Recognition for prior learning

Recognition for prior learning (RPL), put simply, means getting credit for any previous study or work experience related to the subjects covered in your chosen course.

You may be eligible for credit towards your new degree if you have:

  • previously studied similar subjects at university, or
  • already have work experience in the same industry or area related to your new course

RPL is an acknowledgment of the skills and knowledge you have already acquired over the years. Even better, it helps reduce the amount of time it takes to finish your degree. A shorter degree means fewer costs too.

The sooner you graduate, the sooner you can get back into working full-time about and making money.

Explore credit and pathways to your Charles Sturt University qualification.

  • What is credit?

    Credit is the value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications. When you are assigned credit, it reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification and may be through credit transfer, articulation, recognition of prior learning or advanced standing. In other words, you don’t need to complete every component of the course. These types of credit can be granted.

    • Block credit – granted towards whole stages of a course. (This may include specified or unspecified credit).
    • Forward credit – credit granted in advance, provisionally, for a subject in which the student is permitted to enrol in a different course.
    • Specified credit – granted towards specific subjects of a course.
    • Ungraded credit – credit granted as a credit transfer or proficiency credit. Unspecified credit - granted towards elective components of a course.

    Credit is measured in points where generally 8 points equal to one subject. Refer to Charles Sturt University's credit policy for further details on credit.

  • How will credit be determined?

    To determine the level of credit you'll receive towards your course, an assessment will be made based on an individual basis. The assessment takes into account prior learning and any hands-on experience in related fields where it is current and relevant to the learning outcomes of a subject. When assessing credit eligibility, there are three types of learning considered.

    Formal learning

    This type of learning is based on a structured program of learning that leads to the full or partial achievement of an officially accredited qualification.

    Non-formal learning

    This refers to learning that takes place through a structured program of learning, but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification.

    Informal learning

    Any informal knowledge of a topic is gained through work, social, family, hobby or leisure activities and experiences. Unlike formal or non-formal learning, informal learning is not organised or externally structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support.

  • How is credit awarded?

    Credit may be awarded for study or relevant work experience completed prior to applying for a course. Previous study may be from Charles Sturt University or another institution. If you're a TAFE student, read more information about credit for TAFE qualifications .

    Credit may be awarded for specific subjects, a number of electives or a level of subjects, meaning you could be exempt from completing one or more subjects listed in the course structure of your degree. Credit is generally assessed on an individual basis with each application, although some courses do have established credit arrangements.

  • What are admission pathways?

    Admission pathways allow you to move through qualification levels with full or partial recognition for the qualifications and/or learning outcomes you already have. An admission pathway can be established via:

    • Recognition of prior learning for individual students.
    • Formalised agreements between Charles Sturt University and other providers.
    • Common precedence arrangements.
  • How to apply for credit?

    Your application for admission to Charles Sturt University should include full documentation of all previous study you have completed and/or evidence of relevant work experience. You will need to provide copies of official academic transcripts (not individual results notices or web downloads) showing the completion of your study and a record of results. You will also need to supply subject outlines for the year in which the subject(s) were studied.

  • How to verify/certify documents?

    Once you receive an offer of admission into a course, you'll be notified about what credit has been awarded. If further steps are required to finalise your credit assessment we will contact you to help you through the process.

  • What to do if your credit assessment isn’t included in your admission offer?

    If you're applying to Charles Sturt University through UAC or VTAC, your application will not include documentation to support recognition for prior learning. That’s okay. You can apply using our Credit and Pathway Planner after you have received and accepted your offer. If you receive your offer of admission and your credit outcome:

    • was not provided, and you would like your request to be reconsidered, or
    • was provided, but you want to be considered for additional credit

    You can apply using the Credit and Pathway Planner at any time throughout your course. Please note if this affects your first session of enrolment, credit needs to be applied for as early as possible and before census date.

  • How do you convert the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) into ours?

    A standard subject at Charles Sturt University has 8 credit points and this equates to roughly 140–160 hours of work for a student. A standard study load for a student is 32 points, or four 8-point subjects, per session. A standard year of full-time study at Charles Sturt University is 64 points, equivalent to 60 ECTS credit points.

  • Will my prior learning guarantee me entry?

    If you've completed a TAFE diploma or advanced diploma, you'll be eligible for guaranteed entry into most undergraduate courses.

    Important information for TAFE students:

    • Guaranteed entry is open to diploma and advanced diploma TAFE graduates.
    • You must have completed your TAFE qualification(s) within the past 10 years.
    • Your TAFE qualification does not have to be relevant to what you would like to study with us.
    • Tertiary Preparation Certificate (TPC) students who have achieved a Tertiary Entrance Score (TES) of 157 or above are also eligible for guaranteed entry into most Charles Sturt University undergraduate courses.
    • If you've completed a TAFE qualification other than a diploma or advanced diploma, you may still be able to gain entry to Charles Sturt University. Call us on 1800 275 278 or make an online enquiry.

    Charles Sturt University courses excluded from 'guaranteed entry'

    Please note there are certain courses which have enrolment limits or specific entry requirements and are not included in this guaranteed entry offering.

    Courses without guaranteed entry:

    Faculty of Arts and Education

    • Associate Degree in Adult and Vocational Education
    • Bachelor of Adult and Vocational Education (with specialisations)
    • Bachelor of Theatre Media
    • Bachelor of Education (Birth to Five Years)
    • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary)
    • Bachelor of Education (K–12)
    • Bachelor of Education (Technology and Applied Studies)
    • Bachelor of Education (Secondary) Industry Entry
    • Bachelor of Outdoor Education
    • Bachelor of Creative Industries (Film, Televisions, Screen and Media)
    • Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) – graduate entry
    • Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) – graduate entry

    Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences

    • Bachelor of Psychology

    Faculty of Science

    • Bachelor of Animal Science
    • Bachelor of Dental Science
    • Bachelor of Oral Health (Therapy and Hygiene)
    • Bachelor of Medical Science
    • Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (with specialisations)
    • Bachelor of Nursing
    • Bachelor of Paramedicine
    • Bachelor of Pharmacy
    • Bachelor of Physiotherapy
    • Bachelor of Veterinary Biology / Bachelor of Veterinary Science

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