Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning

Get credit where credit is due with Macquarie’s Recognition of Prior Learning

You’ve worked hard to get where you are – whether that’s through prior study, work experience or community involvement. At Macquarie, we recognise all of the different elements that come together to make you you.

With our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy, you could get credit for all that hard work, reducing the duration of your course and freeing you up to get to your future sooner. We’ll review your previous learning experiences – whether they’re formal qualifications or other types of non-formal and informal learning. You could get a head start for both entry into and credit towards your course.

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

Types of learning

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, a university, TAFE, or private college).

Examples of officially accredited qualifications include:

  • Diplomas
  • Advanced Diplomas
  • Associate Degrees
  • Bachelor Degrees
  • Postgraduate Degrees

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

Evidence of formal learning

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

Official Transcripts A copy of your official transcripts for all relevant previous studies, including any currently enrolled units you intend to complete prior to commencing at Macquarie. Contact your previous institution to obtain a copy of your official transcripts.
Enrolment Advice If any of your currently enrolled units that you intend to complete prior to commencing at Macquarie are not listed on your transcripts, an official enrolment advice should be provided. Contact your current institution to obtain an official enrolment advice.
Unit Outlines Detailed unit guides or outlines (or course syllabus) must be provided for each unit on your transcript 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.

RPL assessment criteria

In assessing your prior learning, consideration is given to the following currency and relevancy criteria:

Currency

Prior formal learning attained within ten years of the date of application for credit will generally be considered current.

Relevancy

Prior 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 webpage.
  • your prior learning is assessed as equivalent in depth and breadth.

Articulation and credit transfer arrangements

Macquarie has developed many articulation arrangements based on qualifications from other institutions - please 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.

Macquarie has also assessed a number of individual units from other institutions for equivalency to Macquarie units - please check the Credit Transfer Register for unit equivalencies.

Assessment of Overseas Qualifications

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

Applying for a PACE unit on the basis of completing a PACE-like unit at another institution

If you are seeking credit for a PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) unit on the basis of completing a PACE-like unit at another institution, please kindly 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 PACE RPL Form and the information provided therein.

Informal and non-formal learning

Informal Learning is gained through work, social, family, hobby or leisure activities and experiences. Informal Learning 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.

Evidence of informal / non-formal learning

In order to obtain entry or credit at Macquarie based on informal or non-formal learning, a statement and documentary evidence must be provided to support your claim.  Evidence needs to document your prior learning and demonstrate either:

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

Documentary evidence for informal and non-formal learning needs to include:

  • Up to date curriculum vitae
  • 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.

Some other 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 employment position descriptions
  • Letters/documents from clients, verifying work activities
  • Copies of documents you have completed as part of your work (eg. budgets, reports, memos, spreadsheets, 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.

RPL assessment criteria

Currency

Prior informal/non-formal learning attained within ten years of the date of application for admission and/or credit, will generally be considered current.

Relevancy 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.
Relevancy 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(s) of the degree - learning outcomes and other information for Macquarie University units are available through the Unit Guide webpage.
  • your prior learning is assessed as equivalent in depth and breadth.

Applying for a PACE unit on the basis of non-formal/informal learning

If you are seeking credit for a PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) unit on the basis of completing non-formal/informal learning such as work experience, please kindly provide the following documentation along with your RPL request:

  • An up-to-date 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); and
  • 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 PACE RPL Form and the information provided therein.

How to apply

Domestic students

RPL Steps Graphic

Undergraduate RPL

Requests for RPL towards undergraduate courses at Macquarie should be submitted via the online RPL Application form prior to commencement of session (see deadlines below). Direct offers via a pathway articulation will have their RPL granted based on the pathway.

Postgraduate RPL

New Domestic students are assessed for RPL towards postgraduate courses at the point of application for admission. It is important that you include relevant documentation for your prior qualifications, work experience and other recognised prior learning with your application so RPL can be assessed.

An admission point may provide entry to either a 2-year, 1.5-year, or 1-year version of your course, as applicable. A one year Masters will not be eligible for further RPL. A minimum of 80 credit points at 8000 level must be completed at Macquarie University to be awarded the degree.

Further RPL (post-admission)

Once admitted to your course, you may apply for further RPL via the online application form prior to commencement of your studies and before enrolling in the unit(s) for which you are seeking credit. The following deadlines apply, depending on your starting session.

Application deadlines

These deadlines are set to allow sufficient time for processing your RPL request before start of session and to give you enough time to modify your unit selections (if required) before the last day for enrolment:

Starting Session RPL Deadline Session Start Date Last Day to Enrol
Session 3 2020Monday 16 NovemberMonday 30 NovemberSunday 13 December
Session 1 2021Monday 8 FebruaryMonday 22 FebruarySunday 7 March
Term based studyTwo weeks prior to the term start dateRefer to the Calendar of dates

* RPL requests submitted by the submission dates are normally completed within 7 to 10 business days, during peak periods it can take up to 20 business days. Some requests may take longer to process due to the complex nature of RPL assessment.

Summary

Identify

Read the information on formal and non-formal/informal learning above

If you believe you meet the requirements, please review what documentation will be required and how it will be assessed.

Check

Understand your Macquarie degree requirements by checking the Handbook

If any of the required units for your chosen Macquarie degree are similar to your prior learning, you can apply for "specified credit"

Alternatively, you may apply for "unspecified credit" which will reduce the elective component of your chosen Macquarie degree.

Gather

What will I need?

You will be required to upload evidence of prior learning as part of your application - so you need to have all your supporting evidence ready before you start the online application process. Please read the information on this page which details the required documentation for formal and non-formal/informal learning.

Submit

Submit a Recognition of Prior Learning  Request

Don't forget to attach copies of all relevant supporting documentation to support your claim.

Assess

Macquarie will assess your application

We will notify you of the outcome of your assessment via your nominated email address.

Before you apply, have you.....

  1. checked the Handbook and Unit Guide?
  1. collected all your supporting documents?

Apply for recognition of prior learning

Enquiries

Student Connect
18 Wally's Walk, Level 2  MUSE
Tel: +61 (2) 9850.6410
Online:  AskMQ

International students

Prospective international students should request an RPL assessment as part of their application for admission. Further information is provided below.

RPL process diagram

Undergraduate RPL

For undergraduate international students, RPL is assessed at the point of application for admission. You will need to indicate that you wish to be considered for RPL on your application form. If your course has majors or specialisations, you must also nominate which one you intend to study to ensure you are considered for all relevant credit.

To enable us to assess you for RPL, you will generally need to provide additional supporting documentation as outlined in the sections above on formal and informal/non-formal learning (eg, unit outlines for any relevant subjects you completed in your previous studies).

Applying for formal articulations

If applying for an articulation listed on the Articulations Register, additional documentation is generally not required. However, you must indicate that you wish to be considered for RPL on your application form in order to be assessed for the relevant credit.

Postgraduate RPL

As part of the standard application process for international students, you will be assessed for admission to the appropriate duration (or admission point) of your postgraduate course. Assessment is based on your prior qualifications and experience and the study preferences you have indicated on your application form.

An admission point may provide entry to either a 2-year, 1.5-year, or 1-year version of your course, as applicable. A one year Masters will not be eligible for further RPL. A minimum of 80 credit points at 8000 level must be completed at Macquarie University to be awarded the degree.

Additional supporting documentation may be required to consider you for a shorter admission point – refer to Coursefinder for details.

Applying for formal articulations

If applying for an articulation listed on the Articulations Register, additional documentation is generally not required. However, you must indicate that you wish to be considered for RPL on your application form in order to be assessed for the relevant credit.

Further RPL (post-admission)

Once admitted to your course, you may apply for other RPL via the online application form prior to commencement of your studies. You will need to take the following deadlines into consideration, depending on your starting session.

These deadlines are set to allow sufficient time for processing your RPL request before start of session and to give you enough time to modify your unit selections (if required) before the last day for enrolment:

Starting Session RPL deadline Session Start Date Last Day to Enrol
Session 2 2020Monday 13 July Monday 27 JulySunday 9 August
Session 3 2020Monday 16 NovemberMonday 30 NovemberSunday 13 December
Session 1 2021Monday 8 FebruaryMonday 22 FebruarySunday 7 March

RPL requests are normally completed within 7 to 10 business days but can take up to 20 business days during peak periods. Complex RPL requests may take longer to process.

Summary

Identify

Read the information on formal and non-formal/informal learning above

If you believe you meet the requirements, review what documentation will be required and how it will be assessed.

Check

Check the Articulations Register and the Credit Transfer Register

If your previous qualifications aren't listed on the registers, you may still be assessed for credit. Check your Macquarie degree requirements on the Handbook and Unit Guide website for more detailed information about each required unit. If any of your degree's required units are similar to your prior learning, you can be considered for specified credit. You will also be considered for unspecified credit towards the elective component of your degree.

Gather

Gather your documentation

You will be required to upload evidence of your prior learning as part of your application, so you need to have all your supporting documents ready before you start the online application process. Please review the sections above on formal and informal/non-formal learning for detailed descriptions of required documentation.

Submit

Submit your application for admission

Tick 'Yes' in the section asking if you want to apply for RPL and make sure to attach copies of all required documentation to support your request.

Assess

Macquarie International will assess your application for admission and RPL

We will notify you of the outcome of your application via your nominated email address.

Before you apply, have you...

  1. Checked the Articulations Register and/or the Credit Transfer Register?
  2. Checked the Handbook and Unit Guide?
  3. Collected all your supporting documents?

Enquiries

Macquarie International
10 Macquarie Walk, Ground Floor
Tel: +61 2 9850 7346
Enquiry form

Rescinding credit

To rescind RPL credit, the request must be academically justified and forms part of an academic success intervention strategy. Requests must be received within the RPL application deadlines provided in the above table.

Important Notice
  1. The information set out in this publication is an indication only and does not guarantee entry into a course of study.
  2. Regardless of the nature or amount of RPL granted, any specific requirements of a course must be fulfilled.
  3. The final decision on whether to offer admission and RPL into a course of study resides with the University and depends on factors such as the currency and relevancy of any prior learning and the supporting evidence provided. The maximum amount of RPL that can be granted for particular qualifications is determined in accordance with the Schedule of Equivalencies and the Schedule of Minimum Requirements at Macquarie.
  4. The information contained in this publication is correct at the time of publication and the University reserves the right to make alterations to any information contained within this publication without notice.
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