Gain credit for previous study or professional work

With our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy, you could get credit for previous study or work experience, reducing the duration of your course.

Your faculty will review your previous learning experiences – whether formal qualifications or other types of non-formal and informal learning.

You could get a head start for both entry into and credit towards your course. We consider two main forms of prior learning for potential credit:

  • formal
  • informal and non-formal

Formal Learning is part of a structured program that leads to the full or partial achievement of an officially accredited qualification undertaken at a tertiary institution (eg a university, TAFE, or private college).

Examples of officially accredited qualifications include:

  • Diplomas
  • Advanced Diplomas
  • Associate Degrees
  • Bachelor Degrees
  • Postgraduate Degrees

You can find more information and definitions of RPL in the Macquarie University RPL Policy.

Evidence

To be assessed for credit based on formal learning, you will need to supply the following items:

  • Official transcripts - A copy of your official transcripts for all relevant previous studies, including any currently enrolled units you intend to complete prior to commencing at Macquarie. Contact your previous institution to obtain a copy of your official transcripts.
  • Enrolment advice - If any of your currently enrolled units that you intend to complete prior to commencing at Macquarie are not listed on your transcripts, an official enrolment advice should be provided. Contact your current institution to obtain an official enrolment advice
  • Unit outlines - Detailed unit guides or outlines (or course syllabus) must be provided for each unit on your transcript you wish to have assessed for credit. Unit guides should normally include information on the course content covered, learning outcomes, required readings, and assessment methods. Unit outlines are not required if you are applying for an articulation listed on the Articulations Register.

Note:  Supporting documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

RPL assessment criteria

In assessing your prior learning, consideration is given to the following currency and relevancy criteria:

Currency

Prior formal learning attained within ten years of the date of application for credit will generally be considered current.

Relevancy

Prior formal learning will be considered relevant where there is evidence to demonstrate that:

  • you have achieved a quality and standard of learning equivalent to tertiary studies at an appropriate level
  • you have attained the learning outcomes of specific unit(s) of the degree – learning outcomes and other information for Macquarie University units are available through the Unit Guide webpage.
  • your prior learning is assessed as equivalent in depth and breadth.

Articulation and credit transfer arrangements

Macquarie has developed many articulation arrangements based on qualifications from other institutions – check the Articulations Register for existing arrangements. If you are applying for an articulation arrangement listed on the register, you do not need to provide unit outlines. Only your transcripts and enrolment advice will be needed as your qualification has already been pre-assessed for credit.

Macquarie has also assessed a number of individual units from other institutions for equivalency to Macquarie units – check the Credit Transfer Register for unit equivalencies.

Assessment of Overseas Qualifications

Macquarie assesses overseas qualifications using Australian Government guidelines to determine their comparability to qualifications on the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Applying for a PACE unit on the basis of completing a PACE-like unit at another institution

If you are seeking credit for a PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) unit on the basis of completing a PACE-like unit at another institution, provide the following documentation along with your RPL request:

  • Official Academic Transcript
  • Official and detailed unit outline of your prior unit
  • A completed PACE RPL Form [PDF 198KB] for each of the units that you are seeking as specified credit.

You may need to submit additional documentation to support the PACE RPL Form and the information provided therein.

Informal Learning is gained through work, social, family, hobby or leisure activities and experiences. Informal Learning is not organised or externally structured in terms of objectives, time, or learning support.

Non-formal Learning takes place through a structured program of learning but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification.

Evidence

In order to obtain entry or credit at Macquarie based on informal or non-formal learning, a statement and documentary evidence must be provided to support your claim. Evidence needs to document your prior learning and demonstrate either:

  • a standard of learning required for admission to your specified Macquarie degree
    and/or
  • achievement of the specific learning outcomes of the unit(s) for which credit is sought.

Documentary evidence for informal and non-formal learning needs to include:

  • Up to date curriculum vitae
  • Letter(s) of reference written on official letterhead from current or past employers (including direct supervisors), verifying your knowledge, skills, duration of service and experience.
  • Position description(s); and
  • A completed Informal/non-formal Credit Application Form [PDF 195KB] for each of the units that you wish to receive credit for.

Some other examples of evidence that can be submitted:

  • Certificates and statements of attainment from courses sponsored by employers or professional bodies, including information about the course of study
  • Results from other non-accredited courses from various education and training providers (eg MOOCs), including outlines of any units studied
  • Employment history and employment position descriptions
  • Letters/documents from clients, verifying work activities
  • Copies of documents you have completed as part of your work (eg budgets, reports, memos, spreadsheets, estimates, etc)
  • Details of community activities involving significant responsibilities
  • Samples, photographs or videos of your work that are related to the credit sought

In some cases, students may be required to perform a challenge test to further demonstrate their prior learning.

You can find more information and definitions of RPL in the Macquarie University RPL Policy.

RPL assessment criteria

Currency

Prior informal/non-formal learning attained within ten years of the date of application for admission and/or credit, will generally be considered current.

Relevancy for admission

Prior informal/non-formal learning will be considered relevant for admission where:

  • there is evidence to demonstrate that you have achieved a standard of learning which is comparable to the admission requirements of your selected Macquarie degree
  • you demonstrate competency and readiness for tertiary studies.
Relevancy for credit

Prior informal/non-formal learning will be considered relevant for credit where there is evidence to demonstrate that:

  • you have achieved a quality and standard of learning equivalent to tertiary studies at an appropriate level
  • you have attained the learning outcomes of a specific unit(s) of the degree – learning outcomes and other information for Macquarie University units are available through the Unit Guide webpage.
  • your prior learning is assessed as equivalent in depth and breadth.

Applying for a PACE unit on the basis of non-formal/informal learning

If you are seeking credit for a PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) unit on the basis of completing non-formal/informal learning such as work experience, provide the following documentation along with your RPL request:

  • An up-to-date CV;
  • Letter(s) of reference written on official letterhead from current or past employers (including direct supervisors), verifying your knowledge, skills, duration of service and experience;
  • Position description(s); and
  • A completed PACE RPL Form [PDF 198KB] for each of the units that you are seeking as specified credit.

You may need to submit additional documentation to support the PACE RPL Form and the information provided therein.

Rescinding credit

To rescind RPL credit, the request must be academically justified and forms part of an academic success intervention strategy. Requests must be received within the RPL application deadlines provided in the above table and must be submitted via the Application to Rescind Credit form.

Important information

  1. The information set out in this publication is an indication only and does not guarantee entry into a course of study.
  2. Regardless of the nature or amount of RPL granted, any specific requirements of a course must be fulfilled.
  3. The final decision on whether to offer admission and RPL into a course of study resides with the University and depends on factors such as the currency and relevancy of any prior learning and the supporting evidence provided. The maximum amount of RPL that can be granted for particular qualifications is determined in accordance with the Schedule of Equivalencies and the Schedule of Minimum Requirements at Macquarie.
  4. The information contained in this publication is correct at the time of publication and the University reserves the right to make alterations to any information contained within this publication without notice.