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Recognition of Prior Learning

How To Apply

Recognition of Prior Learning

Applying for RPL at DCU

The type of RPL application you make depends on whether you are applying for an undergraduate or a postgraduate programme. 

All RPL applicants are advised to contact the programme chair to confirm their eligibility before they apply. 

Alternatively, applicants are encouraged to contact the RPL hub at for any further advice. 

Postgraduate (taught) applications 

  • Submit a general DCU application via the DCU application portal.

  • Follow the RPL Process below to submit your additional RPL documentation.

Undergraduate applications 

  • If you are at least 23 years of age on 1 January in the year you start your programme and you are starting college for the first time, you are considered a mature student and are eligible to apply under the Mature Student Entry route. Further information on the Mature Student entry route can be found here.

    Please note, Mature Student entry applications via the Central Applications Office (CAO) closed on 1 February, and will re-open for 2025 applications on 5 November 2024. 



       *All applicants are required to meet DCU's English language requirements. More details on DCU's language requirements can be found here.

RPL applications for entry to Postgraduate (taught) programmes

  1. All RPL applicants are advised to contact the programme chair to confirm their eligibility before they apply. Contact details for relevant programme chairs are on the programme web page. 

  2. You can present your case to the programme chair via email, and they will advise you whether you are eligible to proceed with an application for assessment.

  3. All formal EU and non-EU RPL application applications are made through DCU's Student Application Portal. Detailed information on how to apply through our portal can be seen in this step-by-step guide.

  4. *NB All RPL applicants are required to submit a COVER SHEET along with their application under the Transcripts section of the portal, affirming their intent to apply for RPL.

  5. In addition, your RPL application may require that you do one or more of the following: 

    • Submit a portfolio of evidence 

    • Complete a piece of written work 

    • Attend an interview with programme assessors (you will receive details from the programme chair).

    • Undertake a practical exercise/audition (you will receive details from the programme chair). 

  6. To see what additional criteria are required for your programme of interest, please consult the RPL Postgraduate Listing below. If you have questions about completing the RPL documentation or need support documenting your previous experience, please email

  7. Once you submit your application and the required supporting documents, a discipline expert will assess your application.

  8. You will be advised of the outcome of your application through the DCU application portal.

*All applicants are required to check the application deadlines that are detailed on the programme pages. Please note that deadlines for non-EU applicants close early. In all cases, RPL applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. 

RPL postgraduate (taught) listing

Last updated July 2024. More programmes to follow. 

RPL for module exemptions

To apply for module exemptions in a programme based on your prior learning, you must have: 

  • applied for a place on a DCU programme;
  • accepted a place on a DCU programme and
  • registered as a DCU student.

You can then contact your programme chair to discuss and apply for exemption(s).

Please note that not all programmes permit module exemptions.