Recognition of Prior Learning

What is RPL?

RPL is a process that allows you to gain admission to a programme of study or to gain exemptions/credit from some parts of a programme, based on demonstrated learning that you may have achieved through another programme of study, or through work or other learning experiences.   

RPL recognizes that knowledge and skills can be acquired from a range of learning experiences, including formal, non-formal and informal and may reduce the time and cost of study involved in completing a programme of study.

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 (i.e. into year 2 or year 3)
  • 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

University Policy

You can download the University'sRPL policy

Applying for RPL 

RPL Student Guidebook

The Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development have produced an RPL Student Handbook that you may find useful.

RPL Application Form

You will need to complete an RPL application form when requesting exemptions; please contact your course co-ordinator/administrator to request this form.

For further information in relation to the Recognition of Prior Learning for your programme of choice, please contact your programme coordinator.