Validation of prior learning: everything you need to know

09 August 2022 | University life

What is validation of prior learning?

f you decide to change degree course because you’ve realised the course you chose isn’t the one which truly motivates you or it isn’t what you expected, in this post we’ll tell you everything you need to know about what to do next.

When a student has made this decision, next we have to think about validation of their prior learning. We have to look at the subjects or modules the student has already completed and passed, and are similar to subjects they will study in their new degree.

Validation of prior learning happens when a student wants to change degree course, wants to continue studying the degree they’ve started but at a different university, or when they want to start a new degree having already finished another.

How do I get a university to validate my prior learning?

To get a university to validate your prior learning you have to take various factors into account, such as their application deadlines, the documentation you have to submit and the rules of each university, so you can comply with the steps in the application process.

We’ll now explain how to request validation of prior learning by following these simple steps:

  • Contact the admissions office at the new university you want to go to so they can tell you what you have to do to apply for validation of your prior learning and how to enrol in the new subjects.
  • Pre-enrol for the degree, if you’re able to, and once you’ve been accepted to the new faculty you will be able to start the process to ask the new university to validate your prior learning.
  • You will also have to check the subjects you want to study to identify similarities between the new course and your current degree and how many credits they have in common.
  • Find out the deadlines for submitting the certificates to prove you have passed the subjects you want the new university to validate.
  • While the new university is considering your request, you must enrol in the full degree course and, even if you haven’t received a reply about whether the university is going to validate your prior learning, if the academic year begins you must attend classes until you get an answer from the new university about whether they will validate your prior learning for your new course.

With these simple steps it’s easy to get your prior learning recognised or credits you’ve earned transferred to your new degree course. We hope we’ve helped you.

How much does validation of prior learning cost?

Applying for the validation of prior learning involves paying an extra charge in addition to any enrolment fee. Depending on the university, this charge is usually to cover administration costs including the evaluation of the validation, issuing the academic transcript, etc. In general, the charge is usually 25% of the enrolment fee for courses and single subjects.

We hope we have clarified how much it costs to validate your prior learning.

Conditions of validating prior learning

To be able to have subjects you have previously studied validated, you have to meet some criteria and it’s not always possible to do so.

The most important factor is that there is sufficient equivalence between the studies or degree you have already studied and the one you now want to study, both in terms of the length of the courses and their academic content.

You must keep these details in mind when you want to have subjects validated and think in advance about what type of degree you want to study so that you can do so without any problems.

If you have studied the scientific bachillerato and have started a degree which is related to your bachillerato studies you have made the right decision, but you have to be aware that if at a later date you want to change your degree and this new degree is in no way related to the previous one, validating your previous studies will be more difficult and you may only be able to validate a few subjects.

Situations in which you may wish to validate subjects

Validate further education subjects to university syllabi

If you decide to study a vocational qualification you will never be able to validate 100% of your subjects to a university course. There is a maximum number of credits which can be validated and also a minimum of 30 credits, but it can never apply to all your vocational subjects.

Moreover, as we’ve already said, there has to be similarity between your vocational qualification and the new degree you’ve chosen. But yes, you can validate subjects from a vocational qualification to a university degree.

Validate subjects from one degree to another

We’ve already explained the validation of subjects between degrees in this post because it’s the most common form of validation. Students choose to do this when they’ve finished their degree or earlier because they realise they have chosen the wrong degree.

We hope we’ve answered all your questions about validating subjects and it’ll be easier for you to do it with the help of the information in this post.

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