1. Recognition of Prior Learning

The University places no requirement on schools to grant ROL or to consider ROL applications if a school or programme has a policy of not so doing. Where the learning has occurred prior to the student being admitted to the University, applications for ROL should be made before the student first registers with the University as schools may choose not to consider any applications for ROL that are submitted after admission.

The process covers:

  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) i.e. where credits or qualifications have been awarded by a higher education degree-awarding body or professional bodies. Credit transfer can be either on the basis of an individual application or as part of a formal arrangement with an external institution. The admitting school determines the status of that award (including considerations of volume and level) as it relates to the programme the applicant wishes RPL to be applied to.

  • Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) i.e. where students have obtained masterslevel (level 7) credits or above via professional development or employment-based awards, e.g. the Cambridge ESOL DELTA, Trinity Dip TESOL, National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCO). Applicable to School of Education only.*


The term Recognition of Other Learning (ROL) is used where Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) are being referred to together

2. Applications for ROL

It is the student’s responsibility to apply for ROL and to provide all the necessary evidence to support their application. When applying for ROL, please complete the Application for Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) or Credit Transfer Form. Please note that exemption from our modules may mean that your course duration is shorter than advertised.

3. Limitations on ROL

Double Counting:

  • Recognition of Other Learning (ROL) can be granted for all learning from other educational institutions, even if that learning has already resulted in the award of a qualification similar to, or the same as, the qualification to be awarded to the student by the University of Nottingham.
  • ROL from a University of Nottingham qualification may not be used to count towards a second Nottingham qualification which is both at the same level and in a similar subject to the first. The exceptions to this are as follows:
    - A student who has already left with a bachelor's degree may subsequently be allowed to return and take a further year for the award of an Integrated master's degree.
    - A student who has successfully completed a Postgraduate Diploma programme (that is to say, was not awarded a Postgraduate Diploma as a result of failure on a Master's programme) may subsequently be allowed to return and to undertake a dissertation for the award of a Master's degree.
  • In accordance with the admissions procedures, individuals who have previously registered for and been unsuccessful on a course at the University of Nottingham may not apply to the same programme again and the ROL procedure does not apply to such potential candidates
Total number of credits allowable to be exempted:

University of Nottingham Malaysia qualification towards which ROL is grantedMaximum RPL credits*Maximum RPCL credit
Honours Degree (Qualifying and Part I only) 40 -
Integrated Masters (Qualifying and Part I only) 240 -
Postgraduate Certificate 30 -
Postgraduate Diploma 60 30
Masters (Taught stage only) 80 60
Research Master 60 -
Professional doctorates (where the research element is weighted at two-thirds and the taught element weighted at one-third of the programme) 120 -

4. ROL Requirements General:


  • Credit transfer or exemption is allowed only if the curriculum mapping of the two programmes is at least 80% in similarity.
  • The number of credits for which ROL is being sought must match the credits which will be counted.
  • The prior learning has taken place in the last ten years (many schools will, of course, require the learning to have occurred much more recently).
  • The student has gained pass marks in those modules or units for which Application of Prior Learning (APL) is being claimed.


  • Credit and course exemption from a lower to a higher level of study, i.e. from an accredited or recognised Diploma to the second year of the Honours Degree and Integrated Masters.
  • Credit transfer between accredited or recognised programmes of the same level, i.e. from an Honours Degree to another Honours Degree, or from an Integrated Masters to another Integrated Masters.
  • Credit transfer or exemption is allowed only for a complete year or level of study. Thus, applicants are not accepted half way through an academic year of a programme.
  • Direct entry to second (or third year in exceptional cases) is not possible if an applicant has failed the preceding level of study (e.g. second year entry to an Honours Degree is not possible for applicants who failed their Diploma or their first year of the Honours Degree).
  • Exceptional cases where Schools will consider to grant 240 credits (third year entry) are normally for applicants who are already studying in another British University or under a formal arrangement with another institution.

Postgraduate Taught:

  • Credit transfer between accredited or recognised programmes of the same level.
  • For credit transfer between accredited or recognised programmes, the normal credits exemption allowable is 80 credits.
  • For School of Education, students may apply up to 80 credits towards their masters (180 credits) qualification. However, as this has to be taken against whole modules, for the majority of our provision this will be set against two x 30-credit modules.
  • Credits gained through study at the University of Nottingham is not subject to this limitation i.e. maximum 80 credits.
  • ROL is not allowed for the postgraduate taught Masters in the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Postgraduate Research:

  • Schools may permit up to one year of registration at Nottingham (two years in the case of part-time students) to be replaced by prior study at another institution.


Decisions for all applications will be made by the admitting school, which can request any supporting evidence from the student which it deems necessary to reach a decision. The school may also wish to interview the applicant or may have additional criteria which must also be satisfied.

Once a decision has been made by the school, the applicant would be told in writing by the Admissions Office.