Skip to main navigation Skip to content
safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education
 
 

Glossary 

Terms relating to academic credit explained 

accreditation of prior learning (APL) The identification, assessment and formal acknowledgement of learning and achievement that occurred at some time in the past (perhaps as the result of a previous course, self-directed study, or active experience), which is taken into account when admitting a student to a course of study. (See also recognition of prior learning.)

assessment regulations The rules governing assessment of a programme of study including the marking scheme, the pass mark, the requirements for progression to subsequent levels or stages of a programme and the award and classification requirements (for instance credits to be achieved and specific marks to be attained).

credit Credit is awarded to a learner in recognition of the achievement of designated learning outcomes at a specified level.

credit accumulation and transfer A mechanism which allows credit awarded by a higher education awarding body to be recognised, quantified and included towards the credit requirements for a programme delivered by another higher education provider and/or between programmes offered by a higher education provider.

credit level An indicator of the relative complexity and/or depth of learning.

credit level descriptors The generic characteristics of learning at a specific level, used as reference points.

credit transcript The formal record of a student's achievements issued by a higher education provider or awarding body.

credit value The number of credits, at a particular level, assigned to a body of learning. In other words, it indicates both the amount of learning expected and the relative level of difficulty.

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) See The UK Higher Education International Unit.

learning outcomes Statement of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning.

notional hours of learning The number of hours which it is expected that a learner (at a particular level) will spend, on average, to achieve the specified learning outcomes at that level.

qualification descriptors Generic statements of the outcomes of study for the main qualification at each level which exemplify the nature and characteristics of that qualification.

unit/module A self-contained, formally structured learning experience with a coherent and explicit set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

For explanations of all our commonly used terms, see the main glossary.

This website is archived by the British Library's UK Web Archive: preserving UK websites