Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

MIHE accepts a diverse range of qualifications, this includes considering prior learning as credit towards your degree. You can apply to be exempt from taking certain modules on your degree at MIHE, if you have previous relevant qualifications or experience. Credit transfer and Recognition of prior learning (RPL) are two ways your previous education, training or experience can contribute to a new qualification.

The policy below on credit transfer and RPL applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate taught applicants, including those from outside the UK. It does not apply to research degrees.

Credit transfer

Credit transfer allows a student to utilise credit awarded by a UK higher-education degree-awarding body in accordance with the relevant higher education qualifications framework towards a similar or related course at another university. The Higher Education Institution (HEI) to which the student is applying for credit transfer determines the status of the credit gained and the extent to which it can be utilised in relation to the course the student has applied to study. This process does not guarantee that credit gained will be accepted in part or full by another HEI but does allow students to potentially utilise existing credit towards another course, thereby making it easier to transfer

If you have been studying at another HEI and wish to transfer your registration to a programme offered by MIHE, you may be able to transfer any credit you accumulated to the new programme at MIHE. Alternatively, for our students who wish to use accumulated credit from the Markfield Institute’s programme and study elsewhere, we will, on request, provide a transcript of your studies, outlining your syllabus details and assessment results.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)

Most institutions of Higher Education in Britain have adopted an agreed approach to giving value to each unit or module on their programmes.  This is known as the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).  Each unit of learning, or module, is allocated a value, or a number of credits, and a level, which indicates the degree of challenge of the module.

To gain a degree award, students normally have to accumulate 360 credits; a Diploma represents 240 credits and a Certificate 120.  Level 4 credits normally equate to the first year of a full-time programme in HE, Level 5 to the second year and Level 6 to Honours level.  The level of credits reflects the level of challenge for the learner, the range of knowledge expected and the outcomes required.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

An applicant’s previous study, work experience, and training may be counted as credit towards their study programme. However, the student will have to formally apply for this to be considered. The RPL application should detail the applicant’s prior qualifications and/or prior experience that meet the learning outcomes of specific modules on the course he/she is taking or wishes to apply for. This will then be considered by the RPL committee, which will communicate its decision to the applicant.

MIHE encourages students to seek recognition of their prior learning (RPL). Credit will be granted, against awards of the validating university being studied at MIHE, for previous learning acquired in a variety of different environments, including taught, distance learning and work-based. The term RPL incorporates both certified and experiential learning. RPL should operate to ensure that students do not duplicate previous learning during their time at MIHE, whilst maintaining the need for students to demonstrate successful attainment of the learning outcomes appropriate to their award.

RPL Terms and Concepts: 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is based on the fundamental principle that learning, wherever it occurs, can count towards an academic qualification provided that it can be measured and authenticated and is at an appropriate level. Prior learning is any learning that takes place before a student registers for an award of the validating university to be studied at MIHE. Such learning may be certified (RPcL) or experiential (RPeL). This recognition may lead to credits that can be counted towards the completion of a course and the award(s) associated with it – i.e. admission with advanced standing.

Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning (RPcL): Certified learning will have taken place in a recognised institution such as a college or university, will have been internally and externally assessed, and may have resulted in a particular qualification. Thus, certified learning results in an award that can be authenticated through the presentation of a certificate. For example, MIHE recognises the Alim course qualification gained by a student from an established darul ulul (Islamic seminary) and would exempt them from the Level 4 of its BA degree courses in Islamic Studies, provided they have the additional required entry-level GCSE equivalent qualifications.

Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPeL) is a process through which learning achieved outside education or training systems is assessed and, as appropriate, recognised for academic purposes. Experiential learning comes from less structured contexts. For example, company training schemes may have taught courses but these may not have been assessed and certified. Learning may be experiential, not derived from a formal course, but a result of acquiring skills and concepts from work or other activities. Experiential learning can take a variety of forms and results in learning that has not been formally recognised through an award process. A student may make a request that prior learning – whether certified or experiential – may be allowed to count as part of that required for an award.

Advanced Standing: this term is used to describe the admission of a student beyond the beginning of a course through RPL

Credit limits and exemptions

All applications for credit transfers or entry with advanced standing are considered through the RPcL/RPeL process, which works within the spirit of national credit transfer agreements. MIHE will follow its policy (outlined below) to make its decisions on RPL applications.

Please note that MIHE’s credit transfer and RPL policy is developed in line with the policy of Newman University (the validating university) and this can be found at: Transfers, Top Ups and Recognition Of Prior Certificated Learning (RPcL) and Prior Experiential Learning (RPeL) Policy (

The normal credit limits for advanced standing with RPL are as follows:

Qualification Maximum of CATS credits that can be RPcL/RPeL-ed
Bachelor of Arts (BA) Honours Degree

120 CATS credits at Level 4 and

120 CATS credits at Level 5

Master of Arts (MA) 90 CATS credits at Level 7 (M) excluding the dissertation
Post Graduate Diploma 60 CATS credits at Level 7 (M) excluding any major project
Post Graduate Certificate 30 CATS credits at Level 7 (M)


Credit transfer and RPL Application process

MIHE’s Recognition of Prior Learning Committee will follow the RPL policies of the validating university to make its decisions on RPL applications. The Institute is responsible for assessing applications on a fair and equitable basis. Assessment will be transparent based on objective criteria and should not discriminate against any other candidate on grounds of age, gender, health, marital status, ethnicity, disability, nationality, social class, religious belief, and sexual orientation. Candidates will receive guidance on the preparation of these applications from their Course Leader. MIHE will not apply grades to modules credited under the RPL policy. No student claiming RPL will be enrolled with advanced standing until the RPL has been completed and communicated its formal decision.

Applications for RPcL should be made through the course’s normal application process. Applicants are required to state clearly in their application the year(s) or modules that they are seeking exemption from. They should present their evidence of learning (qualification or professional experience) for each learning outcome of the proposed module. It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that the learning outcomes of the proposed modules or level(s) have been achieved, however, the course team should provide assistance in this.

Applications for RPeL should be accompanied by clear, written statements detailing the learning acquired and mapping this to the appropriate learning outcomes of the proposed course modules. The applicant is responsible for providing the evidence and the mapping, however, the course team should provide assistance in this task. The portfolio may completely satisfy the intended learning outcomes, however, there may be gaps in the evidence that requires the student to demonstrate the achievement of the missing outcomes through other means. Besides the portfolio of evidence, the course team might request the applicant to attend a focused interview or viva; submit coursework or assignments, or use other means to ensure the proposed module’s learning outcomes have been achieved.

Applications for credit transfer must be supported by accompanying evidence such as a transcript of results/Higher Education Achievement Record, and course details (to show what has been covered).

Two systems of measuring level are used by academic institutions (specific and general). Specific, or module credit, is credit awarded for achieving learning outcomes that are relevant to a particular module. General credit is credit awarded for achieving learning outcomes that are not directly relevant to the named area of study, but relevant to the overall award. When a student applies for their prior learning to be taken into account, the institution has to decide how much of their general credit is relevant and can be used against the proposed course. A student might be granted a mix of general and specific credit, including credit for different levels of study.

If it is clear that an applicant has fulfilled some of the progression and assessment requirements of the course by means other than attendance on the entire course and will be able by completing the remaining requirements to fulfil the objectives of the course and attain the standard required for the award, MIHE may consider the applicant for admission “with advanced standing” to an appropriate point in the programme. Such decisions are taken by academic staff and are based on consideration of the evidence presented by the student and how it relates to the content of the chosen course and availability of places and funding. The admission of students with advanced standing following the accreditation of their prior learning or work experience shall apply to individual admissions only.

Programme transfers:

Subject to meeting any programme-specific requirements, students may be allowed to transfer from a point on one programme of study, within or outside MIHE, to the same point on another within MIHE ,providing MIHE is satisfied that the two programmes are equivalent in terms of their curriculum and learning outcomes. Such transfers are not required to be accredited under the MIHE’s RPL policy. Programme transfers are subject to conditions which may include funding and place available on the respective course.

Appeals and Complaints

MIHE records reasons for admissions decisions together with any supporting information.  Feedback is provided to all unsuccessful applications for RPcL/RPeL.  If the applicant is unhappy with the feedback provided, they can make a further request, in writing (by email or letter), including details of the applicant’s full name, date of birth, and programme applied for.

MIHE aims to consider all RPcL/RPeL applications equally, fairly and effectively in line with our procedures. If an applicant is dissatisfied with the outcome or treatment of their application, the concerns should be raised first with the Admissions team.  Where the concerns remain, the applicant is advised to use MIHE’s Appeals and Complaints procedure (contact the Admin Office for details).

Appeals must be based on one of the following criteria:

  • The applicant believes that they have received discriminatory treatment compared to other applicants
  • The applicant believes that MIHE has not adhered to its own stated procedures for the processing of RPcL/RPeL applications
  • The applicant had additional information to provide to MIHE which was unavailable at the point of the RPcL/RPeL application.  (If this information was available at the point of application but was not included on the RPcL/RPeL application form, this will not be accepted as sufficient grounds for appeal).

Note:  Applicants have no right of appeal on academic grounds and there is no right of appeal against the professional judgement of those making a decision on an RPcL/RPeL application.  Any appeals that are not based on one of the above specific criteria will be rejected.

Any applicant requesting detailed feedback or making a complaint or appeal will not be discriminated against in any further RPcL/RPeL applications on that basis.

Contact the admin office ( for further information or for an RPL application form.


Any decision on the recognition of prior learning will be an academic judgement about the equivalence of the learning derived from experience and the learning that might otherwise have been assessed during the course or programme, or evidenced by qualification or another form of certificated learning recognised in the University entry requirements.