Recognition of Prior Learning
You can apply to have your previous non-formal education recognised and credited towards your University of Waikato qualification.
1. Select 'Apply for Recognition of Prior Learning' in your online application
When completing your online application to enrol at the University of Waikato, select the option which asks if you wish to 'apply for Recognition of Prior Learning' in your application.
2. Complete an Application for Recognition of Prior Learning
Submissions should be received by the University of Waikato six weeks before the start of your first semester of study.
3. Gather supporting documents
Please provide a portfolio of material that outlines your previous study/work experience/unpaid experience in the subject area. This portfolio could include: job descriptions, letters from employers, copies of reports, research or documents you have prepared.
4. Send us your completed form and supporting documents
Post or deliver your completed form, supporting documents and appropriate fee to:
The Student Centre
Student Services Division
University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
Please allow at least four weeks for your application for recognition of prior learning to be processed.
Confirmation of the outcome of your application for recognition of prior learning will be sent to you in writing by the Credit Office.
What is Recognition of Prior Learning?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the formal recognition of non-credentialed prior learning. You are given the opportunity to have an assessment made of learning that you may have undertaken in a non-formal setting (e.g. outside school, polytechnic, or university) which could be counted towards a formal qualification.
Essentially, if you have undertaken learning for which you have not received a formal qualification, and which may be of a level which could count towards a university level qualification, you are entitled to apply for RPL.
An example of this could be if you have taught yourself how to design a website, and have then created it. Whilst the learning that you have undertaken may not have been attached to a formal qualification, the skills and understandings which you have had to engage with may count at university degree level study. The same would apply if you have taught yourself how to programme in C++, or have work experience which has given you these skills.
The Faculty of Education offer a credit of up to 30 points to a master’s degree or postgraduate diploma through the recognition of prior learning process. An example of this could be a student who has completed a one year National Aspiring Principals’ Programme (NAPP).
Only one RPL credit of up to 30 points is permitted for a master’s qualification in the Faculty of Education. This credit may not be substituted for required papers for a qualification.
RPL gives you the opportunity to reduce the amount of time required to achieve a university level qualification by recognising learning that has not been taken towards a formal qualification.
The following papers are currently available for recognition of prior learning through the Faculty of Education, Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, and Waikato Management School. Each University of Waikato paper listed has an RPL equivalent; both papers are the same. For more detail on the specific papers, see the Catalogue of Papers.
|University of Waikato papers||Equivalent papers|
|RPLC500 Professional Learning in Education Practice (RPL)|
|MATH101 (Introduction to Calculus)||RPLC103 Introduction to Calculus (RPL)|
|MATH102 (Introduction to Algebra)||RPLC104 Introduction to Algebra (RPL)|
|STAT121 (Introduction to Statistical Methods)||RPLC106 Introduction to Statistical Methods (RPL)|
|ACCT101 (Accounting for Management)||RPLC107 Accounting for Management (RPL)|
|ACCT102 (Introductory Financial Accounting)||RPLC108 Introductory Financial Accounting (RPL)|
|ECON100 (Business Economics and the New Zealand Economy)||RPLC109 Business Economics and the New Zealand Economy (RPL)|
|ENGG371 (Engineering Placement 1)||RPLC371 Engineering Placement 1 (RPL)|
|ENGG372 (Engineering Placement 2)||RPLC372 Engineering Placement 2 (RPL)|
|SCIE371 (Science Work Placement 1)||RPLC373 Science Work Placement 1 (RPL)|
|SCIE372 (Science Work Placement 2)||RPLC374 Science Work Placement 2 (RPL)|
|COMP371 (Computer Science Work Placement 1)||RPLC316 Computer Science Work Placement 1 (RPL)|
|COMP372 (Computer Science Work Placement 2)||RPLC317 Computer Science Work Placement 2 (RPL)|
|COMP373 (Computer Science Work Placement 3)||RPLC318 Computer Science Work Placement 3 (RPL)|
How is Recognition of Prior Learning assessed?
There are no classes associated with RPL papers.
You may be required to sit an examination for the RPL paper(s) you have enrolled in. The examination will be held during the Summer School, Semester A, or Semester B examination period (dependent on when you enrol in the paper(s)) and will provide an assessment of your understanding in relation to the content areas of the papers being considered. In some cases, you will be required to sit more than one examination per RPL paper.
RPL examinations are governed by the Assessment Regulations which can be found in the University of Waikato Calendar.
Some of the RPL papers do not require a challenge examination.
If you are enrolling in Faculty of Science and Engineering and/or Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences placement RPL papers, you will be required to submit a written report on your work experience and other supporting documentation as required by the faculty. You should contact the faculty for specific information on the placement papers and their RPL equivalents.
If you are enrolling in the Faculty of Education RPLC500 paper, you are required to submit evidence of prior professional learning or experience and to demonstrate your competence as equivalent to competencies taught in your master’s programme. Prior learning must be directly related to the programme of study for which credit is sought, and this must be demonstrated in the submitted Evidence Portfolio.
To receive RPL you required to pay an application fee. There is a challenge examination fee for each paper that you wish to have assessed for RPL once your application has been approved. This fee covers the costs involved in the examination and the assessment process. If you are already enrolled in a programme of study at the University of Waikato and eligible for a student loan, you will be entitled to pay RPL fees by student loan.
All students will be required to pay the challenge examination fee set for each paper prior to sitting the examinations or completing the required assessments.
See Non-Tuition costs for more information on fees.
Phone: + 64 7 838-4666 ext: 7750