Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is the term used to describe the system for giving formal recognition to a range of relevant learning that you may have gained prior to entry onto a particular course. With recognition of prior learning, the focus is on learning and not on experience as such.
RPL can be used For:
Advanced entry to a programme of study (Year 2 ,3 or 4)
Gaining exemption from a module or modules within a programme of study
Learning can be Formal, Non-formal or Informal:
Formal learning (Accredited) is learning which has taken place in a higher education institution. It is linked to the National Framework of Qualifications. It is learning for which certification has been awarded; it might include a course or part of a course that has been completed. Examples are a Higher Certificate, Bachelors degree.
Non-Formal Learning (Unaccredited) is learning which has occurred through work-based training and/or education courses. This is learning that may have been assessed, but the course is not on National Framework of Qualifications. Examples are professional certification programmes, work-based training etc
Informal Learning (Unaccredited) is learning that has been gained through work, voluntary and life experiences. It is not planned learning and can result in deeper learning about a particular topic. Examples are running a project, organising an event.
Exemptions may be awarded on the basis of a combination of the different types of learning as well as formal learning. Therefore if you can prove that you are already have studied part of your course and/or have relevant experience and learning in that field, you may be entitled to course exemptions.