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Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) - The Open College of the Arts | Distance Learning Degrees and Courses
To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.

Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL)

The process which allows you to transfer Higher Education credit points you have previously gained elsewhere to OCA.

You may be able to gain exemption from certain stages of our undergraduate degree programmes. This page includes everything you need to know about submitting an RPCL application. 

Am I eligible?

Your previous study will already have been assessed and certified as either a full or partly completed Higher Education qualification within the last 5 years and in the correct academic field for the OCA degree programme that you wish to study. 

Please note for this academic year applicants can only seek exemption from complete stages (levels) of the degree can be accepted 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.

What is required in my RPCL application?

  • A complete RPCL application form
  • Statement of Intent
  • A selection of creative work/ example academic writing. 
  • Transcripts

Please review the RPCL Guidance document for further guidance and tips on what to submit.

What are the charges for RPCL applications?

There is a standard £250 fee for a RPCL application, regardless of how many credits you seek exemption from. After you have applied for RPCL, we will make arrangements to collect the relevant payment. 

When can I submit my RPCL application?

We accept RPCL applications all year round, and provide an outcome within 12 weeks of your submission date.

What happens after I have applied?

Once you have submitted a full RPCL application, we will acknowledge receipt and then process your application. Following approval, we will send you a detailed breakdown letter  advising you which course unit(s) you have been given exemption from.  

I've been awarded a credit exemption, what happens now?

You need to begin your course within 3 months from the date on your credit exemption letter. Submit an enrolment form online through your chosen degree information page, under ‘I’m a new student with an recognition of prior learning’.

Ready to Apply?

Review the programme specification alongside the RPCL Guidance when putting together your application. This will help you understand where you previous experience is applicable and which units you should seek exemption from.
Once complete, submit the application form below!


Please note that we are not currently accepting RPL applications. This form will be open for submissions again from March 2023. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.