University of Oulu, 2017

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) refers to the set practices by which previously acquired skills and competencies can be identified, assessed and acknowledged. These competencies may have been acquired through formal studies or a variety of non-formal and informal means, including life and work experience.

Students may receive partial or complete credit for previous learning, if they can show that they meet the learning outcomes of the course or study module for which they want to get credit. This can be done through self-assessment, documentation or other demonstration of skills and knowledge.

Prior learning is identified and assessed for relevance against the learning outcomes of the course and/or degree, or elements thereof, for which credit is being sought. Credit given for acknowledged prior learning facilitates study progress by eliminating reduplication.

Should the student's application for RPL credits be rejected, a written response of rejection will be given to him/her.

RPL is part of study planning and preparation of a personal study plan (PSP). At the University of Oulu, the PSP process is supervised by teacher tutors, study counsellors and other PSP advisors. RPL is governed by the University of Oulu Education Regulations (§ 27).


What are the benefits of RPL for the student?

  • shortens the time necessary to complete a programme
  • enhances perception and understanding of competence strengths and gaps
  • reduces or eliminates duplication in studies
  • enables individual learning pathways

See also:

RPL process of the University of Oulu

RPL forms can be found here.

The student prepares an application for RPL with the necessary attachments, and submits the application to Snellmania Service Center.


RPL in the Faculty of Humanities

Students may receive partial or complete credit for previous learning in other universities. This can be done through documentation as follows:

- The student has completed a study module (e.g. basic studies or intermediate studies) in some other university.

In the above mentioned case, the student submits the documentation (e.g. transcript of records) to Snellmania Service Center. RPL application form is not required.


For more information,

Oili Sievola, Lead Specialist



Last updated: 2.1.2019