Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of prior learning is a process that allows a university to assess your knowledge, understanding and skills so that you can receive credit towards course, part of a course or programme.

What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

The concept “prior learning” means the collected actual competence of an individual regardless of how, when or where that competence was attained. According to the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 6, Sections 7-8, higher education institutions in Sweden are obliged to assess the knowledge and skills that an individual has acquired in a professional capacity or other education for the purpose of credit.

The purpose of recognition of prior learning is that if and when you are deemed to have demonstrated sufficient knowledge, understanding and skills, you will not have to take a certain course, course module or part of a programme. This can result in you completing your education sooner.

As a Dalarna University student, you can apply to have your knowledge and competence evaluated by applying for recognition of your prior learning. To be able to apply, you must be registered and be studying at Dalarna University.

If your application for recognition of prior learning is approved, as a rule, it cannot be withdrawn since it is a favourable administrative decision for you, the applicant. For this reason, be very sure that you want to receive recognition for your prior learning before you submit your application.

Please note that recognition of prior learning can affect your student grant. Contact CSN with questions regarding this.

The processing time for recognition of prior learning is generally up to eight weeks at the most after the university receives your complete application. Currently, this processing time may be longer due to the pandemic.

The Process of Recognition of Prior Learning

  1. Information/Knowledge and Competence Review
  2. Application
  3. Evaluation
  4. Decision
  5. Follow-up

If you need to, you can contact a Study and Career Counsellor for information about the process described above and to receive help to review your competence, knowledge and skills that can be relevant when you apply for recognition of prior learning in relation to the course/programme in question. Email and describe what you need help with.

Dalarna University will conduct a complete evaluation that is based on the documents that you submit. The evaluation may include interviews with you and practical and theoretical tests that you need to complete. Evaluation of your prior learning is only in relation to the course or programme that you state in your application.

We will look at your ability to meet the learning outcomes of the course/programme that you are taking.

For a decision on prior learning, your complete competence and knowledge are identified and evaluated in relation to the learning outcomes of the course or programme. This can result in recognition of your prior learning, which can mean that you can receive credit for a course, part of a course or part of a programme.

Once the evaluation of your prior learning has been finalised, you can receive follow-up guidance on how you can reach your educational and career goals. Contact a Study and Career Counsellor (see above).

How To Apply

When you apply, you must be able to describe how your collective competence has resulted from what you have learnt previously. This may be a combination of prior learning, former studies and other education.

Your application must include:

1. Self-Evaluation/Competence Description

In a written text, state all the learning outcomes for the course that you are applying to receive credit for. Evaluate your knowledge, skills and approach in terms of the learning outcomes that are stated in the course syllabus. With the self-evaluation, the aim is that you provide documentation that will allow us to evaluate your application. It is also an opportunity for you to reflect on yourself as a student and on how your knowledge, skills and approach relate to the learning outcomes. The self-evaluation must be detailed and must explain very clearly the way in which you have fulfilled each learning outcome in the course syllabus. 

You must respond to these questions in your self-evaluation:

  • In what way is your knowledge equivalent to the content and the learning outcomes given in the course syllabus? Your explanation must be detailed and must describe your knowledge.
  • Where and when did you gain this knowledge? Support this by providing a detailed explanation.
  • How did you gain this knowledge (what was your learning process)? Be sure to provide a detailed explanation.
  • Describe a situation or a context where you can demonstrate this knowledge. Be sure to provide a detailed explanation.

2. Verification from your Employer

In your application, you must include verification from your employer that states your period of employment, the percentage of full-time that you were employed during this period, and what position you held. The verification document(s) must provide the contact details to the person who wrote it (them).

3. Supporting Documents

You can also include other documents that demonstrate your competence.

4. Course Syllabus

Provide the course syllabus for the course in question: here you can find Dalarna University course syllabi.

Application Form: Recognition of prior learning

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