Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL)

You can claim Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) when the learning and credit you have gained previously are relevant to the course of study you wish to undertake at the University of Cumbria

The subject matter should be similar, and the amount and level of the academic credit should be appropriate for the exemption you are seeking.

The qualification you are bringing forward for APCL should be reasonably recent and the knowledge therefore ‘current’. If your prior learning is over 5 years old, the academic member of staff who assesses your APCL claim will have the discretion to request a Statement of Currency to show how you have kept the learning up to date. Learning which has been completed more than 5 years ago could be deemed as too old to be considered for accreditation.

How to apply

Full time courses – Entry to year 2 or 3

If you have studied for a year or two at another University or Higher Education Institution, and you would like to transfer to UoC to continue your studies, we will certainly consider your request. You may only be part way through the first year, and know that you wish to transfer at the end of it, but we can still have a look at the possibilities whilst you continue study.

The course you studied previously must be similar to the course you wish to study at UoC. You should also have gained 120 Level 4 credits for year 2 entry, or 120 Level 4 and 120 Level 5 credits for year 3 entry, and we will need to see an official transcript of results as confirmation.

In the first instance, you will need to provide us with the Learning Outcomes of the modules you have studied at your previous institution, or are currently studying. These can usually be found in a course or module handbook, or on the institution’s website. You can send these to us electronically or via the post. If you have difficulty locating your learning outcomes, please ask your tutor at the previous institution.

Once received, the relevant member of academic staff here will compare the Learning Outcomes with those from our course. If the courses are similar enough, and the academic level and credits are sufficient, we will be able to consider an application from you.

If you have the required credits and most of the subject matter is covered but there are some knowledge gaps, we might be able to offer you bridging work which would then enable you to fill these gaps and enter the course at the appropriate point. In all cases, we are seeking to ensure that you have the same knowledge as students studying the whole course at UoC, and are therefore fully prepared for the next academic level and subject areas.

How to apply

You will need to apply through www.ucas.com and ensure that you select Point of Entry as 2 or 3 as appropriate. We will require a reference from a tutor at your previous Higher Education Institution.

If you have any difficulties locating the course on UCAS, please contact the APL team. It may be that we are no longer recruiting to year one of that course, but can consider transfer requests into year 2 or 3. The APL team will provide you with an online Direct Entry Application Form instead.

Most applicants will be interviewed, though it is not always necessary depending on the course you are applying for. You will be given the opportunity to have a look around the campus you are applying to, whether this is on an arranged Open Day or Interview Day, or on an individual basis.

In addition to your application, we will need a transcript of your results from your previous institution. This should include the module titles, marks and grades, and the number and level of academic credits gained for each module. Obviously in cases where an applicant is still studying at their first institution, this will not be available immediately. However, if we know that entry to year 2 or 3 of a course is possible because Learning Outcomes match, we can make a provisional offer of a place at UoC subject to our receipt of the transcript.

The tuition fees that you will be charged will be assessed on an individual basis and will be dependent on a number of factors including your previous qualification and dates of study.

For professional courses such as teaching or health care, you will be expected to meet professional standards. For example, teaching practice placements for QTS teaching courses are non-contributory in terms of credit and must be passed. For any courses that involve a placement, you will need occupational health clearance and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance prior to registration. There is usually a charge for completing the DBS disclosure procedure. DBS disclosures from previous institutions are not accepted.

Professional Health Courses

It is normally only possible to gain advanced entry to year 2 of our BSc (Hons) Pre-Registration Nursing courses or BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography. Applications for year 3 will not be considered. The deadline for applying to Year 2 is 31st March, to start in the following September.

International students

If you are applying to UoC as an international student, you will need to fill out the appropriate application form via the international admissions office and the APL team will liaise with them as appropriate in considering your APL application.

You will need to provide translated copies of your prior learning transcripts, showing details of the academic credits and award you have attained, and the syllabus content of your previous study. We will also need full details of the institution where you have studied.

Individual module claims for APCL

If you have studied individual modules on a stand alone basis, i.e. they have not counted towards a major award qualification, you can often use these to count towards a qualification at UoC, however the modules must have been awarded academic credits at the appropriate level and in a relevant subject. If you wish to submit a claim for APL you should not register on the module in question as you will be seeking exemption from study of this module.

For example, a qualified nurse may study a Level 6 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) module on Diabetes, and would then be able to bring that module and credit into a BSc Hons Practice Development. Or a teacher may have completed a Level 7 CPD module in Mentorship and be able to bring that into a Masters in Education.

If you wish to seek APCL for module(s) in this way, please complete the APCL Claim Form. You will see that there are maximum limits of APL which you can claim – these are noted on the guidance sheet.

All claim forms must be accompanied by the relevant transcript of results, showing marks, academic credits and levels. You may also need to provide the Learning Outcomes of the module you have studied if you are seeking exemption from a specific (core/ compulsory) module on your course of study, as opposed to an optional module.

If you are awarded APCL against a specific module, where the prior learning presented is at the same academic level and is worth the same number of credits, usually your mark will be transferred as well as the credit. This would then be used in any calculation of award classification. The grade used will conform to the UoC mark scheme. If the pass mark at your previous institution differs to the UoC pass mark, ungraded credit will be awarded. 

You should note that there is no guarantee that your claim will be successful. Claims are assessed on an individual basis and decisions depend on the date, content, level and credits of your previous study, as well as the content and structure of the award.

Postgraduate level claims

If you have previously completed a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma, and would like to continue study to gain a Postgraduate Diploma or Masters award, in a similar subject area, or you have studied a related postgraduate course or module, you should also seek APCL via the claim form. Please see the guidance notes for further information and evidence required.

Deadlines for application

Assessing an application for APL can take some time, so it is important that you apply early. Following your initial enquiry, we expect to receive your application within one month and if we do not, we will assume that you are no longer interested in pursuing your APL application.

For entry to year 2 or 3 of full time courses starting in September which award a professional qualification, e.g. Social Work, the deadline for applications will be the end of June each year. Bridging work may be required in such cases and more time is needed to allow for this to be set, submitted and marked prior to the course commencing.

However, for BSc (Hons) Pre-Registration Nursing, BSc (Hons) Midwifery and BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography courses, the application deadline is 31 March for year 2 entry in the following September.

For other courses, applications will be received up until the end of the first week in September. However to avoid possible disappointment, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

If, following application, you are successful and are offered a place, you will need to be able to provide certificated evidence of all qualifications held, including GCSEs where required.

APCL claims for individual modules may be submitted at any time.

If you are in any doubt, please contact the APL team in the first instance.


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