Regulations and Policies

University Assessment Regulations and Associated Policies


Academic Session 2017-18

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) at GCU


Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) recognises that knowledge and skills can be acquired from a wide range of learning experiences, both formal and informal. Students at GCU should enter a programme at a level appropriate to their prior learning and qualifications. The University therefore encourages the Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning, or credit transfer, and the Recognition of Prior informal Learning as a means of providing entry to, or credit within, all of its programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Such recognition will take place within the context of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). The University will support Schools in the implementation of RPL processes in all subject areas.
RPL is an important means of supporting the University’s vision ‘to be a successful international university delivering access and excellence, with a strong commitment to the common good’. RPL is an integral component of the University’s Widening Access Strategy through supporting the provision of flexible routes into and through programmes at GCU for all learners with the potential to benefit from higher education regardless of background. RPL supports flexible delivery such as work-based learning and part-time provision. Effective systems for RPL also support the University’s strategies in relation to learning, teaching and assessment; internationalisation; employability and graduate attributes. The GCU RPL Policy forms part of the GCU Admissions Policy.
RPL at GCU V7.1 (Updated May 2018) for the full Glasgow Caledonian University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.


Strategy for Learning 2015-2020

1. The new Strategy for Learning (SfL) has been developed through a consultative process with staff, students, college partners and employers and is informed by international and national developments and effective practice in learning, teaching and assessment.

2. The SfL is inspired by the University’s mission and its vision to be a successful international university, delivering access and excellence, with a strong commitment to the common good and providing an outstanding, inclusive learning environment underpinned by curiosity-driven research.

3. The development of the SfL has been driven by a changing HE landscape in terms of the external and internal environment; the changing needs of employers, the economy and society and the changing demands and expectations of our students.

4. The SfL will create successful graduates who are global citizens and who will contribute economically and socially to the communities we serve.

5. This will be achieved by enabling students to deal with complex global challenges through developing divergent, creative, responsible and entrepreneurial thinking applied to real-world problems. The SfL will also develop attributes linked to employability, career development and the motivation to continue to learn throughout professional and personal lives.

6. The SfL recognizes and embraces the diversity of GCU students, current and potential, and the University’s commitment to the participation, progression and success of all students regardless of background.

7. The SfL highlights the importance of:

  • A transformative approach to learning
  • Flexible learning pathways and partnerships, particularly with colleges
  • Digital learning
  • Learning and teaching excellence

and is centred on a single goal: to develop graduates who will be

Proficient in their discipline, enterprising, responsible and capable of fulfilling leadership roles in different organisational and cultural contexts.

8. In order to achieve this goal, the SfL focuses on a distinctive approach to learning,teaching and assessment. This is based on engagement- led learning and real world problem solving, coupled with inter and multi-disciplinary curricula with opportunities for personalisation.

9. This approach is underpinned by a GCU model comprised of eight design principles and a set of enablers. These design principles will be embedded across all programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level.