Accredited Prior Learning Policy and Procedure

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1 1. Accredited Prior (Certified) Learning All applicants who believe they may be eligible for APL will be given the opportunity to have their prior learning assessed and accredited towards the relevant course. The policy and standard operating procedure apply to all cases. A decision as to whether APL can be approved will depend both on the specific requirements and learning outcomes of each course and the details of each individual application. Applicants should be made aware that the award of specific credit via APL towards their intended course of study at the University may not necessarily directly reflect the value/level of the credit assigned to their current/previous qualification (i.e. it may be less). Exemptions will only be considered for full modules of study; not elements therein. 2. Shelf-Life of Learning The time elapsed since the student undertook learning that forms the basis of an APL application is a relevant factor to be considered in each case. Normally, learning should have taken place within the ten years prior to the enrolment date for the intended course of study. Study that took place more than 10 years previously will be reviewed at the discretion of the academic team who will have regard to the study topic and how the subject matter may have changed over the period of time since the study took place. 3. Volume of APL It is important to note that the acceptance of APL towards awards is an academic decision based on each individual case. The maximum volume of APL outlined below is provided for the guidance of applicants and departments but does not constitute an entitlement. For undergraduate awards of over 240 credits a student may seek to import learning to a maximum value of two thirds of the volume of credit that is required to be studied for the named award. For undergraduate awards of 240 credits or less the maximum credit value permitted to be imported is one half of the volume of credit that is required to be studied for the named award.

2 4. Summary of requirements for admission via APL: AWARD MAXIMUM CREDITS WHICH MAY BE IMPORTED MINIMUM CREDITS TO BE TAKEN ON UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX VALIDATED COURSES 1 Masters Degree Postgraduate Diploma Graduate Diploma Postgraduate Certificate Graduate Certificate Postgraduate Certificate in Education Professional Graduate Certificate in Education Certificate of Education TOTAL CREDITS FOR AWARD 2 CHEP (Certificate of Higher Education Practice) Honours Degree Ordinary Degree Foundation Degree Diploma of HE Certificate of HE Note: The Rules of Assessment specify the particular requirements for volume of credit at specific levels of the FHEQ within each University award. 2 Note: Where individual awards have a higher credit total (eg. Honours degrees with 480 credits) the maximum import thresholds outlined above continue to apply. 5. Calculation of degree results In calculating the final degree result of a student who makes a successful APL application, any courses or modules from which the student is exempted on the basis of APL will be excluded from calculated averages or other methods used to determine the student s final degree result.

3 6. Transcript The transcript for a student who makes a successful APL application will indicate the elements of the course from which the student was exempted.

4 AP(E)L STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP) Step 1: APPLICATION The applicant should be made aware of the information about APL on our website: In order to proceed with an APL application the below evidence should be submitted to the relevant Admissions Adviser and payment of a 50 deposit is required to progress the application 1. Students are given two options on which to proceed: Request the appropriate mapping takes place and wait until their exemptions are confirmed before starting the course. Request the appropriate mapping takes place and start the course before their exemptions are confirmed 2. For Prior Learning from Further/Higher Education: 1. Copies of original transcript/s or record/s showing the modules or units completed and confirmation of the credit values and levels of the modules if relevant. This should be a formal transcript on headed paper or stamped and signed by the institution/organisation. 2. Evidence from previous institution/organisation to confirm that the applicant has successfully completed the period of study on which the claim is based (e.g. certificate, although this may sometimes be evident on the transcript.) 3. Learning outcomes or syllabus information describing the academic content of the course at the time it was studied. For Prior Certified Learning from Professional Qualifications: 1. Evidence from professional institutes to confirm that you have successfully completed the period of study on which the claim is based. The Admissions Advisor should create a folder under the applicant s name on the shared drive under Admissions/APL. All documents should be scanned, named and saved onto this folder. In addition the Admissions Adviser should complete the top section of the APL application form and update the APL Tracker. The Admissions Advisor should the APL application and all accompanying information to the Programme Support Manager who will then check and complete the application and update the APL Tracker accordingly. Step 2: ASSESSMENT The Programme Support Manager will carry out the following actions to determine whether the student is eligible for APL towards a University of Essex Online award, documenting each action on the APL Application and Assessment Form. S/he will: 1 A one-off charge of 50 is made on every occasion students request a prior qualification to be mapped against a University of Essex Online course. This charge will be refunded once Kaplan Open Learning (Essex) Limited receives its first fee loan payment from Student Finance England or will be deducted from the first tuition fee payment made by students or employers. 2 The attached disclaimer must be signed if this option is chosen.

5 (a) Decide whether further evidence is required in addition to the applicant s initial submission. (b) Assess the evidence against the requirements and learning outcomes of the relevant degree course and the available constituent modules and produce a mapping matrix. S/he may consult with Academic Director or Programme Leaders as appropriate. Consideration should be given to: subject content and knowledge volume of learning level of learning evidence of achievement currency of the student s knowledge in relation to the requirements of the course restrictions imposed by Professional or Statutory Bodies, if applicable The Programme Support Manager documents his/her recommendation on the APL application and assessment form and obtains sign-off from the Academic Director/Programme Leader. In the case of pre-approved APL qualifications, the Programme Support Manager will approve the application without the need for sign-off from the Academic Director/Programme Leader. Step 3: APPROVAL The Programme Support Manager s the APL application and assessment form with recommendation and all documents to the Office Manager, Academic Standards and Partnerships at the University of Essex and updates the APL Tracker. Approval or rejection of the APL request lies with the Associate Dean of Academic Partnerships. The Office Manager will inform the Programme Support Manager of his decision by ing a copy of the signed APL application and assessment form. The Programme Support Manager forwards the approval from to the appropriate Admissions Adviser, saving a copy in the student s file and updates the APL Tracker. Step 4: COMPLETION The Admissions Advisor informs the applicant of the decision by phone or . The file is then passed to the relevant Student Adviser in order for the APL exemptions to be recorded on CVue.

6 Student Disclaimer Form Student Name:... In signing this Accreditation for Prior Learning form I declare that: I am aware that a decision as to whether APL can be approved will depend both on the specific requirements and learning outcomes of each course and the details of each individual application and that I may not be granted exemptions for the modules that I have requested. I understand that the award of specific credit via APL towards my intended course of study at the University may not necessarily directly reflect the value/level of the credit assigned to their current/previous qualification (i.e. it may be less). I am aware that approval or rejection of the APL request lies with the Associate Dean of Academic Partnerships at the University of Essex. I understand that if I start my studies before my APL exemptions are approved, and I have applied to finance my tuition fees through a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England, the first instalment of my loan will be claimed by Kaplan Open Learning (Essex) Limited on commencement of my course and I will be liable to repay the loan in accordance with Student Finance England s terms and conditions. I understand that if an accreditation for prior learning is approved, for each module accredited, a charge of 100 or the rate in force at the time will be made. I have read, understood and accept and agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the University of Essex Online Accreditation of Prior Learning Policy. Signature:... Date:...

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