Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning

Get credit where credit is due with Macquarie's recognition of prior learning.

You've worked hard to get where you are - whether that's through prior study, work experience or community involvement. At Macquarie, we recognise all of the different elements that come together to make you you.

With our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy, you could get credit for all that hard work, reducing the duration of your course and freeing you up to get to your future sooner. We'll review your previous learning experiences - whether they're 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 learning

Formal Learning is part of a structured program that has been assessed by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and leads to the full or partial achievement of an officially accredited qualification undertaken at a tertiary institution (e.g. a university, TAFE, or private college).

Examples of officially accredited qualifications include:

  • Diplomas (AQF level 5)
  • Advanced Diplomas, Associate Degrees (AQF level 6)
  • Bachelor Degrees (AQF level 7)
  • Bachelor Honours Degree (AQF level 8)
  • Masters Degrees (AQF level 9)
  • Doctoral Degrees (AQF level 10)

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

Evidence of formal learning

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

TranscriptsA copy of your official transcripts for all relevant previous studies. Please contact your previous institution to obtain a copy of your official transcripts.
Unit OutlinesDetailed unit guides or outlines (or course syllabus) from the year that the prior learning was completed must be provided for each unit on your transcript that 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. The translator should be accredited as a 'Professional Translator' for the source language into English by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) or the translation provided by another authorised body.

RPL assessment criteria

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

CurrencyPrior formal learning attained within ten years of the date of application for credit will generally be considered current (note: some Faculties may have currency periods shorter than ten years due to accreditation or other criteria)
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 (note: postgraduate credit is not considered on the basis of undergraduate credit)
  • you have attained the learning outcomes of a specific unit or units and/or stage of the degree program - learning outcomes and other information for Macquarie University units are available through the Unit Guide webpage
  • your prior learning is assessed as equivalent in discipline content, depth and breadth

Articulation and credit transfer arrangements

Macquarie has developed many articulation arrangements based on qualifications from other institutions - please 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 official academic transcripts 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 - please check the credit transfer register for a guide to 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).

Informal and non-formal learning

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 of Informal / Non-formal Learning

In order to obtain 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 equivalent to a stage of a specified Macquarie degree program  
    and/or
  • achievement of the specific learning outcomes of the unit(s) for which credit is sought

Some examples of primary documentary evidence for informal and non-formal learning include:

  • Letters of reference written on official letterhead from current or past employers, including direct supervisors, verifying your knowledge, skills, duration of service and experience
  • Employment history and employment position descriptions
  • Copies of documents you have completed as part of your work (e.g. budgets, reports, memos, spread sheets, estimates, etc.)

Some examples of supplementary documentary evidence for informal and non-formal learning include:

  • 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
  • Letters/documents from clients, verifying work activities
  • 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 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 or units and/or stage of the degree program - learning outcomes and other information for Macquarie University units are available through the Unit Guide webpage.
  • your prior learning is assessed as equivalent in discipline content, depth and breadth.

How to apply

Before you apply, have you.....

  1. checked the Articulation Register and/or the Credit Transfer Register?
  2. checked the Handbook and Unit Guide?
  3. collected all your supporting documents?

Application Submission Dates

To allow sufficient time for processing your request before start of session and to give you enough time to modify your unit selections (if required) before the last day for enrolment, we ask you to submit your RPL requests by the following dates depending on your starting session:

Starting Session RPL Submission Date* Session Start Date Last Day to Enrol
Session 1, 2018 Monday, 12 February Monday, 26 February Sunday, 11 March
Session 2, 2018 Monday, 16 July Monday, 30 July Sunday, 12 August

* RPL requests submitted after these dates may not be processed in time to allow you to modify your enrolment.

** RPL requests for enrolled units that are submitted after 1) the Census date incur financial penalty, and 2) the last day to withdraw without academic penalty incur academic penalty (financial penalty applies).

Apply for recognition of prior learning

If you are an enrolled student who has a Student ID, apply online.

Enquiries

Student Connect
18 Wally's Walk
Building C7A,  Level 2  MUSE
Tel: +61 (2) 9850.6410
AskMQ

Important Notice
  1. The information set out in this publication is an indication only and does not guarantee entry into a program 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 program 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.
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