Credit for prior study or experience

If you have gained knowledge, skills, and abilities through previous study or experience, you can apply to have your prior learning recognised when you apply to become a Southern Cross University student or at any time during your enrolment.

If you can demonstrate that you already know, understand and can perform the learning outcomes required for Southern Cross University units, you may receive credit, which may shorten the length of your course and save you money. This page provides information on the types of prior learning that can be considered, frequently asked questions, tools to estimate the credit you might receive, how to apply, and links to supporting documents, guides and articulation information for organisations wanting to partner with Southern Cross University to create university pathways.

group of students at table

Credit eligibility

There are three forms of prior learning to consider. If any, or a combination, apply in relation to your prior learning and desired area of study, you’re in the right place.

Education gained through partial or completed study of accredited courses or qualifications such as a certificate IV, diploma or higher.

For example:
Southern Cross University pathway qualifications allow students to progress from diploma and associate degrees into bachelor degrees with credit.

Completing an accredited course or qualification with an RTO or TAFE also enables bachelor's or master's degree entry with credit.

Structured learning gained through non-accredited workplace training, short courses, credentials or professional development programs that do not lead to a qualification.

For example:

Southern Cross University pathway programs allow students to progress from non-formal preparatory, English language and academic qualifying courses into degrees. Some qualifying courses also provide credit.

Experience and expertise gained through years of paid or voluntary experience, professional standing or performance.

For example:

Occupational pathways allow students to use their informal work experience to enter and progress through degree qualifications with credit.

If you would like more information visit our contact us page and connect with a specialist.

Contact us

Applying for credit

If you know what course and career you’re looking to pursue and would like to apply to have your prior learning recognised for credit, it’s free and you can get started anytime.

Before you apply on the basis of informal learning gained through years of paid or voluntary experience, professional standing or performance, read the Portfolio of Evidence for Experience - Guidelines which will help you complete the Portfolio of Evidence for Experience - Form and provide evidence of how your knowledge, skills and experience meet unit learning outcomes. Upload the completed form with your application. If you are unable to upload documents, please contact us.

Once an Offer to study with Southern Cross University is made, you will receive the outcome by email, usually within 20 working days.

Directly applying to Southern Cross University
In your online application for admission, indicate that you wish to be considered for Advanced Standing, by selecting yes from the drop-down box provided; or

Applying through (UAC) or (QTAC)
Once you receive your Offer from Southern Cross University, use your Student ID to log into the My Enrolment portal. Select eForms from the menu bar to complete and submit the Advanced Standing Application Form.

  1. Use your Student ID to log into the My Enrolment portal. Select eForms from the menu bar and read the Advanced Standing Application eForm.
  2. Complete the relevant sections in English;
  3. Upload your supporting documents and completed Portfolio of Evidence for Experience - Form, (if applicable);
  4. Make your declaration by selecting Yes; and
  5. Finish by clicking Submit eForm.

Search and calculator tools

Calculating your selection rank

Completed or partially completed accredited courses or qualifications allow a selection rank to be calculated to guide your eligibility for a place of study against the indicative ATAR score published for each Southern Cross University course.

Calculating your rank

Credit search and calculator

The Credit Search and Calculator publishes and allows you to search for credit arrangements that are informed by approved articulation pathways and linkages agreed between the University and other organisations and credit decisions awarded to individuals. A published credit arrangement may apply to you if you have the same prior learning and will study the same course, major or specialisation and units.

This can help you estimate the amount of credit you may be awarded now, if you were to apply and receive an Offer to become a Southern Cross University student today. You can also apply any time throughout your enrolment. Remember, assessment of your prior learning and any credit awarded can be unique, as it is considers all that you know, understand and can do. Also, credit arrangements are are fluid and may change over time.

We advise not to enrol in a unit for which you seek credit. Any credit granted means you don’t need to repeat learning you have already mastered.

Credit search and calculator

Can't find what you're looking for?

You may still be eligible for credit even if your institution, program, course, qualification, units or occupation are not listed. If your search is unsuccessful and your prior learning is similar to one or more units in your chosen Southern Cross University course, you should apply to have your prior learning assessed when you apply for your course. A formal determination of credit amounts will occur once an application is submitted.

Contact us

Read our Advanced standing and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

View our policy
Sophie at computer

Course RPL Guides

If your SCU course, major or specialisation is externally or professionally accredited, some units of study may be mandatory for which credit is unavailable. Some forms or levels of prior learning may not be eligible for credit, or the standard credit amounts granted for various levels of previous learning under the Advanced Standing and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy - Schedule 1 may be different or 'non 'non-standard'.

If any 'non-standard' variations such as those described above and below are relevant for granting credit for a SCU course, a course RPL guide will be published for the relevant study area within the Faculties and Colleges page and are available on the course page, under Entry Requirements.

Health Education Business, Law & Arts Science and Engineering Gnibi SCU College

Proficiency and currency are different. Proficiency is about being competent and prepared to handle any situation professionally. Standards for the context and currency of learning and recency of practice are set by industry and have a lot to do with best practices and staying legal in the profession. Generally, credit will not be awarded for learning completed more than ten years before your application date unless you can establish that your knowledge and skills were recently refreshed, applied and are up-to-date due to ongoing learning or practice in a relevant field.

If the minimum requirements for evidencing learning contexts, currency, or the length of absence from the field vary for your profession from Southern Cross University Policy or procedures, the difference will be outlined in the course RPL Guide.

Even if you have studied a qualification within the last ten years, you could be asked to provide particular supporting documents to demonstrate the ways you have generated and maintained currency of learning and recency of practice, for instance, through professional memberships with peek bodies, on-the-job training, research, credentials or professional development.

All forms of assessment, including credit decisions, are evidence-based. Some professions will require you to present particular supporting documents adequate for the assessor to justify a credit decision that also complies with industry standards and specifications. For example, verification from qualified practitioners, translation of non-English documents, or certification of original records showing the many ways that your knowledge, skills and experience satisfy the learning outcomes of externally/professionally accredited units in your course. Context is important.

Isaac Hawkins Isaac is studying a double degree a bachelor of laws

Articulation arrangements and pathways

Approximately half of Southern Cross University's students have successfully undertaken learning elsewhere on their path to study with us.  These pathways include SCU College, other public and private learning institutions, as well as employers and industry bodies. These pathways can range from English language proficiency to specialised academic learning.

You can search these pathways by viewing Articulation Credit Linkages and Pathways

Or to find out more about becoming an articulation partner with Southern Cross University, enquire online or apply to create a new arrangement.

Still got questions?

Let our team help you find the answers

To contact us about understanding the credit you could be awarded or for help to guide you through the process, please get in touch.

Contact us


The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) includes qualifications across the different educational and training sectors in Australia and in a broad range of study disciplines. Where possible, the University refers to the AQF Glossary of Terminology for RPL related terms.

To maximise consistency in understanding and interpretation of credit terms that are unique to Southern Cross University, view the Academic Board’s Definitions Policy.