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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the formal recognition of non-credentialed prior learning. Students are given the opportunity to have an assessment made of learning that they may have undertaken in a non-formal (e.g. outside school, polytechnic, University) setting which could be counted towards a formal qualification. Essentially, if students have undertaken learning for which they have not received a formal qualification, and which may be of a level which could count towards a University level qualification, they are entitled to apply for RPL.
An example of this could be a student who has taught themselves how to design a website, and has then created it. Whilst the learning that they have undertaken may not have been attached to a formal qualification, the skills and understandings which they have had to engage with may count at University degree level study. The same would apply to someone who has taught themselves to programme in C++, or has work experience which has given them these skills.

RPL gives students 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.


How to apply for RPL

  • Information should include detail of activities undertaken which have contributed to the student’s learning in the area for which they are requesting RPL. For example, the development of personal web pages may have involved some investigation into the use of different web tools (e.g. HTML) and their application.
  • RPL Applications must be submitted to the RPL Coordinator at the Credit Office (see address below) for initial processing.
  • The Application Form must be submitted with the $50 Application Fee to cover the costs of administrative processing. Read more

The School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences will make an assessment of the application based on the information provided by the student. In some situations, the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences staff will contact the student to request additional information or to discuss their application.


RPL Challenge Examinations

If the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences approves an application for RPL, the RPL Coordinator will contact the student concerned to advise them which RPL papers they need to enrol in. The student will be required to sit an examination for each of the RPL papers they have been enrolled in. The examination will be held during the Summer School or A Trimester examination (dependent on when the student enrols in the paper(s)) and will provide an assessment of the student’s understanding in relation to the content areas of the paper(s) being considered.
In some cases students will be required to sit more than one examination per RPL paper.
All terms and conditions of the University of Waikato Assessment Regulations 2001 will apply to students sitting these examinations. The terms and conditions of the Assessment Regulations are detailed in the University of Waikato Calendar.

RPL Enquiries

If you have any enquiries relating to RPL please contact the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences or:

Credit Office
The Student Centre
Student and Academic Services
University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton 3240
New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 838-4466 ext. 7750
Fax: +64 7 838-4254
Email: RPL@waikato.ac.nz