Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) - Masters - European Leadership University
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RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING (RPL) - MASTERS

Professional Masters in Data Science and Leadership programme

It is possible to bring and receive credit for previous learning experiences towards your European Leadership University programme. The process to apply for credit for external learning is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). The RPL process can include previous learning that has occurred in any of a range of contexts (including school, college or university or through life and work experiences). After careful assessment, the university can recognise your prior learning through the award of credits and/or exemption from a module or modules in a programme at European Leadership University at the bachelor’s and master’s level.

This document is meant to help you understand what Recognition of Prior Learning entails and what the procedure is to apply for RPL within the Professional Masters in Data Science and Leadership programme at ELU.

TYPES OF RPL

  1. Credit transfer

Credit transfer is when you put credits from another higher education (university-level) qualification towards a new qualification. We can accept credits from qualifications you’ve completed in the last 5 years. Higher education qualifications include Bachelor’s degrees, postgraduate diplomas, and Master’s degrees.

  1. Prior certificated learning

Prior certificated learning is university-level learning that happened outside of the educational systems. This can include professional development and employment-based awards, or qualifications awarded by another (professional skills) education institution.

  1. Prior experiential learning

Prior experiential learning relates to knowledge and skills you’ve gained through experience. For example, through employment, reading and research, life experience, non-credit courses, voluntary work, etc. 

If you think you have covered the content of a module/ modules via any of the three types of learning above, you can apply for RPL.

How do you apply for RPL?

  1. 1- Contact your admissions consultant about your application. S/he will invite you for an advisory consultation with the programme manager. In this consultation, the programme manager and you analyse the final attainment levels in relation to your prior learning and discuss the possibilities for evidence you might present. In this consultation, the programme manager also explains how to fill out the application form and how to build a portfolio (if needed). Finally, a deadline is set for the application to be submitted. If you do not meet this deadline, you automatically forgo on the opportunity to receive RPL credit exemptions. 


    2- You complete the RPL application form and your portfolio by the required deadline. The first part of this portfolio includes evidence for certified learning; the second part includes evidence for informal and non‐formal learning. You are required to deliver: (a) curriculum vitae, (b) descriptions of evidence in relation to the final attainment levels, (c) a work place clarification and (d) products that serve as evidence. In this stage of the procedure, the programme manager supports the candidate by answering questions and in helping to decide what information is useful as evidence for the final attainment levels. At the end of this document, we will provide you with a bit more help in constructing this portfolio.


    3- Once you have completed the application form and portfolio, you submit it to the programme manager who will forward it to the Chair of the Examination Board of the Professional Masters in Data Science and Leadership programme at ELU. S/he will appoint two assessors who are academically connected to the Masters programme to evaluate your application. Within three weeks of your submission, you will be invited to a conversation with these assessors. The objective of the assessment conversation is to examine some subjects in the portfolio in depth. In the assessment conversation the assessors have the option to ask for additional evidence. And as a result of the conversation, the assessors may require you to undertake additional assignments, like an essay or a program analysis. All this information serves as input for the assessors to define advice for the examination board. 


    4- This examination board examines the advice and decides whether RPL credit exemptions will be awarded, and if so, for which parts of the programme and for which period of time. The validated result of this decision is shared with you within two weeks of the examination board receiving the advice. Finally, you receive a study plan with a remaining study path outlined from your programme manager. Once approved, recognition of prior learning is valid for a limited period (up to five years) which will be stated in the letter.


    5-If you gain a credit exemption for a module or modules (or module component where permitted), you may be entitled to a pro-rata reduction in their tuition fees. If this is the case, the assessors will inform the programme manager and s/he will inform the Student Affairs Finance Department.

Important!!! How much does the application cost?

Applying for RPL comes at a cost of 100 EUR to be paid at submission of the application form and portfolio.

RPL portfolio example structure

t’s important you present your RPL portfolio in a logical way so it highlights your knowledge, skills and experience to assessors. Here’s an example RPL portfolio structure you can use when you put your portfolio together:

Title page: your name and the modules your RPL relates to;

Table of contents: depends on content ;

Personal information:  include address, and contact information.

Summarise all previous learning activities for each module your RPL applies to: Summarise all the formal and informal learning activities that you had regarding a module, and indicate the learning outcomes that you think apply to the module you are seeking recognition for, by cross-checking the Professional Masters in Data Science and Leadership learning objectives in the programme handbook.

Support with Learning Evidence: In the appendices, include all the learning evidence that demonstrates and proves you have gained the relevant skills. This should include concrete artefacts, pieces of work, assessments, written feedback or project deliverables clearly demonstrating a direct connection with the learning outcomes in the programme curriculum. 

Reflective Account: It’s essential that each learning experience you include in your RPL portfolio contains evidence that you’ve reflected on and applied what you’ve learnt. Please find more information below.

Choosing what evidence to include

When you’re deciding what evidence to include in your RPL portfolio, make sure it meets the following criteria:

Current – no more than 5 years old or presented with further evidence that shows how you’ve kept your learning up-to-date and have built on it;

Authentic – your own work or own contribution;

Relevant – to the subject area of the module and the module’s learning outcomes.

Reflecting on your experience

Use these questions to help you identify and reflect on relevant learning experiences:

  • What major events have you undertaken in your studies / experiences?
  • What are your thoughts and feelings about these events, now and at the time you did them?
  • What new skills have you developed as a result of these events? For example, have you changed your attitude? Would you act differently if the same situation arose again? Have you transferred this learning to other situations such as the workplace?
  • What new learning has taken place as a result of the experience?
  • What personal changes have taken place as a result of your learning? For example, are you more confident?

Further RPL portfolio tips

  • Don’t assume the reader will have an understanding of the points you’re making, or know the modules/projects you’re referring to.
  • Make sure your portfolio reflects an academic approach at the level you’re seeking credit for.