Postgraduate Recognition of Prior Learning

Note – Recognition of Prior Learning is often referred to as ‘Credit Transfer’ or ‘Advanced Standing’.

You can apply for credit transfer for courses you have previously completed at other institutions.

RPL is available in the form of Credit Transfer (6 UOC) or Exemption (0 UOC). For more information please see the Glossary below.

Eligibility:

Students may receive RPL consistent with the UNSW Credit Transfer rules and Faculty Enrolment Rules with approval from the Program Authority. In particular, please note that:

  • RPL assessments are based on the completion date of the course used for credit;
  • Credit will not be granted where the completion date exceeds 10 years;
  • Students must complete a UNSW program of study equivalent to one year full-time (ie. 48 units of credit);
  • It it is not possible to apply for credit if a student has previously attempted or remained enrolled beyond the census date in the course while studying at UNSW.

Students enrolled in a program < 24 UOC are not eligible for Transfer Credit, however may apply for exemptions and convert this to Transfer Credit upon articulating to the next program in the sequence.

Your Application

You should allow approximately 4 weeks for processing.

It is your responsibility to drop any course(s) for which you have been granted RPL, before the relevant census date.

For more information please visit  the following link:

https://student.unsw.edu.au/credit-transfer

Biomedical Engineering

  • Students in program 8660 are strictly NOT eligible for exemptions or RPL throughout the duration of their degree.
  • Students in program 8338 may be eligible for some course exemptions. Students with a four-year honours degree (for example in Electrical Engineering) may obtain a maximum of 24 UOC of exemptions.

Application: Students wishing to apply for Transfer Credit or Exemption should submit the Application for Credit Transfer / Advanced Standing Form

Note: You must attach an official academic transcript and course descriptions of the studies you have undertaken at another university.

Chemical Engineering

The Australian Government wants overseas students in Australia to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding place to study. Australia's laws promote quality education and consumer protection for overseas students. These laws include the Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code. Please refer to Recognition of Prior Learning for more information.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

What your credit transfer means (only applicable to Program 8338):

At the time that you commence your studies, you may have asked for advanced standing. If so, you will see a record of this on your academic statement.

This can be viewed by logging on to www.my.unsw.edu.au > view the ‘student profile tab’> view academic statement.

If you are given 48UOC of exemptions, they will look like either of these:

  1. GSOE8124 – 24UOC Disciplinary Knowledge
    GSOE8524 – 24UOC Transfer credit 
    OR
  2. GSOE8124 – 24UOC Disciplinary Knowledge
    GSOE8212 – 12UOC electives
    GSOE8312 - 12 UOC Enquiry based

If you fall under option 1, you are expected to complete the following:

  • 24UOC - specialisation courses (within the area in which you are studying)
  • GSOE9010 - Postgraduate Coursework Research Skills course
  • Master’s Thesis A & B – to be completed in consecutive semesters
  • 6UOC - Engineering and Technical Management course

If you fall under option 2, you are expected to complete the following:

  • 24UOC - specialisation courses (within the area in which you are studying)
  • GSOE9010/9011 - Postgraduate Coursework Research Skills course or GSOE9220 Launching a Start-up
  • 6UOC - Engineering and Technical Management course
  • 12UOC – of electives, more specialisation courses and/or engineering and technical management courses

If you have been given 42UOC or less you are usually expected to also complete a prescribed course which is outlined in your offer letter. It is expected you complete these prescribed courses as soon as possible.

It is important to note that if you have been given advanced standing that does not include:

GSOE8312 - 12 UOC Enquiry based courses, and then you are expected to complete Master’s Thesis A & B (to be completed in consecutive semesters).

If you are unsure what your credit transfer means or would like to be considered for more, please contact Civil Engineering for assistance.for assistance.

Computer Science and Engineering

How to apply:

In most cases, credit will applied upon admission and will be noted in your offer letter. Please proceed to the FAQs below. If that is not the case, please submit a web form to apply for Transfer Credit after reading the below information.

Students are expected to apply for Transfer Credit or Exemption PRIOR to commencing their studies at UNSW.  Applications received after the commencement of the current term may be rejected.

It is only possible to apply for RPL of the foundation-level courses listed in the table below. Have a look at the 'Topics Covered' document to ensure the knowledge covered at the host institution is comparable to the topics covered here at UNSW.

Please note: requesting the removal of RPL, if approved, disqualifies students from having credit reinstated under any circumstances.

Course Description
COMP9020 Foundations of Computer Science
COMP9021 Principles of Programming
COMP9024 Data Structures & Algorithms
COMP9032 Microprocessors & Interfacing
COMP9311 Database Systems
COMP9414 Artificial Intelligence
COMP9331 Computer Networks & Applications
GSOE9820 Engineering Project Management*
COMP8552 12 UOC Advanced Disciplinary Knowledge Exemption**

*Applications for GSOE9820 may be considered based on professional experience, see below.
**Applications for COMP8552 are subject to completion of a thesis worth (approx.) twice the standard credit of courses in their Bachelors degree.

Have a look at the 'Topics Covered' document to ensure the knowledge covered at the host institution is comparable to the topics covered here at UNSW.

What to include in your application

Note: Submissions without the appropriate documentation will be denied. To ensure your application is processed smoothly, please ensure you submit supporting documentation as follows:

Prior Studies (all courses)
Applications based on prior studies must include:

1. Official Transcript
2. Official Course Outline - must be directly equivalent to the up-to-date contents of the UNSW course

Professional Experience (GSOE9820 only)
Applications for RPL of GSOE9820 based on Professional Experience must include:

1. CV or Resume 
The following items must be included for consideration:

  • Job Title;
  • Company of Employment;
  • Duration of Employment;
  • A description of the project.

2. Certified written statement
The following items must be included for consideration:

  • Details of the student's management of the project;
  • Duration of the project in hours;
  • Definition of the scope of the project within an Engineering context;
  • The statement must be verified by the supervisor*.

*The supervisor must be contactable to verify authenticity of the document, the following details must be enclosed within the statement:

1. Supervisor name;
2. Supervisor position;
3. Supervisor work email address (e.g. @unsw.edu.au, @google.com etc.);
4. Supervisor phone number;
5. Signature and/ or verification.

Please note: Applications will be rejected where the statement is vague (e.g. “I organised budget and resources”) or an employer recommendation was provided without detail of the project specified (e.g. “I support this person’s application for credit”). Applications must detail the specific actions and tasks performed to successfully complete the project.

Academic Integrity

Applications will not be accepted where the course outline was translated from an unofficial source or appears to be self-written. If your Transcript or Course Outline is not in English, it must be officially translated. Please refer to the UNSW document certification page for more information.

Students will be disqualified from credit if found to have plagiarised any content in their submission and reported to the relevant authority for further action.

The UNSW Student Code provides a framework for the standard of conduct expected of UNSW students with respect to their academic integrity and behaviour. Where a student breaches the Student Code with respect to academic integrity the University may take disciplinary action under the Student Misconduct Procedure.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

1. My transfer credit has been approved. What do I need to do now?

If you have been approved for transfer credit in one of the seven foundation level topics which form prerequisites for most higher level electives, you should take care to ensure that your skills are up to date, and your background and/or experience matches the assumed knowledge expected of you.  While we have made every effort to ensure that our assessment is accurate, you are ultimately responsible for your own enrolment and you should seek advice immediately if you have any concerns about your ability to study higher level material.

CSE courses are taught at a faster pace than at many other institutions, and often in leading edge technologies and applications.  Many students overestimate their abilities and put themselves at risk in their attempt to complete the degree in a shorter timeframe.

Failure in one course will place you on probation; failure in more than three courses will lead to your exclusion from all postgraduate UNSW programs without automatic re-admission. 

2. My transfer credit/exemptions have NOT been approved. What do I do now?

If your transfer credit has not been approved, you can submit an appeal in writing by responding to the email with your outcome.  You must outline the reasons why you think the decision should be over turned, and you may provide additional documentation if appropriate.

If the decision to deny your credit request is upheld, you may submit a further appeal to the UNSW Student Integrity Unit.  You can find details on the procedure on the UNSW Student website:  https://student.unsw.edu.au/complaints

3. I applied for transfer credit before the new process was implemented in November 2017. Can I reapply?

Students who have not attempted the relevant course at UNSW (or remained enrolled beyond census date) can apply to be assessed under the new rules.

Students who have previously failed an exemption exam will not be prevented from applying, but where credit is granted under the new rules they will be required to submit a statement to confirm they understand the risks involved in accepting the transfer credit and they understand they will not be eligible for special consideration on any assessments.

4. What is the 12 UOC ADK Exemption (COMP8552)?

12 UOC ADK Exemption means that instead of being required to take 36 UOC (6) ADK courses, you now only need to complete 24 UOC (4) ADK courses. However, please note that these are exemptions, not credit. Exemptions means that you will still need to complete 96 units of credit required of the Master’s program and your program length has not been reduced.

5. Does the 12 UOC ADK Exemption apply to me?

The 12 uoc ADK exemption does not apply to you if:  

  • You are in the 5543 Graduate Diploma in Information Technology. Upon successful articulation, the reduction will apply provided you do not receive more than 12 uoc Transfer Credit, as outlined below. 
  • You have already received more than 12 uoc Transfer Credit (your degree has been reduced by more than 12 uoc – 2 courses). This is because your ADK requirement has already been reduced and is calculated according to the ADK table.

 


 

Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications

  • Students in program 8621 are strictly NOT eligible for exemptions or RPL throughout the duration of their degree.
  • Students in program 8338 may be eligible for some course exemptions. Students with a four-year honours degree (for example in Electrical Engineering) may obtain a maximum of 48 UOC of exemptions.
  • Students in program 5341 generally will not be granted exemptions, however students can discuss this with our PG Coordinator.

Application process: Students who are offered 2-year MengSci 8338 admission can only apply for course exemptions after completing one semester at UNSW with a minimum WAM of 65.

Students who meet the above criteria and wish to apply for course exemption need to email our PG Co-ordinator: Dr Jayashri Ravishankar requesting exemption with their UG transcript.

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Postgraduate Coursework students enrolled in MECHIS8338, MANFCS8338, MECHZS5341 or MANFFS5341 are eligible to apply for Advanced Standing (transfer credits or recognition of prior learning) in their first semester.  MECHBS8621 students and students with a 3 year UG UK degree are not eligible for advanced standing. Advanced Standing is based on the student’s undergraduate degree and is given in blocks of 24 units of credit (UoC) or 48 UoC. Individual courses are not credited.

This means the program can be reduced by either a one semester (24 UoC) or two semesters (48 UoC) depending on the result of the UG transcript assessment.

To apply, send your UG transcript to the Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering team at mech_go@unsw.edu.au. You will be notified of the result and asked to either accept or deny the credits before the end of week 13 of your first semester.

Advanced standing codes

Below are advanced standing codes used in 5341 and 8338 programs.  Advanced standing is granted in blocks of 24 or 48 UOC.

•             GSOE8124           24 UOC Disciplinary Knowledge

•             GSOE8112           12 UOC Disciplinary Knowledge

•             GSOE8212           12 UOC Electives

•             GSOE8312           12 UOC Enquiry-Based

Advanced standing is not given in blocks of 6, 12 or 18 UOC.

Mining Engineering

Some students will be eligible for credit transfer and RPLs. For example, if you hold an undergraduate degree in mining engineering you can apply for RPL for MINE8101 and MINE8115. If you who have recently completed an undergraduate degree you can apply for RPL for GSOE9010 (or equivalent to GSOE9400). If you have recent relevant experience in the mining industry you can apply for RPL for MINE8101. Take a look below for our current guidelines:

  • Masters of Mining Engineering: Applications for a maximum of four course credits or RPLs will be considered in this program, provided the criteria listed in the section below are satisfied.
  • Graduate Diploma of Mining Engineering: Applications for a maximum of two course credits or RPLs will be considered in this program, provided the criteria listed in the section below are satisfied.
  • Graduate Certificate of Mining Engineering: Applications for a maximum of one course credit or RPL will be considered in this program, but only as part of articulation to the Graduate Diploma, and provided the criteria listed in the section below are satisfied. If an exemption for a course such as MINE8101 is approved for students with relevant mining industry experience, another course is to be completed for the required total UOC for the Graduate Certificate of Mining Engineering.

Criteria for approval of course credit or RPL:

  • Course for RPL is equivalent to a UNSW postgraduate course in relation to student load, hours required, content and assessments. Undergraduate level courses will generally not be considered equivalent to postgraduate courses for RPL.
  • Course for RPL was recently completed with a recognised training provider within the past 10 years.
  • Certified academic transcripts are provided as evidence for completion and grades of course for RPL.
  • Results of course for RPL is > 65%.
  • A plan for courses to be completed each semester to complete the postgraduate coursework program must be submitted.

An application for credit RPL is to be forwarded to Mining Engineering including documents and information addressing the above criteria.  Approval of all credit RPL will be at the discretion of the Director Postgraduate Studies (Coursework).

Petroleum Engineering

Advanced Standing in a program may be approved when the student shows they have sufficient knowledge of the topic. The student will then be credited course credits and advise of any relevant exemptions from their program.

Please note that the School policy allows for a maximum of 24 UOC to be granted per program.

Advanced Disciplinary Knowledge (ADK) courses are NOT eligible for Advanced Standing.

Students are strongly advised to finalise the Advanced Standing prior to commencing their first semester of study. It is not possible to apply for advanced standing if a student has previously attempted or remained enrolled beyond the census date in the course while studying at UNSW.

Advanced standing can only be given in the courses listed below:

Course Code Description
PTRL5019  Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering A
PTRL5013  Petroleum Geology
PTRL5014  Petroleum Geophysics
MATH5305  Computational Mathematics
CEIC8330  Process Engineering in the Petroleum Industry
CEIC8331  Process Engineering: Natural Gas and Light Hydrocarbons to Petrochemicals
GSOExxxx/CVENxxxx  Engineering and Technical Management (ETM) Courses*

* Students will need to specify the ETM course they are seeking credit for.

The documents below should be attached to submission of the application or your application cannot be assessed:

  • Certified copy of your Academic Transcript;
  • Certified copy of your Graduation Certificate;
  • Relevant course outlines (in English).

Advanced Standing applications will need to be submitted to the Student Support Services in Petroleum Engineering.

Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering

Postgraduate Coursework students enrolled in SOLACS8338, SOLADS8338 are eligible to apply for Advanced Standing (transfer credits or recognition of prior learning) in their first semester.

The documents below should be attached to submission of the application or your application cannot be assessed:

  •  Advanced Standing form;
  • Certified copy of your Academic Transcript;
  • Certified copy of your Graduation Certificate;
  • Relevant course outlines (in English).

Advanced Standing applications will need to be submitted to the Student Support Services in PV and RE.

Course outline requirements

The following components are required when submitting course outlines:

  • Course code and title
  • Course description
  • Total hours for the whole course (e.g. How many lecture/tutorial hours per week and how many weeks per semester)
  • Assessment weighting schedules (e.g. 30% mid-semester exam, 70% final exam etc)
  • Weekly topic schedule (i.e. Which topics were taught in each week)

Optional components that may be required:

  • Textbook materials used
  • Credit units for the course and total credit units for a full-time student per semester

Please note: You may be required to submit further proof/ evidence of studies. For example, your previous institution may be required to submit course outlines directly to this office.

 

Glossary

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer (also known as Advanced Standing) reduces the overall duration of the degree.

Credit Transfer in a program may be approved when the student shows they have sufficient knowledge of the topic. The student will then be credited with course credits, thus reducing the overall length of the program.

In all cases Credit Transfer can only be given for up to 50% of a program at the School's discretion.

Exemption

Exemption does not reduce the overall duration of the degree.

Exemption is used where the student has covered material relevant to a program requirement at UNSW or another institution, and does not wish to reduce the overall duration of the program.

Exemptions are generally used to waive pre-requisites for higher level elective courses or in cases such as the Grad Cert where students are not eligible for Transfer Credit.

Articulation (if applicable)

Students may apply to articulate from Graduate Certificate to Graduate Diploma to Masters level if student meet the articulation requirements found here. On this page you will also find the credit transfer rules regarding articulation.

Course Substitution

More information regarding course substitution can be found here.