The School of Health Sciences recognises that students applying for courses may have acquired significant learning from previous educational and life/work experience. There are three options for recognition of prior learning:

  • Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning – a credit transfer of previously certificated learning is used for credit on a programme
  • Recognition of Prior Informal Learning – previous study or life/work experience is used for BSc credit. Or for entry to a programme of postgraduate study if the student does not have a previous degree
  • Academic Recognition for Professional Learning – this module can be taken by students who have enrolled on a programme of study. They can use this module to gain academic recognition for previous study or learning which took place more than 5 years ago.

Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning (RPCL)

The process of Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning (RPCL), offers potential students the opportunity of having such learning used for credit on their chosen academic pathway (credit transfer). RPCL can be used to count for credit at the point of entry or subsequently for credit on our BSc or MSc programmes.

Volume of credit transfer and contribution to the final award:

Pre-registration nursing: Up to 50% of the programme may be awarded as prior learning. This must be mapped to the Standards of Proficiency for registered nurses and programme outcomes and must also comply with Article 31(3) of Directive 2005/36/EC.

BSc programmes: To complete any of the BSc degree programmes offered by the School you need a total of 120 points at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 9.

It is possible to transfer up to 50% of the credit needed for the final award through RCPL. For example, if 120 credit points are needed, then 60 credit points can be transferred from previous certificated learning (RPCL) from another institution.

MSc programmes: To complete any of the MSc degree programmes offered by the School you need a total of 180 points at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 11.

It is possible to transfer up to 50% of the credit needed for the final award through RCPL. For example, if 180 credit points are needed, then 90 credit points can be transferred from previous certificated learning (RPCL) from another institution. If the award is a PG Diploma (120 credits), then a maximum of 60 credits can be transferred from previous certificated learning (RPCL) from another institution. If the award is a PG Certificate (60 credits), then a maximum of 30 credits can be transferred from previous certificated learning (RPCL) from another institution.

For either the BSc or MSc, your previous certificated learning must have been completed within the last five years.

Credit can be gained by providing evidence of study at the appropriate level within the last five years. Normally, a transcript of previous study or a certificate is sufficient for this but it must include confirmation of the level studied at and the number of credits gained.

Transferred credit will not contribute to the award of merits and distinctions for non-honours degrees.

This RPCL credit can be general or specific:

  • general credit - any certificated learning where the learning is equivalent to the academic level and number of credits within your chosen programme of study.
  • specific credit - a module that is equivalent to one of the modules in our programme. The learning outcomes from the specific credit must be mapped against the learning outcomes of the equivalent module in our programme

It is the applicant’s responsibility, at the point of application for each cycle, to provide the detailed information required from a previous institution or organisation for the purposes of accreditation by the University.

Avoidance of double counting

Students who exit from a University of Dundee programme with an intermediate exit award and who subsequently re-join or continue in the same programme to study for the degree (or next exit award) will have the lower award cancelled. Students will be asked to hand back any intermediate award issued (for example a Certificate or Diploma) before the degree (or next exit award) is awarded on successful completion of the programme. An exception to this is where the lower award is a specific requirement for professional accreditation purposes.

In these cases the student will join the degree level of the programme as if they were a new entrant and would use the lower award as exemption credit towards the requirements of the degree. This enables the student to retain the lower award without double counting credit, and the exemption credit will be shown clearly on students’ transcripts for the awards.

Applications for RPCL

Your application will be reviewed:

For pre-registration nursing:

  • By a member of the Admissions Team who is also a registrant

For postqualifying credit

  • for general credit by one member of staff (Programme Lead)
  • for specific credits by two members of staff (Programme Lead and Head of Studies))

The applicant will be notified about the outcome of the claim.

There is no charge for credit transfer.

Forms for RPCL should be submitted to HealthSciences-Postqualifying@dundee.ac.uk along with the required evidence. 

Apply for RPCL general or specific credit

Recognition of Prior Informal Learning (RPIL)

There are two kinds of RPIL:

  1. RPIL for BSc credit
  2. RPIL for postgraduate entry

Recognition of Prior Informal Learning (RPIL) for BSc credit

Learning from previous educational and life/work experience can be assessed for credit towards BSc top-up studies. Applicants who have gained 300 credits (including 60 credits at Level 9) from a previous diploma qualification (regardless of the date the qualification was awarded) are able to apply for RPIL. Applicants need to demonstrate that since qualification they have been working professionally at Level 9 (degree level) using degree level skills.

Typically, degree level characteristics include:

  1. knowledge base of a particular subject area which is informed by current developments.
  2. an ability to communicate the results of their studies and other work accurately and reliably

The following RPIL process is therefore designed to enable potential students, to demonstrate the use of these characteristics during their professional career.

The following options have been identified as possible sources of evidence to demonstrate the required pre-requisite characteristics for credit towards your degree. As each student will present with differing life experiences, the most appropriate option for individual students will vary.

  • A 2000 word academic essay which either
    • briefly describes a recent clinical case or situation from your practice and critically discusses how you used evidence to inform the care given
    • or critically reviews current literature on a chosen subject area
  • A recently published article in a professional journal or a detailed work-based report where you were the sole/ main contributor.
  • A reflective portfolio of evidence (submitted electronically) which could include (but is not limited to):
    • video and/or audio material
    • analytical evaluations of practice
    • analysis of issues underlying practice and the learning associated with that
    • evidence of planning for practice
    • analysis and evaluation of training undertaken for practice
    • supporting statements from managers or supervisors in relation to practice
    • an assessor’s observation of practice
    • detailed curriculum vitae to support a context for the claim

A copy of the previous academic transcript confirming the previous acquisition of 300 credits (including 60 credits at Level 9) will also be required.

The evidence submitted will be assessed by two reviewers (Programme Lead and Head of Studies) who will make a decision about whether the evidence provided is sufficient and meets the degree level characteristics listed above. Support with preparation of your evidence can be provided by the BSc Programme Lead. You will be notified about the outcome of your claim. If your claim is not sufficient you will be given feedback with the opportunity to revise and resubmit.

All RPIL claims will be reviewed by an External Examiner and will be ratified by an Exam Board.

There is a charge for processing all RPIL claims of £100 per 10 credits or £100 for entry and this is payable once the claim has been confirmed.

Forms for RPIL should be submitted to HealthSciences-Postqualifying@dundee.ac.uk along with the required evidence.

Apply for RPIL claims (degree level study)

Recognition of Prior Informal Learning (RPIL) for entry to postgraduate study

Previous informal learning can be recognised as an entry route for postgraduate study. This can be from previous education or from life/work experience.

Normally, the entry requirement for taught postgraduate study is the satisfactory completion of a first degree. Although all degrees will exhibit a balance of subject breadth and depth, typically, holders of a degree will have the following characteristics:

  1. knowledge base of a particular subject area which is informed by current developments
  2. well developed skills for gathering, evaluating and analysing information
  3. an ability to communicate the results of their studies and other work accurately and reliably

The following RPIL process is therefore designed to enable potential students, without a first degree, to demonstrate the acquisition of these characteristics

The following types of evidence can be provided:

  • A summative piece of coursework recently completed for degree level study (completed within 5 years and at SCQF level 9). Confirmation of successful achievement of this work should be submitted at the same time
  • A recently published article in a professional journal or a detailed work-based report where you were the sole/ main contributor.
  • A 2000 word academic essay critically reviewing current literature on a given subject area. This should demonstrate:
    • knowledge base of a particular subject area which is informed by current developments
    • well developed skills for gathering, evaluating and analysing information.
    • an ability to communicate the results of their studies and other work accurately and reliably
  • A reflective portfolio of evidence (submitted electronically) which could include (but is not limited to):
    • video and/or audio material
    • analytical evaluations of practice
    • analysis of issues underlying practice and the learning associated with that
    • evidence of planning for practice
    • analysis and evaluation of training undertaken for practice
    • supporting statements from managers or supervisors in relation to practice
    • an assessor’s observation of practice
    • detailed curriculum vitae to support a context for the claim

The evidence submitted will be assessed by two reviewers (Programme Lead and Head of Studies) who will make a decision about whether the evidence provided is sufficient and meets the degree level characteristics listed above. Support with preparation of your evidence can be provided by the relevant Programme Lead. You will be notified about the outcome of your claim. If your claim is not sufficient you will be given feedback with the opportunity to revise and resubmit.

All RPIL claims will be reviewed by an External Examiner and will be ratified by an Exam Board.

There is a charge for processing all RPIL claims of £100 per 10 credits or £100 for entry and this is payable once the claim has been confirmed.

Forms for RPIL should be submitted to HealthSciences-Postqualifying@dundee.ac.uk along with the required evidence.

Apply for RPIL claims

Academic Recognition for Professional Learning (NB30123 or PN50141)

These modules offer students who are on a programme of study who have undertaken academic learning more than five years ago, or any form of non-credit-bearing professional development activities, to gain academic recognition from the learning. The modules can be taken as an option module on a programme, or as stand-alone modules. Assessment is submission of a reflective essay that demonstrates the relevant learning that has taken place.