Is there a limit to the amount of credit transfer I can receive through Advanced Standing?

One purpose of Advanced Standing is to eliminate duplication of learning and the number of units you need to study to earn your degree, by recognising what you already know, understand and can do. It's pointless to relearn that which you've already mastered!

It's rare, but possible to be awarded an entire qualification through an Advanced Standing assessment to recognise your current knowledge and skills and attributes. Generally, credit transfer amounts are granted up to limits, which ensure a portion of the units in the Southern Cross course are formally studied.

Credit transfer limits for Southern Cross courses

Schedule 1 of the Advanced Standing and Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures prescribes typical limits for recognising the highest level of prior learning achieved in the same or similar study discipline/field, or branch of learning as your Southern Cross Course (cognate learning). 

Limits include:

  • no credit transfer for levels of learning at or below AQF Level 3 - Certificate III, or equivalent;
  • no credit transfer into postgraduate coursework for undergraduate levels of learning, with one exception that reduces the duration of study to 1.5 years for a 16 unit (2 year) Masters Degree**; and
  • the following credit transfer thresholds per qualification:

Table 1: High level summary of Schedule 1 credit transfer amounts for cognate formal learning into Southern Cross courses

Highest level of learning achieved in an Australian qualification, or equivalent General credit transfer limits Southern Cross destination course
AQF Level 4 - Certificate IV 4 units (6 months) Diploma, Associate Degree or Bachelor Degree
AQF Level 5 - Diploma 8 units (1 year) Associate Degree or Bachelor Degree
AQF Level 6 - Advanced Diploma 12 units (1.5 years) Associate Degree or Bachelor Degree
AQF Level 6 - Associate Degree 16 units (2 years) Bachelor Degree

AQF Level 7 - Bachelor Degree

4 units (6 months) 16 unit (2 year) Masters Degree* 
AQF Level 8 - Bachelor Honours Degree or Graduate Certificate 4 units (6 months) Graduate Diploma or Masters Degree
AQF Level 8 - Graduate Diploma 8 units (1 year) Masters Degree

Allowable variations to credit transfer limits

Variations may only occur from Schedule 1 amounts due to:

  • divergent disciplinary relationships (partially cognate prior learning);
  • external/professional recognition requirements that limit the amount or type of credit transfer;
  • constraint of a mandatory study plan that identifies units for which Advanced Standing is not available; or
  • greater alignment of learning outcomes and graduate attributes resulting from collaborative course development; or
  • limits on credit transfer being waived by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic).

If any variations apply for your Southern Cross course, you'll find them by selecting the 'Course structure' tab of your Southern Cross course and scrolling to the heading Advanced Standing.

Nevertheless, Southern Cross University will provide the maximum possible credit transfer in recognising your prior learning, via Advanced Standing and reserves the right to make the final decision on appropriate levels of credit transfer.

Credit transfer limits if you exit early, with a lower qualification

Unless limits on credit transfer have been waived by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), if you choose to exit from your Southern Cross course early, with a lower qualification (award), some of the credit transfer will be rescinded, so that the total amount of credit transfer meets the threshold in Table 2 for the lower qualification. 

Equivalence of Australian qualifications for Advanced Standing

Higher Education qualifications from Australian universities are comparable to qualifications of the same level from Australian private Higher Education Institutes. Some qualifications from TAFE or a private college are also comparable to qualifications of the same level from an Australian university or Higher Education Institute.  

For equivalent qualification examples, view Equivalence of Australian education and training qualifications for Advanced Standing

Equivalence of overseas qualifications to Australian qualifications for Advanced Standing

The University will establish the comparability of an overseas qualification to an Australian qualification when determining eligibility for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) via Advanced Standing.

The University will establish the comparable level of learning of an overseas qualification to an Australian qualification level using the Australian Education International Country Education Profiles (CEP), or equivalent system such as the UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC).

The data is used by the Advanced Standing assessor as a guide on the maximum allowable level of credit transfer. subject to the assessor's decision about equivalence in discipline, content and learning outcomes between the overseas qualification and your Southern Cross course.

Equivalence of experience and expertise to Australian qualifications for Advanced Standing

If you are applying for Advanced Standing on the basis of your professional/voluntary experience and expertise or a combination of lower level study plus your on-the-job experience, view comparability of informal experience to formal qualifications to know more about the minimum skill levels and number of years of service that may substitute for an Australian qualification.  

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