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Academic credit - an introduction 

Academic credit supports lifelong learning. It can help with progression into higher education, transfer between programmes or educational institutions and provides opportunities for learning which takes place outside an educational institution to be recognised.

QAA has published a straightforward guide to academic credit, offering an introduction to how credit is used in higher education in England. Intended for students and those unfamiliar with credit, it includes an overview of what credit is and when it is awarded, as well as an explanation of credit accumulation and transfer.

It has been designed to complement the Higher education credit framework for England.

What is credit?

Academic credit is a means of quantifying and recognising learning. Most institutions that provide higher education programmes of study in England use credit.  

When is credit awarded?

Credit is awarded when you meet a specific set of 'learning outcomes' for a module or programme. The credit value for a module is set before you begin your studies.

Credit accumulation

As you successfully complete modules you will start to gather credit. Accumulating credit may mean you can take a break from studying and return later. You will have to accumulate sufficient credit, as determined by the educational institution with which you are registered, to be awarded a qualification.

Transferring credit

Credit may be transferred to another programme at your institution, or to a programme at another institution. Our case study demonstrates how.

Credit for other forms of learning

Find out how learning that takes place in the workplace or in the voluntary sector may be recognised.

Glossary and further information

Links to other useful sources of information on credit and qualifications in the UK and Europe, plus a glossary of commonly used terms.

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