What is Recognition of prior learning and experience?

Recognition of prior learning and experience means that you are able to identify what you already know, allowing you to apply for accreditation of your competence (see Degree Regulations, Section 17). You may have acquired prior learning, or you may acquire it during your studies, in many different ways by studying in another institution of higher education, by working or by engaging in project or volunteer work.

At JAMK University of Applied Sciences, learning and experience can be recognised in three ways (see figure 1):

  1. accreditation (replacement and inclusion)
  2. recognition of informal learning
  3. studification.


Figure 1. Recognition of prior learning and experience


By accrediting university-level studies completed elsewhere you are able to replace entire modules or individual courses in your degree programme or include them as part of your studies. Studies completed elsewhere must correspond with the level of the degree programme (EQF 6 or EQF 7).

Recognition of informal learning

The recognition of informal learning (prior to studies or during studies by studification) means that you try to understand and structure the competence you have acquired in relation to the learning objectives of the module or course. In order to be able to recognise, or accredit, the competence you have acquired as part of your studies you must describe and prove your competence. You may demonstrate your competence in the form of an interview, portfolio, learning diary, video, etc.


Studification is an alternative method of developing your competence on the module or course level. It refers to combining work or project studies, such as Future Factory activities, with your studies. You must draft a studification plan and document it in the manner agreed with the teacher.


How to apply for accreditation?

Learn more about the modules in your degree programme (study modules) and courses as well as their learning objectives. If you feel that you already have a grasp of the learning objectives and content of the courses, you may apply for accreditation. The process has been described in figure 2

1) Apply for accreditation on the basis of a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) discussion in writing with a form from the teacher in charge of the course or module and produce the possible documents at the same time.
2) Use self-evaluation to describe to the teacher in charge the basis of why you are applying for accreditation and how your skills correspond to the learning goals of the studies. In the self-evaluation, make use of the evaluation criteria of each course or module.
3) Submit the necessary documents concerning your competence in connection with your application.
4) Leave the application with the teacher in charge of your own degree programme before the deadline announced for each unit.

Figure 2. Process of accreditation

How to recognition of informal learning?

The process of recognition of informal learning (you perform a self-assessment) and assessment (the teacher in charge decides on accreditation) progresses in accordance with figure 3.

  1. Consider your competence: what knowledge and skills could you accredit in the recognition process?
  2. Compare your competence with the learning outcomes of the courses.
  3. Discuss recognition with your Career Tutor.
  4. Discuss competence demonstrations with the teacher in charge of the course or module and submit a completed application form (Form: Recognition of informal learning).
  5. Demonstrate your competence.
  6. The teacher in charge assesses your competence and makes a decision to either accredit your learning or reject your application.
  7. If your demonstration is not accredited, you may complete your demonstration once.
  8. The study affairs coordinator records the credits in the transcript of records.

Figure 3. Recognition of learning acquired in other ways

How to apply for studification?

Studification process has been described in figure 4.

  1. Consider your competence: what knowledge and skills do you have and what kind of competence can you acquire by studification?
  2. Compare your competence with the learning outcomes of the studies.
  3. Discuss the studification with the teacher in charge of the course or module.
  4. Discuss the demonstration and assessment of competence with the teacher in charge of the studies.
  5. If necessary, draft an agreement with the workplace and the teacher in charge.
  6. Complete the agreed theoretical and practical tasks and report them as agreed.
  7. Perform a self-evaluation. If possible, other feedback from peers or representatives of working life will also be utilised.
  8. The teacher in charge will evaluate your competence and make the assessment decision.
  9. The study affairs coordinator records the credits in the transcript of records.

Figure 4. Process of studification



What happens then?

The maximum processing time of the application by the teacher in charge is one month. If a student needs to add to the application, this should be done within two weeks of notification that additional information is needed. If additional information is not made available by the deadline, the application expires. The degree programmes define the handling of the applications and the timing in such a way that students are aware of them and are capable of planning their studies so that they will run smoothly, and to apply for accreditation sufficiently early.

The teacher in charge will evaluate the achievements put forward by the student in relation to the goals, and will decide on the accreditation on that basis. The teacher in charge can also require the student to present further evidence, or a demonstration, or call the student in for an interview. The teacher can also reject the application. The teacher in charge informs the Student Services Secretary and the Head of Department of the decision.


What if an application is not approved?

If the teacher in charge rejects the application, he or she shall explain the reasons in writing.

If the accreditation application is rejected, the student shall attend the classes.

A student who is dissatisfied with the decision can submit a written request for rectification from the teacher in charge. The request for rectification must be made within 14 days of the arrival of the decision. If the decision of the teacher in charge remains negative, the student may appeal to the Board of Examiners for rectification within 14 days of being informed in writing of the decision by the teacher in charge on the request for rectification.

For open studies path student

Open studies path students can apply for accreditation of studies on the same principles and using the same forms as degree students. See the web site of open studies for more detailed instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions Do you have any question about accreditation? See, if the answer found on the webpage of FAQ. Open

Guidance and information

The career tutor gives guidance on accreditation matters and as part of the Personal Learning Plan discussions in the course on developing your expertise, for instance. A key aim of the first PLP discussion is to ascertain the student's skills in relation to the goals of basic knowledge of the degree, and to guide the student in accreditation practices.

The issue of accreditation is discussed with the teacher in charge of the course.

Additional Information