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Credit for prior learning (CPL)

Whether you've studied before or been in the workforce, you can use your learning qualifications and experience to gain credit towards your Deakin degree saving time and money.

What is credit for prior learning?

Credit for Prior Learning – CPL (also known as Advanced Standing and Credit Transfer) is the recognition of previous study, work or volunteer experience completed. If approved, it can reduce the number of units you need to study at Deakin, allowing you to complete your course earlier.

There are various forms of prior learning: formal learning (accredited qualifications), non-formal and informal (non-accredited learning or work experience). 

Types of Credit

  • Specified credit may be granted for a specific Deakin unit where studies are deemed to be comparable to that of a Deakin unit.
  • Unspecified credit may only be granted towards an elective unit(s) within a Deakin course, where no comparable Deakin unit(s) exists and where course rules state that unspecified credit can be granted.

Can I receive credit for my qualification?

Deakin considers all university, TAFE and private tertiary education provider qualifications for credit for prior learning, even if the qualification is unrelated to what you want to study.

Please check the credit for prior learning database for an indication of the credit your course may be eligible for.

How do I apply?

We recommend that you submit your CPL application form (PDF, 190.8KB)  at the same time as your course application by the census date, although you can apply for credit any time through the faculty course adviser relevant to your area of study. Find out more about applying to study at Deakin.

Note: If you intend to apply for CPL, please speak with your faculty course adviser prior to enrolling in the unit.

What do I need to include?

You will need to provide the following documents with your CPL application form:

  • A certified copy of your academic transcript, including a key to results (an official explanation of various grades and results)
  • An extract from your previous institution's handbook showing details of course structure and credit point weightings
  • A unit outline/syllabus (in English) from your previous institution for any units for which specific credit is sought, including assessment requirements and credit point weighting of units, assessment requirements for those units and details of textbooks and references.

If you are applying for CPL based on informal or non-formal learning, you will need to provide a written case supported by evidence. Your written case should demonstrate that you have achieved a level of skill and knowledge sufficient to achieve a 'Pass' grade in the relevant component/s of the course and/or you can demonstrate that you have maintained involvement in the subject area. Contact the unit chair(s) to obtain a detailed description of the unit including content, reading guides and assessment, or access the Unit Guide.

How is CPL assessed?

A CPL assessor will review the documentation you have provided and judge whether your prior learning or experience is equivalent to the content, learning outcomes and volume of learning of units in your chosen Deakin course. (Please note that credit is not awarded for qualifications over 10 years old. Faculties may impose a shorter time limit for some courses to ensure currency of knowledge and skills.)

Further details of CPL assessment criteria are available in Deakin's Credit Transfer and Recognition Policy and Credit Transfer and Recognition Procedure.

Updating your enrolment

Once your application for CPL has been assessed, the outcome can be viewed on Deakin Sync or Student Connect. Student advisers from your faculty can help to review the units you have been awarded credit for and to plan out the remainder of your course. You will need to make any necessary adjustments to your enrolment on Student Connect.

What if I don't agree with the assessment?

You may request a review of the outcome in accordance with the Student Complaints Resolution Policy and Procedure.

What else do I need to know?

  • It's required that you complete at least one-third of your chosen course at Deakin. If you're undertaking a certificate, including graduate certificates, at least half the course must be completed at Deakin.
  • Deakin will provide credit for overseas qualifications where these have been benchmarked against a comparable Australian qualification at the relevant level. Deakin University refers to the information and guidelines provided by the Australian Government's National Office for Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) for advice on the comparability of overseas qualification with Australian qualifications.
  • International students must fulfil the requirements of their student visa, even if CPL is granted by Deakin. See an International Student Adviser if you are unsure of how CPL will affect your visa.
  • Centrelink benefits may be affected if your study load becomes part-time. Speak to a faculty course adviser to discuss options to maintain a full-time load.
  • Recognition by some professional associations or bodies may be affected by receiving CPL. For example, some professional bodies may require you to complete all of your studies in Australia. Please check with the relevant organisation for clarification.
  • Please see Deakin's Credit Transfer and Recognition Policy or Procedure for further information.

Interested in learning more?

For currently enrolled students, please contact the relevant Faculty student advisers for your course.

For international applicants, please find more information on the International students website.

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