Credit and recognition for prior learning (RPL)


If you have completed previous study that you would like counted towards your new award course at the University of Sydney, you may be eligible to receive credit for those units.

There are two types of credit:

  • Internal Credit, which is available if you previously completed units of study at the University of Sydney as part of a different course.
  • External Credit, which applies if you completed eligible units of study at another tertiary institution.
    You can use our credit check tool to see if the units you have taken elsewhere have previously been assessed by the Faculty. Please note that the information on the credit check tool is an indication only, and does not guarantee the granting of credit

If you are undertaking a postgraduate Master degree within the Faculty and you have previously completed a University degree or have extensive work experience in a related industry, you may be eligible for RPL. This is applicable to Master degrees only, and cannot be used towards a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, or any undergraduate program.

More information about RPL can be found in the degree resolutions of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science’s postgraduate handbook.

Faculty provisions

Credit or RPL are offered in accordance with the Faculty resolutions and the degree resolutions. Before applying you should consult the resolutions governing your course in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences handbook for the year you started your course.

It is important to note that there is a ten (10) year limit on completion of award courses and credit is counted within this time limit. For example, credit from studies undertaken eight (8) years ago will be counted only if the University of Sydney award is completed within two (2) years.

When the Department is assessing an application for credit or RPL, the following factors will be taken into consideration:

  • The institution at which you completed the study. Please note that credit will only be considered for studies completed as part of a three year Australian Bachelor degree at a University institution, or equivalent. The Faculty does not recognize units of study completed at TAFE or community colleges for credit or RPL.
  • The grade(s) you achieved in the unit or degree
  • How long ago you undertook your studies

Supporting documentation

All supporting documents must be provided in English, and in a Word or PDF format. Links to webpages are insufficient and will not be accepted.

When applying for credit from external institutions, please provide the following documentation:

  1. Your official transcript, or a certified copy of your official transcript. We cannot accept print-offs of online academic results
  2. Comprehensive unit of study outlines for each unit that you are applying to have considered for credit. Unit of study outlines must include a description of the learning content, details of assessment, contact hours, number of teaching weeks and the credit point weighting

Recognition of prior learning
If you are applying for RPL based on a previous qualification, please provide your official transcript, or a certified copy of your official transcript. Unit of study outlines may be requested by the relevant Department at a later date however they are not required in your initial application.

If you are applying for RPL based on work experience, you must provide the following supporting documentation:

  1. Your current CV
  2. An official letter from your current or most recent employer confirming your employment and providing a brief outline about the tasks and responsibilities associated with your role
  3. Your official transcript, or a certified copy of your official transcript, for any previous qualifications

When applying for RPL based on work experience, you do not need to try and establish a correlation between your employment and the units of study in your degree. This is something that is done at an Academic level when your application is being assessed.

Submitting an application for credit and RPL

  1. Read the Faculty provisions associated with your degree
  2. Gather your supporting documentation
  3. Log in to the Sydney Student portal
  4. Select the ‘My Studies’ tab, followed by the ‘Application for credit and/or recognition for prior learning’
  5. Fill out the online form and attach your supporting documentation
  6. Submit!

What happens next?

Your application will be assessed by the relevant Department. Once an outcome is decided, you will receive an automated email to your University email account to notify you of the result. Should you be offered credit or RPL, you will be required to log in to Sydney Student and accept or reject the credit before a Faculty staff member can apply the units to your record.

Once you have accepted credit or RPL, it cannot be removed from your record. It is important that you plan your degree and future study plans carefully when accepting any offer.