The following policy applies to any taught modules and taught units in non-modular programmes, including
taught modules and units in postgraduate research programmes, subject to the limitations outlined below.
All students on these programmes are eligible for RPL and credit transfer, including those students enrolled
through partnership programmes and on branch campuses. Any exemptions to the policy must be approved
by the relevant Undergraduate or Postgraduate Dean.
Erasmus agreements and direct entry agreements managed by the International Office, and individual
applications for direct entry managed through Admissions, are not within the scope of this policy, although
brief reference is made to these arrangements in the Notes.
Non-modular professional degree programmes such as medicine and dentistry are responsible for
graduating students who meet the standards of their regulatory bodies i.e. General Medical Council and
General Dental Council. Therefore, it is not possible for these programmes to recognise prior learning or
credit transfer from another programme of study. Most non-modular programmes require students to study
the whole programme and it is unlikely that prior learning or credit transfer would be granted for any of the
components of these programmes. However, in circumstances where prior learning or credit transfer may
be considered, the minimum level of assessment will be determined by the relevant Degree Programme
Director or delegated member of the programme team.
This policy distinguishes between credit transfer and recognition of prior learning (RPL), defined as follows:
Credit Transfer: where the credits or qualification(s) have been awarded by a UK higher education degree-
awarding body in accordance with the relevant higher education qualifications framework and QCF. Credit
transfer may be internal (i.e. from one Newcastle programme to another) or external, but marks are only
retained for internal credit transfer.
Recognition of prior experiential learning: an assessment process whereby an academic unit recognises a
student’s learning gained through experience
Recognition of prior certificated learning: an assessment process whereby an academic unit recognises prior
learning that is at higher education level but that has not led to the award of credits or qualifications
positioned on the UK higher education qualifications framework
Normally, a student’s prior learning will be handled either as credit transfer or as RPL; however, there may
be instances when academic units need to consider both (i.e. a student who has a combination of UK credit
and experiential knowledge).
Decisions to grant credit transfer and RPL under this policy are academic decisions, based on individual
students’ applications and academic judgement about whether or not the prior learning maps appropriately
onto stated learning outcomes for modules at the University.
For both credit transfer and RPL, the minimum level of assessment is a module. Students cannot apply for
credit for or exemption from part of a module.
Academic judgements about prior learning must take ‘currency’ into account – i.e. the lapse of time since
the prior learning took place and/or was credited. Prior learning will only be eligible for credit for or
University Policy on Credit Transfer
and the Recognition of Prior