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Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

Credit for Prior Experiential Learning is intended for mature students who have already accrued some relevant learning, either through formal structured education or through involvement in employment, community activities or volunteering, for example. If you have such prior learning, you may be entitled to credits or exemption from one, or sometimes two, years of a course of study. For example, you may be eligible for APEL if you have Certificated Prior Learning, such as a counselling or psychotherapy qualification or a certificate awarded by a recognised awarding body. Please note, though, that only the parts of a prior qualification that are directly relevant to the learning outcomes of your intended programme will be recognised for the purposes of awarding credit. To evidence prior certificated learning, you will be asked to submit copies of relevant certificates, along with a reflective piece of writing of 1000-2000 words, describing how your previous learning meets the learning outcomes of the year or years that you wish to APEL.

You can also claim academic credit for Experiential Learning, or learning that is derived from experience and/or work. For example, you may have worked in a therapeutic community for several years and have undertaken substantive training in the same modality or modalities as the programme you are seeking entry to. If this is the case, you can submit evidence of your prior relevant experience in the form of a 8000-9000 word portfolio for each year that you wish to APEL.

It may be that a prior qualification only counts towards a proportion of the credit needed to APEL into a particular year of a course. In this case, you will need to evidence both Certificated and Experiential Learning. For example, you may have undertaken one or two years of psychotherapy training at another institute and wish to transfer to a similar course at Metanoia. This is the most common form of APEL, and where this occurs, you will need to submit a 4000–5000 word portfolio evidencing both relevant certificated and experiential learning. As well as providing a similar reflective piece to that which is required if you were submitting only certificated learning (see above), the remainder of your portfolio needs to evidence how your experiential learning meets those learning outcomes not covered by your certificated learning.


To enquire about the APEL application process, please navigate to the course in question, click the apply button (found on the bottom right hand of the page). You will be required to create a user account, following which you can use the communication facility to contact us.