Accredited learning (AL)
Introduction to accredited learning (AL)
You may be able to gain accreditation for prior learning from another institution, or as part of an internal transfer at UWE Bristol.
We define the accreditation of prior learning as learning which has been accredited or certificated by:
- a UK or overseas higher education provider
- an external body (for example, a professional or other awarding body)
- UWE Bristol (in the case of internal transfer).
Applying for the recognition of accredited learning
You should complete the Accredited Learning application form if you meet any of the following criteria.
- You are applying to UWE Bristol for the first time and already have some credit achieved at another provider which you think could be recognised towards the programme you are applying for. You will apply through the University admissions team, and you will be prompted to provide the accredited learning form once the programme application has been received.
- You are applying to UWE Bristol, having studied with us previously and already have some credit which you think could be recognised towards the programme you are applying for. You will apply through the University admissions team, and you will be prompted to provide the accredited learning form once the programme application has been received.
- You are already registered on a programme at UWE Bristol and seeking recognition of some accredited learning as part of an internal transfer. In this case, your prior learning may have been achieved at UWE Bristol. You will need to send your application form for accredited learning to the relevant Student Administration Team (contact details are below and on the form).
- You are applying for or undertaking continuous professional development (CPD) study at UWE Bristol and seeking recognition of previous study undertaken either elsewhere or at UWE Bristol. You will need to send your application form for accredited learning to the relevant Student Administration Team (contact details are below and on the form).
- You are a Postgraduate Research student, seeking recognition of some AL for postgraduate taught modules which map to descriptors of the Researcher Development Framework appropriate to the your development needs.
Please note: You may have achieved the learning you want recognised before you started at UWE Bristol or during your time with us. It is your responsibility to apply for accredited learning. If you are seeking an internal transfer you will also need to complete a separate internal transfer form.
When assessing requests from international applicants who require a student visa we will also take into consideration whether your previous study will impact on visa time limits (caps), we will assess both whether the transfer will take you over the permitted amount but also whether previous academic performance may negatively impact your ability to pass the programme if additional time is required.
Please note: if an offer is made based on information provide at the time of application and we later receive additional information this may impact our ability to issue your CAS and we may need to withdraw the offer.
You need to have submitted your application and provide all documentation required by the relevant deadline below*.
|Deadline date to submit application and provide all documentation required
*The above dates are not relevant for postgraduate research students.
If you need help completing this form, please consult a Student Support Adviser. Please complete sections one to four (with a green heading) electronically. UWE Bristol staff will complete sections five to seven (with blue and orange headings).
If you are seeking advanced entry to a programme, please email your completed form and evidence to the Admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are already registered on a programme, please email your completed form and evidence from your UWE Bristol email address to the relevant Student and Programme Support Team:
College of Arts, Technology and Environment
- School of Arts: email@example.com
- School of Architecture and Environment: firstname.lastname@example.org
- School of Engineering: email@example.com
- School of Computing and Creative Technologies: firstname.lastname@example.org
College of Business and Law
College of Health Science and Society
- School of Health and Social Wellbeing: email@example.com
- School of Social Sciences: firstname.lastname@example.org
- School of Applied Sciences: email@example.com
- School of Education and Childhood: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doctoral Academy Hub
Please email the relevant School Student and Programme Support Team above in which your postgraduate taught modules sit. If you need further advice, please email email@example.com.
To be recognised as contributing credit to an award of the University, your evidence must demonstrate:
- authenticity – you completed what was claimed
- direct comparison – by matching the learning outcomes with comparable specified modules approved for the award sought, or with programme learning outcomes within the Shell Award Framework, or where advanced entry to a programme is being sought
- currency – the learning is in keeping with expectations of current knowledge
- an equivalent academic level of achievement to the modules being applied for
- an equivalent credit size to the modules being applied for.
AL credit will not:
- carry marks or grades awarded by another institution
- carry marks achieved under the University’s own academic regulations
- be used to gain an award in its entirety.
Marks or grades used in the AL process will not be shown on your Notification of Credit and Assessment Marks, nor will they be used in the calculation for honours or other differential level of award.
Introduction to accredited experiential learning (AEL)
AEL is learning achieved through experience that may not be formally certificated.
You will be required to undertake a form of assessment. The assessment may require you to collect and present evidence of your learning in a portfolio or, where appropriate, you may be assessed by formal examination.
Applying for the recognition of accredited experiential learning
You need to apply to the college or affiliated institution running your programme.
The assessment of applications for AEL will be done by designated staff within each college. They will have appropriate subject, discipline and professional expertise, and relevant experience of, or training in, the appropriate procedures.
Assessment of AEL may take a variety of forms, including:
- a structured interview plus corroborating evidence
- work-based observation plus a portfolio or other record
- a form of assessment, including assessments and examinations set for relevant approved modules devised to meet the specific requirements of a programme or award.
The award of credit
Credit, but not a mark, may be awarded if your experience can be matched against the learning outcomes of a module or group of modules through supporting evidence, or through university assessment procedures. The module outcome will be pass or fail.
Re-using credit cashed in for an interim award towards a higher level qualification
If you have achieved an interim award under the UWE Bristol academic regulations you may be able to return it in order to register on the higher level award to which the interim is linked. For example, a PG Dip interim for a Masters award, or a Dip HE for an honours degree. Please note, this is not accredited learning, but is a reuse of credit and marks and can only be considered if the award is returned.
Subject to the entry requirements and availability of places on the higher level award, in order to qualify:
- the interim award must have been achieved under the UWE Bristol academic regulations
- the modules must still be valid for the higher level award
- the applicant must return the interim award certificate to the University.
There are some restrictions on the amount of recognised prior learning that can contribute to a UWE Bristol award. This is set out in the Part B of the current UWE Bristol academic regulations 2022/23 (PDF).
Transferring university or college
If you decide to transfer to another higher education provider to continue your studies, they may be able to accredit learning achieved at UWE Bristol. You should check their regulations for guidance.