • letter/s of reference written on official letterhead from current or past employers (including direct supervisors), verifying your knowledge, skills, duration of service and experience
  • position description/s
  • a completed PACE RPL form for each of the units that you are seeking as specified credit. You may need to submit additional documentation to support the information in your form.

If you are seeking credit for a PACE unit based on completing non-formal/informal learning such as work experience, please kindly provide the following documentation along with your RPL request:

  • your current CV
  • letter/s of reference written on official letterhead from current or past employers (including direct supervisors), verifying your knowledge, skills, duration of service and experience
  • position description/s
  • a completed PACE RPL form for each of the units that you are seeking as specified credit. You may need to submit additional documentation to support the information in your form.

Informal and non-formal learning

Informal learning is gained through work, social and family experiences. It is not organised or externally structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support.

Non-formal learning takes place through a structured program of learning but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification.

To obtain entry or credit at Macquarie based on informal/non-formal learning, a statement and documentary evidence must be provided to support your claim.

Evidence needs to document your prior learning and demonstrate one or both of the following:

  • a standard of learning required for admission to your specified Macquarie degree program
  • achievement of the specific learning outcomes of the unit/s for which credit is sought.

Documentary evidence needs to include:

  1. your current CV
  2. letter/s of reference written on official letterhead from current or past employers (including direct supervisors), verifying your knowledge, skills, duration of service and experience.
  3. position description/s
  4. a completed informal/non-formal credit application form for each of the units that you wish to receive credit for.

Some examples of evidence that can be submitted:

  • certificates and statements of attainment from courses sponsored by employers or professional bodies, including information about the course of study
  • results from other non-accredited courses from various education and training providers (eg MOOCs), including outlines of any units studied
  • employment history and position descriptions
  • letters of reference from employers (including direct supervisors) verifying your knowledge, skills and experience
  • letters or documents from clients, verifying work activities
  • copies of documents you have completed as part of your work (eg budgets, reports, memos, spread sheets, estimates etc)
  • details of community activities involving significant responsibilities
  • samples, photographs or videos of your work that are related to the credit sought.

In some cases, students may be required to perform a challenge test to further demonstrate their prior learning.

You can find more information and definitions of RPL in the Macquarie University RPL Policy.

In our assessment, consideration is given to prior learning that is:

  • Current. Prior informal/non-formal learning attained within ten years of the date of application, will generally be considered current.
  • Relevant for admission. Prior informal/non-formal learning will be considered relevant for admission where:
    • there is evidence to demonstrate that you have achieved a standard of learning which is comparable to the admission requirements of your selected Macquarie degree
    • you demonstrate competency and readiness for tertiary studies.
  • Relevant for credit. Prior informal/non-formal learning will be considered relevant for credit where there is evidence to demonstrate that:
    • you have achieved a quality and standard of learning equivalent to tertiary studies at an appropriate level
    • you have attained the learning outcomes of a specific unit or units and/or stage of the degree program. Learning outcomes and other information for Macquarie University units are available through the Unit Guide
    • your prior learning was equivalent in discipline content, depth and breadth.

Contact us

Domestic student enquiries

Student Connect

18 Wally’s Walk, Level 2 MUSE

T: +61 (2) 9850 6410

E: ask.mq.edu.au

International student enquiries

Macquarie International

10 Macquarie Walk, Ground Floor

T: +61 2 9850 7346

E: ask.mq.edu.au

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Last updated: 19 Oct 2022