Credit for prior learning

If you have previously studied Higher Education (HE) courses or worked at professional level before embarking on an MEd or MSc programme, we recognise that you bring with you some very important skills and knowledge.  The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process is a way of formally acknowledging this fact, and instead of unnecessarily repeating work, we may grant you exemptions from your programme.

Accredited Prior 'Certified' Learning (AP(C)L)

This is the achievement of learning that has been formally assessed and certificated from previous study with a HE institution. Up to a maximum of 90 credits may be available for those who have completed prior professional development on recognised programmes run by approved national agencies. Ex. SEDA, RSA, the National College's NPQH, or a PGCE leading to QTS including the PGCE in Post Compulsory Education.

Accredited Prior ’Experiential' Learning (AP(E)L)

This is the non-certified acquisition of relevant skills and knowledge, gained through relevant experience, which is capable of being evaluated. Professionals in education may gain up to a maximum of 30 credits for prior professional experiences, non-accredited in-service training (INSET) and continuing professional development.

Applying for APL

You should think about APL at around the same time as you apply for the course.

More detailed information can be found in the APL guidelines.

APL and postgraduate loans

Please note that postgraduate loans are NOT available for partial MA programmes where the student brings accredited prior learning (APL) with them from another qualification - ie. if you had 60 credits of APL from a PGCE and wished to take this into an MA Education. To receive a postgraduate loan you need to be studying a full 180 credits. You can learn more about funding options for postgraduate study, including the Postgraduate Student Loan on our dedicated webpages.

Find out more