Course credits and exemptions

Course credits for prior learning can allow you to build on what you have already studied.

In Australia, you can apply to use course credits you have already earned to build on your studies.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), or credit transfer, refers to the recognition of previous informal and formal training, work experience, professional development, professional licensing and examinations, and other work-based education and training. Credit transfer is available in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs, at the discretion of the institution. Credit can also be given for previous vocational education and training (VET) studies.

Australia has a system to recognise qualifications from other countries. The Australian Government organisation National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) helps Australian institutions to recognise qualifications from overseas, allowing for recognition of your previous studies.

Below is a brief explanation of the difference between credits and exemptions.


  • You need an overall number of units or subjects during a course to earn your qualification.
  • If you bring work or study experience from somewhere else, your new provider may allow credit that contributes to your total, so you don't have to repeat classes.


  • An exemption also means you're excused from attending a unit or subject.
  • If you get an exemption rather than a credit, you might have to take another unit or subject to earn credits and contribute to your overall qualification.

How do you get a course credit or exemption?

The requirements and process vary by institution and course, but generally details of your work experience can be anything that proves your experience - from a workplace reference to a published work. Study experience will usually be an academic transcript or qualification documents from your last education institution, as well as a description of the curriculum you covered.

Once you have decided on a preferred course and institution, contact one of their course specialists or admissions team and tell them about your study plan. They will be able to give advice about the best education pathway that allows for credits or exemptions and suits your goals.

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