Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning, Transfer Process and Progression Agreements

Welcome to BCU’s faculty of HELS RPL and Transfer guidance page. This downloadable document explains what you need to know about Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and transfer of credits in the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences (HELS).

It covers the process of RPL towards both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. It will also explain how to transfer BCU credits you have gained from modules and interim awards during your time studying with us into a BCU award such as a Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma or Master’s.

There are two mechanisms through which BCU can recognise your prior learning:

  • RPL process for those who have studied and gained university credits at a different institution to BCU.

  • Transfer process for those who have gained university credits studying courses at BCU.

If you think you can apply for RPL or Transfer of BCU credits towards a particular course and wish to gain advice about this process please email:

For advice on CPD, further study, module combinations and what BCU modules can be transferred into a BCU award please email:

Progression Agreements

What is a Progression Agreement?

A Progression Agreement (PA) is an arrangement between colleges and universities which spells out the value of a vocational qualification so that learners can see how to progress onto a higher level course.

Birmingham City University has a number of PAs with local schools and colleges to help you progress through your Further Education (FE) qualifications (A levels, BTECs, NVQs etc) and apply for entry to University courses. PAs can also help you if you have no recognised qualifications, but do have relevant job experience.

Where a PA is in place it will clearly show what you need to achieve within your current FE studies to enable you to be eligible to apply for entry onto specific Birmingham City University courses.

Application with a Progression Agreement

If you are applying to Birmingham City University using a PA via UCAS, you will need to indicate this on your application by inserting the letters ‘PA’ into the ‘Further Details’ box when filling in your course choice, if this is covered under a PA.