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Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the term given to granting credit based on formal and informal learning. It can be applied to your proposed current study with Massey University and will be awarded at an appropriate level for the content of the qualifying course

Credit for formal learning may be awarded for tertiary qualifications (complete or incomplete) from Massey or other institutions.

Credit for informal learning acknowledges relevant and appropriate skills, knowledge and other attributes obtained through any and all training, work experience and life experiences. Applications for informal learning are rigorously assessed using normal university procedures, including but not limited to assessment of a portfolio of supporting materials, or use of a challenge examination, or quality assured micro-credentials or short courses assessments, or a combination of methods. Students who are granted credit under this regulation will have had to demonstrate their capability at the same level as students who enrol in and pass the specified course.

Please refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning Regulations for a full and comprehensive description.

How to apply

If you are a current student, or have accepted an Offer of Place for the qualification you want to study, you can apply or by:

  1. Logging into the student portal.
  2. Clicking the Qualifications and courses tab.
  3. Clicking the Apply for credit link in the Previous tertiary study / Apply for credit section.
  4. Completing the following pages.

For step-by-step instructions see the  Recognition of Prior Learning Student Information Guide (627 KB) .  


View non-tuition fees, select the relevant year and click the Recognition of prior learning (cross credit) fees link.

  • If you wish to apply for credit from a conferred qualification you will be required to apply for credit and pay the fee. 
  • If you wish to apply for credit for an incomplete qualification from outside of Massey, you will be required to apply for credit and pay the fee. If you wish to apply for credit from an incomplete Massey qualification please contact us.


Who will assess my application for informal learning? 

Your application will be checked to make sure sufficient documentation has been provided and you have applied for the correct courses. Your application will be assessed and if necessary referred to the relevant college or school for a recommendation and then processed.

How much credit can I receive from my formal and/or informal learning?

Unless otherwise stated in the regulations for a particular qualification, the minimum study to be completed at Massey University is:

  1. For a 360-credit undergraduate degree, at least 105 credits.
    1. At least 60 300-level credits in the degree, including the 300-level credits required for a major subject(s).
    2. Where a minor subject(s) is required or permitted within the degree, at least 30 credits in the minor subject including at least 15 300-level credits, unless otherwise specified in the degree regulations.
  2. For a 480-credit undergraduate degree, 120 credits, including at least three-quarters of the highest-level courses.

  3. For a postgraduate or graduate qualification, half of the credits required, including all the research credits for a postgraduate qualification.
    1. Students who have completed a 120-credit postgraduate diploma or a 120-credit bachelor honours degree at Massey University may be permitted to credit the full 120 credits toward a 180-credit masters. In this case, students must complete all the research or professional practice credits required for the Masters.
  4. For a sub-degree or undergraduate diploma or certificate, half of the credits required.

What do I need to provide for my informal learning application?

Part of the online informal learning application process is also selecting the courses you are applying for. It is important that you refer to the learning outcomes for each of these courses. The portfolio of supporting materials you provide will need to refer to these learning outcomes and in particular, how your informal learning aligns with the course learning outcomes.

You must provide a copy of your CV with your application. 

Supporting documentation can include but is not limited to the following:

  • A portfolio illustrating your achievements.
  • A document created by you showing how each of the learning outcomes for the course you have selected aligns with your prior learning eg a table document with the course number and learning outcomes on one side and information on how the learning outcome is met on the other side. Provide specific examples.
  • Letter from your employer that demonstrates how your prior learning aligns with the course learning outcomes.
  • A job description that is relevant to the learning outcomes of the course you have applied for.
  • Documented projects that are relevant to the learning outcomes of the course you have applied for.
  • If you have completed any professional or short courses through work, or other means, please supply formal evidence of this.

Qualifications where specific documentation is required for informal learning credit assessment:

Bachelor of Construction

A copy of your current Curriculum Vitae (CV), two employer references confirming completion of at least 300 hours of work experience in the Construction Industry, and a brief report (2 pages maximum) outlining how you have met the requirements for the courses you are seeking credit for. 

Bachelor of Aviation Management

If a CPL (Commercial Pilots Licence) is held – please provide evidence of the issue of the licence. Please supply a photocopy of all pages. You must also have an Instrument Rating noted on the licence and provide evidence of at least 250 logged flight hours in your log book. Please supply a photocopy of the relevant page of your log book that clearly shows your total flying hours.

Massey Business School programmes (except the Bachelor of Aviation Management scenario mentioned above)

A document showing how each of the learning outcomes for the courses aligns with your prior learning. For example, a table document with the course number and learning outcomes on one side and information on how the learning outcome is met on the other side. Provide specific examples.

College of Creative Arts programmes

A portfolio in either digital or physical format (we prefer digital format – this can be uploaded in the student portal). A portfolio is a selection of your creative work that shows your creative potential. It can include examples from school or your own projects at home or in the community. More information about portfolios see College of Creative Arts - portfolios