If the student’s previous education does not meet the admission requirements for master’s and doctoral study programmes (speciality-based or partly open curricula), but the conditions are met in a different way (working within the speciality, engagement in research or creative work, further professional studies, voluntary activities, etc.) you have the possibility to apply for them to be recognised, and in case of a positive decision you can apply for the desired programme.
I had studied natural sciences, but then I developed a wish and an opportunity to work as a maths teacher. I knew I needed corresponding education, but professional knowledge was required for admission to master’s studies. I had covered some things during my bachelor’s studies, some things in training courses, and I had work experience as well. I decided to submit an RPL application that received a positive decision and I was accepted to the university as well. (Kairi, 26)
What can be accredited as what?
When fulfilling the admission requirements it is possible to recognise previous formal studies, work experience, refresher courses and other experiences that are connected with the admission requirements for a specific programme.
What should you know before applying?
- Applying for RPL when fulfilling the admission requirements is concerned only with master’s and doctoral studies, speciality-based or partially open programmes.
- It is not possible to apply for open programmes or those programmes whose admission requirements the applicant has already fulfilled.
- Prior experience (work, a training course or other experiences) needs to be in accordance with the admission requirements of a particular programme.
- Combined accreditation is also possible, if a student wishes for work experience, training courses as well as previous studies in a higher education institution to be recognised when fulfilling the admission requirements.
- A positive decision to an application means that you have the right to apply for the desired programme with other applicants. To be accepted it is necessary to exceed the required threshold.
- Nearly every academic unit includes RPL counsellors who readily introduce the principles and process of RPL.
How to apply?
In order to apply, you need to complete the RPL Application for Fulfilling the Admission Requirements. In case of questions consult an RPL counsellor. In some cases it may be better to complete the RPL application for completing a study programme or recognising previous studies; it is recommended to consult an RPL counsellor in these cases as well.
Materials that provide proof of previous experience may be:
- Documents certifying previous formal studies (e.g. a diploma supplement, course description, description of course content)
- Documents that prove passing continuing education courses (e.g. diplomas and certificates of the courses)
- Documents about work experience and other activities (e.g. a copy of an employment contract, job description, certificate from the institution, copy of a publication, documentation of events and other activities)
- Other materials the applicant considers relevant
- NB! Original documents as well as copies are submitted (the originals are returned to the applicant after verifying the copies). If necessary, translations of foreign language documents are also submitted.
It is possible to submit an RPL application for fulfilling the admission requirements any time throughout the year, but no later than on the last date of spring semesters' exam session. The application is to be submitted to a student admission specialist or to the academic unit. Applying is free of charge.
Who assesses the submitted application and what is the assessment based on?
Applications for fulfilling the admission requirements are assessed by the Head of Curriculum. If necessary, an interview may be conducted with the applicant or he/she may be given an additional task.
Assessment is based on the admission requirements. For example, if admission to master’s studies requires previous passing of bachelor’s courses in a certain volume, you need to show in your application how you have acquired what is taught in bachelor’s studies with your previous experience.
How does admission to university work?
As mentioned before, a positive decision on an RPL application does not mean that you have been admitted to the university. It means you have fulfilled the admission requirements. If the application receives a positive assessment, you need to submit the decision of the RPL application along with other necessary documents for admission (submitted at the admission desk) and you have the right to apply for the desired programme. To be allotted a student place you need to pass admission exams and exceed the threshold necessary for admission.