Recognition of Prior Learning
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process that allows students to gain admission to a programme of study or to gain exemptions/credit from some parts of a programme, based on demonstrated learning achieved prior to admission. NUI Galway recognises that knowledge and skills can be acquired from a range of learning experiences. This is in line with the National Qualifications Framework goals which aim to recognise all learning achievements by supporting the development of alternative pathways to qualifications (or awards) and by facilitating the recognition of prior learning.
The purpose of RPL is to expand access to educational programmes and qualifications for people previously lacking formal qualifications and to reduce the time and cost of programmes for people who already possess some of the knowledge, skills and competences which a programme seeks to develop in learners.
The University's Recognition of Prior Learning policy can be downloaded here: RPL policy
What is RPL?
RPL stands for ’Recognition of Prior Learning’. Its purpose is to give formal acknowledgement to past, or prior, learning relevant to a programme of study at NUI Galway. NUI Galway recognises that knowledge and skills can be acquired from a range of learning experiences, including formal, non-formal and informal.
What is Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL)?
Recognition of Prior Certified Learning is where a learner has already been awarded certification for a formal programme taken at another institution or training organisation.
What is Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL)?
Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning involves the awarding of credit for learning from experience, i.e. learning which has not previously been academically accredited. In this case, the learner must prove that the required learning outcomes have been achieved.
What can RPL be used for?
RPL can be used for
- admission to a programme of study where the standard entry requirements are not met
- advanced entry to a programme of study
- transfer from one programme of study to another within the University
- transfer from an external programme of study to a programme within NUI Galway
- the award of exemptions on a programme of study where it is proved that the learning outcomes have already been achieved
Applying for RPL
RPL Student Guidebook
The University has produced an RPL Student Guide Book that you may find useful.
RPL Application Form
When applying for RPL you may complete an RPL application form and submit it with your programme of study application form.
For further information in relation to the Recognition of Prior Learning for your programme of choice, please contact your programme coordinator.