Learning that takes place outside of a higher education setting, for example in the workplace or in the voluntary sector, can also be formally recognised (accredited) by institutions providing higher education programmes.
This is done through a process known as the accreditation of prior learning (APL). The learning achieved in a different setting is reviewed and may be assessed by an institution, and a credit value can be assigned to it.
Accreditation of prior learning case study
After completing a BA (Hons) in History of Art, Tejal worked for two years in a museum. She then applied to study for an MA in Art, Architecture and Design.
She was able to demonstrate, through the university's APL procedures, that the learning she had gained from her experience at the museum matched the learning outcomes of two 10 credit level 7 modules on this programme.
Tejal was awarded 20 credits (2 x 10 credits) for these modules, without needing to study and take the assessment for these modules.