Information for applicants about Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

A student sitting by a table If you feel that you have prior learning which could provide exemption from part of a course, please state the nature of this learning on your application form.

This will then be evaluated in terms of the number of credits and also the academic level of study it is equivalent to, and will require you to provide further information in support of your request.

Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

  • What is APL?

    Accredited Prior Learning (APL) is the process for accessing and recognising prior experiential learning or prior certificated learning for academic purposes. This recognition gives the learning a credit-value and allows it to be counted either to your entry qualifications for a programme where you don't meet the formal requirements or towards the completion of a degree or other award.

    Credit is the common currency of university programmes and is what you need to achieve a degree or other award. Each course module has a credit value and these credits are accumulated towards the full award. For example, an Honours degree requires 120 credits at each of levels 4, 5 and 6.

    The APL process is intended to stop learners repeating learning that they have already achieved.

  • Is there a limit on the amount of APL credit I can claim?

    At the University of Hertfordshire, you can only claim a maximum amount of 75% APL towards any award and will also have to achieve University credit at certain prescribed academic levels. This will vary according to the degree you are aiming for, and your Admissions Tutor will be able to advise you.

Accredited Prior Certificated Learning (APCL)

  • What is APCL?

    Accredited Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) is learning which has been recognised previously by an education provider, evidenced by formal certification, and assessed and recognised for the award of credit by the University of Hertfordshire.

  • How can I use APCL towards my degree?

    You might have studied at another university and then move house or job and want to transfer to the University of Hertfordshire. If you have studied modules that have broadly the same learning outcomes as ones on a University of Hertfordshire programme, then you can apply to have these credited against your degree in multiples of 15 credits.

  • How can I apply for APCL?

    You should contact the Admissions Tutor for the programme which interests you. You should be aware that you will need to provide documentary details of your studies to enable the Admissions Tutor to map your learning to the University of Hertfordshire module(s).

  • Is there a charge for APCL?

    There is no charge for APCL.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

  • What is APEL?

    Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is learning which has been achieved through experiences outside the formal education and training systems, normally associated with a working environment, which has been assessed and recognised for the award of credit by the University. It is different from formal learning as it is often unstructured and can be more personal and individualised.

    APEL applicants can develop skills, strengths and knowledge from a range of experiential learning. Do be aware that learning must be at an equivalent level to that on the modules offered on our programmes and you must be able to evidence it. This is typically done by means of a portfolio.

  • How can I use an APEL claim towards my degree?

    If you feel that you can demonstrate and evidence learning of an appropriate standard and volume, you can be assessed in relation to the learning outcomes of a module or programme. You will study independently to do this, but will have the guidance of an APEL Tutor and/or Subject Specialist.

    You will need to identify the learning which you are claiming to have achieved and prepare a portfolio of evidence to evidence that. It is usual for this to involve some sort of reflective writing about your learning but it might involve many other forms of evidence too, even artefacts such as art work.

    It is important to remember that it is the learning from experience rather than the learning itself that is assessed for credit and so you will need to be able to articulate this.

  • What happens when I have submitted my portfolio?

    Your portfolio will be assessed by the APEL Tutor and /or Subject Specialist and also seen by a Moderator and an External Reviewer.

    Depending on the amount or level of credit being claimed, you may also need to attend for a Viva to discuss your learning.

    The APEL Panel will then make a recommendation to a Board of Examiners who will approve the award of credit on your student record.

  • When do credits "expire"?

    Normally, if a qualification or credit is more than 5 years old, it is considered out of date and may not be used towards a degree. This is certainly true in disciplines such as the health professions where knowledge develops rapidly.

    It is sometimes possible to have such credit acknowledged if you can demonstrate that knowledge has been updated through work or life experience.

  • What should I do if I think I could use APEL towards my degree?

    You should contact the Admissions Tutor for the degree which interests you.

  • Is there a charge for APEL?

    There is a charge for APEL which will depend on the bundle of credit for which you wish to be assessed but will not be more than 50% of the standard module fee for that academic year. The APEL tutor will give you full details of the costs before you commit to the process.