Our BA (Hons) degrees are designed to be studied from the beginning, however if you have studied at higher education level before or have experience within a related field, then you may be eligible to count this learning towards an OCA qualification.
What is credit exemption?
If you have previously studied at higher education level, or have experience in a related field, then you may be eligible to apply this learning to an OCA BA (Hons) degree course. This previous learning would be validated as credits through a process called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
How does it work?
There are 360 credits which make up a BA (Hons) degree, split into three levels of 120 credits. Each level breaks down these credits into 40 or 60 credit course units.
It will be these course units that you will seek credit exemption from through your previous learning.
How do I apply?
To seek credit exemption, applicants must submit an (RPL) application before they can be considered for enrolment to the degree course. There are two ways to seek credit exemption through RPL, depending on if you are seeking exemption using previous experience (RPEL) or if you wish to transfer credits from another course (RPCL).
Recognition of Certified Learning
Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) is the process through which we recognise prior academic learning at higher education level, achieved within the last five years.
Individuals applying for RPCL are asked to provide evidence of the learning completed, such as transcripts and/or certificates, selections of creative work and statements to explain prior study.
If your credits have been achieved outside of the UK, you will need to obtain a Statement of Comparability report from UK ENIC – it is not possible to process an RPCL application without this.
Please note at the current time applicants can only seek exemption from complete stages (levels) of the degree for Creative Arts, Creative Writing, Painting, Photography, Textiles and Visual Communications.
Partial exemptions can be sought for Interior Design, and no exemption can be granted for Garden Design.
Recognition of Experiential Learning
Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL), is the process through which we provide formal academic recognition of learning you have undertaken through experience, either through:
- Work / professional experiences
- Life experiences
- Hobbies and Interests
Students applying for RPEL are asked to provide a statement of intent along with evidence of experiential learning, such as samples of creative work, and reflections/evaluations of that work.
Please note at the current time the following degrees are not eligible for RPEL applications; Creative Arts, Creative Writing, Garden Design, Painting, Photography, Textiles and Visual Communications.
RPCL FEE: £250
RPEL FEE: £250
RPCL Deadline: Applications can be submitted from 15th January 2023
Outcome available within 12 weeks from submission.
RPEL Deadline: Applications can be submitted from 15th January 2023
- March Review – Applications no later than 31st January
- July Review – Applications no later than 31st May
- November Review – Applications no later than 30th September
Frequently Asked Questions
No, the application fee for RPL is non-refundable.
No, you must select either option for application.
It is useful to refer to the Programme Specification when making your application, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details about specific unit learning outcomes.
See the RPCL or RPEL guidance notes for more advice and information.
Complete the relevant online application form (RPEL or RPCL) through the provided links above.
See the RPCL or RPEL guidance notes for more advice and information on what to submit for your application.
No, exemption at Level 2 (HE5) is dependent upon gaining full exemption (120 credits) from Level 1 (HE4) study.
No, you cannot gain exemption from any Level 3 (HE6) study.
Please note that you cannot appeal the outcome of your RPL application if it questions the academic judgement.
If your legal nationality features on the majority English speaking country list, you do not need to provide evidence of English Language proficiency.
A nationality of a majority English speaking country includes: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Great Britain, Grenada, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United States of America.
If English is not your first language, OCA requires evidence that your English Language proficiency equates to Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages for postgraduate and undergraduate courses.
You can review commonly accepted forms of evidence here.
No, students who wish to seek credit exemptions must apply before beginning their degree course with OCA. Once enrolled, we can no longer accept RPL applications.