Using your experience

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Making use of your prior experience through APEL

If you have the appropriate previous experience you might be able to use this to gain entry to a course (even if you have no formal qualifications) or to be exempt from certain course modules.

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Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is awarded for the learning that results from the knowledge and skills you have gained, not simply for the experience itself. As such, you will have to prove what you have learnt, not just provide a list of your experiences. You will also need to show that what you have learnt is relevant and at the correct level for the course for which you are applying or for which you want exemptions. 

You can demonstrate learning for APEL from all sorts of life and work experiences including:

  • your current job role
  • running a business
  • positions of responsibility, e.g. on committees
  • voluntary work 
  • involvement in sports and hobbies

To apply for APEL you will need to show that what you have learnt through your experience matches the course requirements.

Higher education institutions may ask you to submit proof of your relevant experience in one or more ways, such as through:

  • a portfolio of evidence
  • a presentation
  • a video showreel
  • a written piece of work
  • an interview

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