Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning



Introduction

An application for credit and/or recognition of prior learning (RPL) is made when a current or prospective student wishes to have prior learning counted towards the completion of an award course at the University of Sydney. Students who are successful in applying for credit/RPL receive advanced standing in their award course (i.e. the total number of units the student must complete within their award is reduced).

There are two main types of credit:

Internal Credit

  • Granted to current students of the University of Sydney transferring from one award course to another (in a relevant field) at the University of Sydney.

External Credit/RPL

  • Granted to current or prospective students of the University of Sydney on the basis of prior study or relevant professional work experience (RPL granted on the basis of professional work experience is only offered towards the Master of Commerce and Master of Professional Accounting programs).

Forms of Credit

Specific credit

  • Specific credit is granted for units of study that the School deems equivalent to a unit of study currently offered at the University of Sydney.

Non-specific credit

  • Non-specific credit is granted when exact or near exact equivalence cannot be demonstrated but the prior learning is of the requisite standard. Non-specific credit may be assigned a credit point value and level (eg. Junior, Intermediate or Senior, foundational or advanced), and may be in a particular subject area.

Recognition of other prior learning (Master of Commerce & Master of Professional Accounting only)

  • Students who have a minimum of three years relevant work experience or who have completed a qualification at AQF Level 7 or above may be granted a reduction in the volume of learning (in the form of specific or non-specific credit) towards the Master of Commerce or Master of Professional Accounting. Read the Recognition of Prior Learning - Master of Commerce page for further information.

Application process for currently enrolled students

The application process is outlined on the Applying for credit page.

If you are applying for credit on the basis of units of study completed at undergraduate or postgraduate level at an institution other than the University of Sydney, you need to provide:

  • your transcript* (results notices are not valid); and
  • detailed unit of study descriptions corresponding to the year in which you completed the unit. These should describe the content of the unit, the mode of assessment, the number of contact hours, the number of teaching weeks and the credit point weighting.

* If you have completed units of study at the University of Sydney you do not need to provide your transcript.

Application process for prospective students

If you are applying for recognition of prior learning on the basis of completed award/s or work experience (note that this reduces the number of units you are required to complete rather than replacing specific units), you need to provide:

  • your transcript* (results notices are not valid; and/or
  • a letter from your employer detailing the period of employment (inclusive of the number of hours worked per week), your role and duties as they relate to your future course. Your employer needs to sign this letter. Please note that RPL on the basis of work experience will only be considered towards the Master of Commerce and Master of Professional Accounting and a minimum of three years is required (in total).

* If you hold an award from the University of Sydney you do not need to provide your transcript.

When applying for RPL, please only enter one item of credit on the application form.


Rules for credit/RPL applications (undergraduate and postgraduate students)

  1. The granting of non-specific credit and RPL is at the discretion of the School. Non-specific credit and RPL can only be counted towards the elective component of a course (at the appropriate level where specified).
  2. Credit/RPL of 24 credit points (or more) reduces the duration of an award course (in most cases). International students who are considering applying for a Post Study Work Visa or General Skilled Migration should seek advice from an immigration agent or the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as to how this may impact their eligibility for such an application.
  3. Before accepting any credit/RPL offered, students should think carefully about the implications of accepting credit/RPL on their future study plans, for example, the majors/specialisations they wish to obtain.
  4. Credit /RPL will not be granted if a student has failed the equivalent unit of study at the University of Sydney.
  5. Students cannot enrol in a unit of study for which they have accepted credit.
  6. Generally, study/work experience completed more than 10 years prior to admission will be recognised.
  7. Students must have all credit arrangements finalised by the end of their first semester of study at the University of Sydney.

Rules for credit applications (undergraduate students only)

Credit is generally not granted for core units of study. This is to ensure all students receive an integrated first-year learning experience and to protect the learning outcomes of the program.

Rules for credit applications (postgraduate students only)

Executive Master of Business Administration

Students who have completed the Executive Leadership in Major Projects (ELMP) program offered by the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership (JGCPL) will be eligible for specified credit, as determined by Management Education.

Master of Commerce

  1. Students who have completed a relevant AQF level 7 qualification may be granted a reduction in the volume of learning of up to 24 credit points for foundational units of study.
  2. Students who have completed (or partially completed) an AQF level 8 qualification may be granted a reduction in the volume of learning of up to 48 credit points for foundational and non-specific elective units of study.
  3. Students who can demonstrate they have professional work experience of at least 3 years' duration (full-time equivalent) in a relevant field may be granted a reduction in the volume of learning of up to 24 credit points for non-specific elective units of study. The Business School must deem this work experience to have conferred a depth of learning equivalent to that of a Graduate Certificate in Commerce.

Master of Professional Accounting

  1. Students who have completed a relevant AQF level 7 qualification may be granted a reduction in the volume of learning of up to 24 credit points, including a maximum of 12 credit points for non-specific elective units of study, and (where appropriate) up to 12 additional credit points for core units recognised by CPA Australia.
  2. Students who have completed a relevant AQF level 8 qualification may be granted a reduction in the volume of learning of up to 48 credit points, including a maximum of 12 credit points for non-specific elective units of study, and (where appropriate) up to 36 additional credit points for core units recognised by CPA Australia.
  3. Students who can demonstrate they have professional work experience of at least 3 years' duration (full-time equivalent) in a relevant field may be granted a reduction in the volume of learning of up to 12 credit points for non-specific elective units of study. The Business School must deem this work experience to have conferred a depth of learning equivalent to that of a Graduate Certificate in Commerce.

Other postgraduate programs

  1. Students can apply for credit on the basis of postgraduate study undertaken but not counted towards a qualification which has been awarded. Credit towards a postgraduate coursework degree will not be given for undergraduate study or for completed awards except in the case of embedded programs.
  2. Where an individual who has graduated with a Graduate Certificate or a Graduate Diploma is applying to be upgraded to a Graduate Diploma or a Master's degree respectively (of the same title), the Business School will allow all units to be counted towards the new course provided that the units are relevant to the current award course resolutions and time limits are adhered to.
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