Welcome to Recognition of Prior Learning at Maynooth University.  Our office is here to help you understand what prior learning is and and how it can be used to help begin or continue your studies with us.


What is RPL?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the term given to giving formal recognition for relevant learning already obtained prior to starting on a programme or module.  That learning may have been attained in a formal, non-formal and informal experience or context.

  • Formal Learning refers to learning delivered by education and training providers for which formal certification has been awarded.
  • Non-Formal Learning is usually acquired through planned activities (such as short courses, workshops or seminars) but does not usually result in a formal award.
  • Informal Learning takes place through life and work experience and is usually referred to as experiential learning. It generally refers to learning that is unintentional or unplanned where the learner will often be unaware of how a particular experience is contributing to their knowledge and/or skills. 


What is RPL used for at Maynooth University?

  1. Programme Admissions may be allowed through the recognition of prior formal, informal and/or experiential learning. Successful applicants are granted access or, in some cases, advanced access to their chosen programme.
  2. Module Exemptions/Credits may be granted based on prior formal learning at Maynooth University or another institution. 

Note that not all programmes at Maynooth University offer RPL for entry, for transfer or for module exemptions. This would be particularly true of programmes which are accredited by professional bodies.