There are 3 types of recognition of prior learning (RPL) you can convert into credits to put towards a qualification – credit transfer, prior certificated learning and prior experiential learning.

To convert prior certificated learning or prior experiential learning into RPL credits, you need to put together a portfolio of evidence with your application.

Before you do this, phone us on +44 (0)23 9284 5566 or email admissions@port.ac.uk. We'll put you in touch with the RPL advisor for your course who'll tell you what evidence you need to include.

You can then complete this form and send it with your portfolio of evidence to admissions@port.ac.uk.

See an example completed RPL form

RPL portfolio example structure

It's important you present your RPL portfolio in a logical way so it highlights your knowledge, skills and experience to assessors.

Here's an example RPL portfolio structure you can use when you put your portfolio together:

  • Title page – including your name and the course your RPL relates to
  • Table of contents
  • Personal information – including address, and contact information
  • A summary of each module your RPL applies to, cross-referenced to relevant employment, education, training, qualifications and learning activities
  • Appendices (if relevant) – including copies of certificates and other evidence such as assessments or written feedback

Choosing what evidence to include

When you're deciding what evidence to include in your RPL portfolio, make sure it meets the following criteria:

  • Current – no more than 5 years old or presented with further evidence that shows how you've kept up-to-date and built on your learning
  • Authentic – your own work or own contribution
  • Relevant – to the subject area of the course and linked to course or module learning outcomes (you can get detailed information about the modules you'll study on your course using our module search)

Reflecting on your experience

It's essential that each learning experience you include in your RPL portfolio contains evidence that you've reflected on and applied what you've learnt.

Use these questions to help you identify and reflect on relevant learning experiences:

  • What major events have you undertaken in your studies/experiences?
  • What are your thoughts and feelings about these events, now and at the time you did them?
  • What new skills have you developed as a result of these events? For example, have you changed your attitude? Would you act differently if the same situation arose again? Have you transferred this learning to other situations such as the workplace?
  • What new learning has taken place as a result of the experience?
  • What reading have you done? Which articles or books have you read that support your learning? What did you think of them?
  • What personal changes have taken place as a result of your learning? For example, are you more confident?

Further RPL portfolio tips

  • Give yourself enough time to complete your portfolio – don't plan to do it in 1 session
  • Don't assume the reader will have an understanding of the points you're making, or know the course or modules you're referring to
  • Make sure your portfolio reflects an academic approach at the level you're seeking credit for – your RPL advisor will help you with this

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