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Manchester Met allows students who provide evidence of prior learning exemption from aspects of their academic programme if they can demonstrate their existing knowledge and skills meet its requirements. The University's Policy for the Recognition of Prior Learning outlines the sets out the principles for recognising prior learning, articulates the thresholds for the amount and types of learning that can be recognised, and provides an overview of the process for managing the recognition of prior learning. The following guidance is targeted for each of the main stakeholders.

 


Guidance for Applicants

If you are considering submitting a claim for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) you should read through the University’s Policy for RPL to ensure you understand the purpose and requirements of the process.

The RPL process is completely separate from the University’s Admissions process and you should only submit an RPL claim if you have already received an offer of a place on a Manchester Met programme. If you have not yet applied for admission to Manchester Met, you must do this first by following the University’s application procedures (for Undergraduate or Postgraduate programmes)

You will need to identify whether an RPL claim is appropriate for you. To identify whether an RPL claim is appropriate, you should find out about the content and structure of the Manchester Met programme you are enrolling on, to see if it corresponds to the prior learning you have undertaken. You can get this information from the Admissions Tutor, Programme Leader or another academic member of the Programme Team. If you don’t have their contact details, approach the Student Hub as they will be able to help.

In considering whether or not to submit an RPL claim, you should make sure you are aware of the maximum amount of credit you may be exempted from. For most Manchester Met programmes this is 50% of the award you are aiming for, so:

  • If you are aiming for a BA/BSc (Honours) programme which is worth 360 credits, you will only be allowed to claim RPL for a maximum of 180 credits
  • If you are aiming for a Master’s Degree worth 180 credits, the maximum amount of RPL you can claim is 90 credits.

There are a few exceptions to this tariff and details can be found in the RPL Policy. Remember that you can only claim RPL against ‘taught’ units, so you will not be able to make a claim for exemption from your dissertation or independent study project

If you decide to submit an RPL claim, the University will allocate an academic advisor who will have relevant subject/programme expertise and will support you with your claim. You should make contact with your advisor as soon as possible.

You should submit a claim using the RPL Claim Form. This form contains all the information that the University will need to assess your claim. You should complete sections A, B and C. Section B asks you to provide information about the Manchester Met unit/programme from which you are seeking exemption and Section C asks for evidence of the prior learning you have completed. By completing these sections, you will be showing the University that you understand how your prior learning enables you to meet the Learning Outcomes of the Manchester Met unit/programme. You must include enough information to show that:

  • you have met the Learning Outcomes of the Manchester Met unit/programme;
  • the content/topics covered by your prior learning matches the Manchester Met unit(s) or is relevant to the Manchester Met programme;
  • the level of your prior learning is the same as or higher than the level of the Manchester Met unit/programme (i.e. if you are seeking exemption from the first year of a 3 year undergraduate degree, your prior learning must have been at level 4 or higher);
  • the value of your prior learning is equal to or higher than the value of the Manchester Met unit/programme. (N.B. Manchester Met measures the value of all learning in terms of credits, with each credit being equivalent to 10 hours of student effort);
  • your prior learning was undertaken recently enough to still be relevant to the Manchester Met unit/programme (N.B. Qualifications more than 5 years old will not normally be accepted and in some cases, such as professionally accredited programmes/units, prior learning will need to have been completed more recently. You should check this with your academic advisor.);
  • the prior learning was undertaken by you.

All evidence you submit to support your claim must be written in English.

Remember to include all relevant prior learning that you have undertaken on your claim form as the University cannot consider any prior learning that is omitted, even if it was undertaken at Manchester Met. If you need any help completing the claim form, contact your academic advisor as soon as possible.

Before you submit your claim form, make sure that you have:

  • fully completed all questions in sections A, B and C of the form
  • included all of the relevant evidence to support your claim as required in sections B and C
  • clearly labelled and numbered all pieces of supporting evidence and indicated which piece(s) of evidence relate to each section of the form
  • included the relevant RPL fee and completed the Faulty finance form (where relevant)

If you are unsure of the relevant fee, contact your academic advisor as soon as possible.

You should submit your claim as early as possible so that the University can assess it and let you know whether you have been granted exemption or not. This process normally takes around 4 weeks from the date we receive your claim (except during University closure at Christmas). If the programme/unit you are seeking exemption for starts teaching during this time, you must attend the classes and complete any elements of assessment until you are notified of the outcome of your RPL claim.
You will receive a letter from the University telling you whether or not your RPL claim has been approved. At the same time you may also receive a request for feedback about the process. Please complete the feedback request as this will allow the University to review the process and make future changes that may help you and your peers.
If your RPL claim is approved, the transcript you receive at the end of the academic year/programme will indicate which Manchester Met unit(s) you have been exempted from. At the end of your course, your degree classification will be calculated using only the units that you have undertaken at Manchester Met. Any marks you received from other institutions for your previous learning will not be taken in to account.



Guidance for Academic Advisors

All academic advisors should familiarise themselves with the University’s Policy for RPL before supporting students who may wish to make RPL claims.

The role of the academic advisor is to provide detailed advice and guidance to students who may wish to make an RPL claim. In order to undertake this role, you must have relevant subject/programme expertise, knowledge of the appropriate external environment (including any specific Professional, Statutory and/or Regulatory Bodies (PSRB’s) requirements) and be familiar with the University’s Policy for RPL.

You should arrange an initial meeting/discussion with any student you are supporting at the earliest mutual convenience. At this meeting you should discuss the student’s prior learning, guiding him/her to:

  • review their academic and professional needs;
  • ascertain whether appropriate prior learning has taken place;
  • identify which parts of the Manchester Met provision align to the prior learning they have undertaken;
  • identify appropriate evidence that will support the claim.

For claims involving the Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL), you should  also guide the student to:

  • reflect and self-evaluate on the prior experience(s);
  • decide how their prior learning might most appropriately be evidenced. This may take the form of a portfolio of evidence including elements such as artefacts, statements from employers/supervisors and/or pieces of written work, and should be accompanied by a reflective account written by the student and demonstrating the learning achieved through the experience.

During the discussion you will need to ensure that the student understands the requirements of the RPL process, including:

  • the difference between the Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning (RPCL) and the Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL), and which type(s) of learning their claim might relate to;
  • the difference between claiming specific and general credit, and which type their claim might relate to;
  • the fact that the evidence to support their claim must demonstrate what they have learnt through their prior learning (not just the fact that they have learnt it) and be submitted in English;
  • the thresholds relating to RPL claims;
  • how their prior learning will be assessed.

If the student decides to submit an RPL claim, you should then:

  • support him/her in completing the RPL Claim Form (including further identification of appropriate evidence to support the claim, if necessary);
  • discuss the timescales surrounding the submission and assessment of the RPL claim (making it clear to the student that if the unit/programme commences delivery before they are notified of outcome of the claim, he/she must attend and complete any appropriate assessment tasks);
  • ensure that the student is aware of the Faculty’s RPL fees.

As an academic advisor you are responsible for raising any specific issues or concerns relating to RPL within the programme/University to the Programme Leader and/or the Chair of the Faculty Academic Quality and Standards Committee.



Guidance for RPL Assessors

All RPL Assessors should familiarise themselves with the University’s Policy for RPL before assessing any RPL claims.

In order to undertake the role of RPL Assessor you must have relevant subject/programme expertise, knowledge of the appropriate external environment and be familiar with the University’s Policy for RPL. For programmes with associated Professional, Statutory and/or Regulatory Bodies (PSRB’s) you must also hold any relevant qualifications required by the PSRB.

You should never be the only Assessor to consider an RPL claim as the University requires each claim to be considered by at least two Assessors. This could be as part of a Faculty RPL Committee, a joint consideration between you and the other Assessor(s), or individual assessments by you and the other Assessor(s). However the assessments are undertaken, you should all record the decisions/outcomes on the same RPL Claim Form, submitted by the student.

In assessing RPL claims, the Assessor is responsible for:

  • considering the claim in terms of whether the content, learning outcomes and student effort involved in the prior learning matches the requirements of the Manchester Met provision for which exemption¬† is being sought, to a sufficient degree that would enable to student to succeed at the highest possible FHEQ level within the programme if the exemption is approved;
  • considering whether the amount and level of academic credit requested for exemption by the student is appropriate;
  • recommending any remaining core/optional units/levels which the student should complete in order for the target award to be conferred;
  • providing details of the basis upon which any claims are rejected;
  • recording the decisions and reasons for decisions on the RPL Claim Form (section D and some parts of Section E):
  • assessing the RPL claim expediently and ensuring that the relevant parties are informed of the decision(s) made;
  • providing appropriate written or verbal feedback to students whose claims are rejected to ensure that the student understands the reason(s) for the rejection and to inform any future RPL claims.

As an RPL assessor you are also responsible for raising any specific issues or concerns relating to RPL within the programme/University to the Programme Leader and/or the Chair of the Faculty Academic Quality and Standards Committee.



Approval process for RPL