Accreditation of Prior Learning

We learn in a variety of places. Learning may be certificated - but learning at work, at home or in the community often is not. Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) can give value to your experience by helping you to recognise what you have learnt.

As well as having value in its own right, your learning could form the basis of your application for a place on the right course for you or it could lead to credit towards part of a degree or other qualification and you then have to complete the remainder of the award before you achieve the final qualification.

We have developed a policy, a process and practices that help you to put together a claim for entry or credit by matching your current and prior learning against the specific requirements of a particular course.

Lifelong learning and continuing professional development are two of the phrases that emphasise the changes that are taking place in education and training. APL has been used by people who want a second chance, those who are returning to education after a career break or those who want to improve their career prospects.

Whatever stage you are at, APL could support your personal and professional development.

Preparing a claim

You prepare and produce a claim using APL by:

  • Identifying your aims, reviewing your existing skills and knowledge and considering the options that are available to you
  • Matching what you have already learnt against the requirements of a course
  • Considering if that learning is relevant to the course and how you could present evidence of your skills and knowledge for assessment

There are six stages in preparing a claim and we offer you written information, individual advice and guidance to prepare, plan and produce your claim. The process is designed to be flexible and you may, for example, be able to combine the second and third stages of the process. If you already have evidence available the fourth stage could be completed in a short time.

The stages

  1. Information: Information for you on APL and the offer of an individual advice session
  2. Individual advice on APL: Identifying your existing knowledge and skills and the contribution that APL could make to meeting your aims.
  3. Guidance on planning your APL claim: Considering the evidence that is required by the Course Team, how you could put together your claim and the specific evidence you could provide them with.
  4. Producing your APL claim: Gathering the evidence and preparing, planning and producing your claim for assessment
  5. Assessing your APL claim: Submitting your claim for assessment
  6. Following up the assessment of your claim: You would receive written confirmation of the decision. We may then recommend additional learning or guidance before entry or credit could be awarded.

We can support you at each stage of the claim.

Support and guidance

Admissions are responsible for coordinating the implementation of APL at the University. We provide the information, advice and guidance that you may require. Individual appointments are available and can be arranged to provide you with advice on APL.

If you would like to find out how APL can help you to make your certificated learning and experience count, please contact Ruth Potts, our APL and Guidance Coordinator on