"My PhD research is closely linked to my professional life and this is incredibly powerful as it strengthens my knowledge, confidence and credibility."

Nicole Tujague

Doctor of Indigenous Philosophies candidate

RPL Guide - Bachelor of Indigenous Knowledge

Prior learning recognised

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can occur within this course for:

  • Formal learning – learning gained through study in a structured, accredited program that leads to full or partial achievement of a qualification; and/or
  • Non-formal learning – learning gained through study in a structured, non-accredited program (such as a short course, seminar,  or professional development) that does NOT lead to a qualification; and/or
  • Informal learning – learning gained through years of paid or voluntary experience, professional standing or performance.

Credit amounts

The following credit may apply:

  • 16 units (192 Credit Points) is normally awarded for completion of a related Australian Associate Degree, or equivalent;
  • 12 units (144 Credit Points) is normally awarded for completion of a related Australian Advanced Diploma, or equivalent;
  • 8 units (96 Credit Points) is normally awarded for completion of a related Australian Diploma, or equivalent;
  • 4 units (48 Credit Points) is normally awarded for completion of a related Australian Certificate IV, or equivalent

For more information about a comparable overseas qualification, non-accredited study and the years of experience that may substitute for holding an Australian qualification, click the (Advanced Standing and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy - Schedule 1) link found in C[lause 13 of the Advanced Standing Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures.

  • If you believe your prior learning exceeds these thresholds you should request a waiver of normal credit limits by email to enquiry@scu.edu.au  
  • If your prior study is already recognised for credit, you’ll find it in the Credit Search and Calculator

Related fields of prior learning

Apply for RPL if your prior learning relates to:

Indigenous scholarship Indigenous world views Indigenous rights and justice
Indigenous cultural conceptions, spiritual connections, strengths and resilience Indigenous Knowledge and relational ontology Racism and the eugenic practices of colonialism
Indigenous research methodologies Colonising histories and the impacts of invasion Indigenous statistical analysis

Indigenous environmental resource management

Cultural heritage management Community development and engagement

If you are choosing a particular major your prior learning should relate to:

Community and Land Management 

Indigenous law, rights and legal issues

Indigenous community organisations, ethics and sustainability

Indigenous land, protected area and estate management

Indigenous tourism

Indigenous values, social enterprise and sustainable social innovation

Planning through Indigenous narratives

Aboriginal Health Care

Primary health care networks, organisations, workers and benefits  Indigenous social realities, marginalisation and social health determinants  Indigenous physical and mental health
Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing, trauma and resilience Indigenous Policy development for social and emotional wellbeing and healthy lifestyles Indigenous health promotion and change management
Elder care and wellness Chronic care for Indigenous Australians The difference in Aboriginal addiction and non-Aboriginal addiction
Indigenous case management and care planning Therapeutic community models and professional practice Programs for addiction treatment, cultural interventions and recovery


If your prior learning occurred more than 10 years ago, you should provide supporting documents to demonstrate the ways you have generated and maintained currency of practice, for instance through, professional memberships with peak bodies, on-the-job training, professional development or research.

Mandatory units

There are 2 mandatory units not eligible for RPL:

  • HUM72012 - Working with Aboriginal Communities I (Professional Engagement)
  • IST73001 - Independent Study: Indigenous Research Project

Apply for Credit

It is important to apply for credit as early as possible.

If you apply for direct admission with Southern Cross University using our online application for admission, in the Advanced Standing section indicate that you wish to be considered by selecting yes from the drop-down box.

If you apply for credit after course commencement, use your Student ID to log into the My Enrolment portal. Select eForms from the menu bar to complete and submit your Application for Advanced Standing at least:

  • 4 months before commencement of a field placement unit; or
  • 1 month before commencement of course work unit.

Credit granted will affect the units you choose in your study plan. Don’t enrol in a unit for which credit is sought.
For more information view How to apply for Credit and the supporting documents required.

Your portfolio of evidence for experience

If you apply for credit on the basis of informal learning (work experience), you need to describe and provide evidence of how your knowledge, skills and experience meet unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes.
The Portfolio of Evidence for Experience - Guidelines will help you do this. Read the Guidelines before you apply.

After you’ve applied

We will email the outcome to you within 20 working days of receiving your application, unless we need further clarification or supporting documents, in which case we will contact you.

If you haven’t enrolled in units via My Enrolment, do so now using the recommended course progression found on the Course structure page. For personal assistance with your study plan please contact us.

Accepting credit granted for international students

If you’re an international student studying in Australia on a student visa you must sign, date and return the Credit Acceptance Declaration within 14 working days. This allows SCU International to adjust your 'Confirmation of Enrolment' (CoE) to show your new duration of study.

Your right to appeal

If you don’t agree with the outcome, you may appeal within 10 working days of the credit decision. The appeal will be commenced within 10 working days and should take no longer than 10 working days for an outcome to be reached. within this time you may be invited to participate in an interview and/or offered an alternative means of establishing the level of your existing skills and knowledge, such as a challenge test or special project. You will receive notification about the outcome of the appeal as soon as possible.

If the decision maker is the Course Coordinator, any appeal is to the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic and their decision is final. If the decision maker is the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, any appeal is to the Chair of Academic Board and their decision is final. Any student not satisfied with the outcome may appeal externally to the relevant Ombudsmen Office.

Exit award thresholds

If you exit with the Associate Degree in Indigenous Knowledge or Diploma of Indigenous Knowledge, any credit greater than 8 units (96 Credit Points) or 4 units (48 Credit Points) respectively, will be rescinded (withdrawn).

For more information view Getting started at SCU. If you still have questions Contact us

Top of Page

Contact Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples

Dean and Head

T: +61 2 6620 3553

E: stuart.barlo@scu.edu.au

Director Higher Degrees Research

T: +61 0438570950

E: catherine.howlett@scu.edu.au


T: +61 2 6620 3959