Alternative Academic Entry Routes –
Mature Students


Recognition of Prior Practice

What is RPP

Recognition of Prior Practice (RPP) is an alternative route for entry to Level 4 of a BIMM Institute undergraduate course (Year 1) for mature applicants who do not hold the minimum academic qualifications required to gain entry onto a course.

This is based on your experience, gained mainly through uncertified and assessed experiences, which could include learning through employment, work placements/experience, leisure pursuits or any additional activity that has been carried out that has enriched knowledge, interest and/or ability in the subject area.

The RPP submission, marking and review process is in place to ensure that the learning which has taken place and is presented in the RPP Portfolio demonstrates a satisfactory level of academic ability and aptitude as mapped to standard entry requirements for BIMM BA Year 1 study.

In order to be eligible to apply via the RPP route, applicants must satisfy 3 criteria:

  • Be 19 years of age or older by the course start date
  • Have received a degree level recommendation following a successful interview/audition
  • Have made a formal application via UCAS

Once evidence of all 3 of these have been received, then the admissions team will contact you directly with details regarding what, when and how to submit the RPP portfolio.

 

An RPP submission needs to demonstrate that an applicant is able to present a satisfactory level of academic ability and aptitude, in lieu of a certified Level 3 qualification. For this reason, the main component of the portfolio is a reflective essay, however a RPP Portfolio will consist of a statement of claim, a reflective essay (2000 words max) and appendices containing evidence relevant to the RPP claim:

  • Statement of Claim (approx. 100 words):

This should be an introductory statement (approx. 100 words) which outlines the basis of your claim for RPP. This should be a brief overview of the experiences that you intend to reflect on in your essay, and why these are relevant to the course for which you are applying.

  • Reflective Essay (2000 words):

The reflective essay should provide an account of key previous learning and personal experiences that are relevant to your intended area of study. You should reflect and evaluate how these experiences have influenced your professional and personal development as well as enabling you to develop new ideas and approaches. Your essay should refer to the evidence that you choose to include in your appendices, to support any claims and any supplementary academic resources that you have utilised and/or referred to throughout (e.g. books, websites, media sources)

  • Appendices:

Appendices should include any additional, relevant evidence to support anything claimed throughout your reflective essay, to ratify any claims made of previous learning and/or personal experiences. These should include, but are not limited to:

  • An up-to-date CV– this should include; any relevant formal or informal work experience; education and training; relevant learning experiences/prior practice (e.g. live performance, event management); List of competencies and skills; and any other professional information that you deem relevant to demonstrate your knowledge and experience within your subject area.
  • Supporting Evidence– Evidence of any skills, activities, employment, work experience or claim made throughout your reflective essay and CV. This can be direct or indirect evidence and examples of what this may include are:
  1. Articles/Reports/Essays/Poems etc as relevant to subject area
  2. A/V materials or artefacts demonstrating areas of practice
  3. Further analysis and description of training and practice activities
  4. Certificates / Awards etc
  5. Statements from people that know you and have worked with and/or who can give feedback about your prior practice e.g. Employers; Colleagues; Clients; Business/Creative project partners; Teachers/Educators etc.

 

If you are eligible to apply via RPP, the Admissions team will send you a full set of guidelines to outline what needs to be submitted as part of your portfolio, as well as information about formatting and submission. You will also be provided with an example of a previously successful RPP submission, which demonstrates a high standard and meets all requirements.

RPP submissions are marked throughout the year by a panel of specialist markers. Once you have been identified as eligible and requiring RPP for entry onto a course, a member of the Admissions team will contact you with information regarding submission dates, the timeframe in which you are required to submit your portfolio and the date that you can expect a decision.

The RPP Panel dates for 2022 entry applications is as follows:

Applicant Deadline for RPP Portfolio submission  RPP panel date: Applicant informed of decision – guide dates (normally within ten working days of RPP panel date):
3rd February 24th February 10th March 
31st March 26th April 10th May 
3rd May 26th May 9th June
15th June 7th July 21st July
14th July 28th July 10th August 
30th August 7th September 12th September
12th September 16th September 23rd September 
19th September 23rd September 30th September 

 

There will be 3 panel outcomes for RPP Portfolios. These will either be pass, re-submission or fail. Feedback is provided and sent to every applicant in the case of all outcomes.


 

Recognition of Prior Learning – Year 2

What is RPL

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an entry route that can be considered for Year 2 entry onto a BIMM Institute degree course. All applicants wishing to gain direct entry onto Year 2 (Level 5) of a BIMM undergraduate degree will be asked to submit an RPL application.

The procedure is in place to ensure that any learning that is/has been undertaken at L4 (Year 1 of an Undergraduate degree) at another institution, has covered the same learning that would have been delivered during the L4 at BIMM Institute, e.g. the same course elements and learning outcomes have been met.

This allows BIMM to determine if, or how closely, the learning undertaken maps to what would have been studied on Year 1 of the course being applied for at BIMM; identify any potential gaps in learning; if appropriate, supply bridging modules to satisfy these missing learning outcomes; deem whether it is possible to approve RPL based on the evidence provided.

We are only able to consider an application for Year 2 entry via this route and do not permit entry onto Year 3 (Level 6) of any of our Undergraduate courses, at BIMM.

Applicants who are studying/have studied a degree outside of the UK that are looking to commence a course at BIMM on Level 5, would need to be studying a course that was supported by the European Credit Transfer system (ECTS). This is to ensure that learning outcomes and credits achieved can be mapped effectively.

In order to be eligible to apply via the RPL route, applicants must satisfy the following  criteria:

  • Have previously studied or are currently studying on Year 1 of a relevant undergraduate course- this must be supported by the European Credit Transfer system (ECTS)
  • Have received a degree level recommendation for Year 2/Level 5, following a successful interview/audition
  • Have made a formal application via UCAS

If all 3 of these criteria have been met, then the admissions team will contact you directly with details regarding what, when and how to submit the RPL portfolio.

 

Applications for RPL need to consist of 3 elements. This includes a written request, stating the BIMM Institute course that you are seeking to apply to using RPL; details of the modules studied at L4 at another institute, which they wish to be considered for Year 2 entry; and evidence that the correct 120 credits have been achieved at L4 to allow for L5 progression. These 3 elements can be evidenced as follows:

  • A certified copy of an academic transcript and award certificate displaying that 120-credits have been achieved. If you are still studying at L4 then this will need to be provided once you have received your results.
  • A Course Specification for the previously or currently studied course
  • Module documentation for all modules completed (including details of Learning Outcomes and Assessment Diet).

The information relating to the last 2 points can typically be found in your course handbook. If you do not have a copy of this then the institution in which you studied/are studying can provide you with this.

RPL submissions are marked throughout the year by a panel of specialist markers. Once you have been identified as eligible to proceed with an RPL application, a member of the Admissions team will contact you with information regarding submission dates, the timeframe in which you are required to submit your portfolio and the date that you can expect a decision.

The RPL Panel dates for 2022 entry applications is as follows:

Applicant Deadline for RPL Portfolio submission  RPL panel date: Applicant informed of decision – guide dates (normally within ten working days of RPL panel date):
3rd February 24th February 10th March 
31st March 26th April 10th May 
3rd May 26th May 9th June
15th June 7th July 21st July
14th July 28th July 10th August 

 

Recognition of Certified and Experiential

What is RPCEL

Recognition of Prior Certified and Experiential (RPCEL) is an alternate Postgraduate entry route, allowing applicants who do not hold the advertised entry requirements (2:2 in an undergraduate degree) to apply for Post Graduate study, where significant professional experience in the creative arts/industries can be evidenced.

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements of a degree at 2:2, then RPCEL will be discussed with you during your interview. If you are successful at interview and it is deemed appropriate for you to proceed with an application via the RPCEL route, then this decision will be passed to the Admissions Team who will then send full guidance and deadlines for the submission.

There are 2 possible routes for an RPCEL claim and what will be required will be dependent on which of these is identified as being required. If you intend to apply for Post Graduate study in lieu of a degree qualification or if your degree award was below a 2:2, then it is most likely that you will be required to follow the Experiential Learning route, but it may be decided that the Certified Learning route is appropriate.

This will be discussed with you at your interview and a decision on the best route to follow will then be communicated to Admissions, who will then send you the relevant guidance.

In terms of what you will need to provide for either route, this would include:

For Certified Learning:

    • A statement of claim (150 words): a brief statement outlining the basis of an applicant’s RPCEL claim, which should provide a summary of the written work being submitted.
    • A certified copy of a transcript and award certificate;
    • A Course Specification, curriculum or syllabus with module descriptions (including Learning Outcomes), where appropriate.
    • Examples of written academic work (up to 15,000 words; no less than 3500 words): These can include dissertations, essays, research reports and examples of reflective writing. The pieces need to make use of a recognised referencing system, and applicants are advised to submit at least two pieces.

For Experiential Learning:

This route allows applicants to be recognised for prior learning gained through experience in the workplace or through private study outside of formally accredited school, college or university courses. Experiential credits are not awarded simply on the basis of experience, but also on an applicant’s ability to reflect on and write about this experience. The assignment allows applicants to demonstrate informal experiential learning in more academic terms.

A Portfolio should contain the following sections:

  • Statement of claim (150 words): a brief statement outlining the basis of an applicant’s RPCEL claim. It should provide a summary of the experience on which the application will be based and why it is relevant.
  • CV: This should include details of the applicant’s educational and professional history, along with a list of competencies.
  • Reflective Essay (2500-3000 words): In this essay, applicants are required to reflect on past experiences and accomplishments, concentrating on what they have learnt through these experiences and how they have prepared them for postgraduate study. Applicants should choose relevant examples that showcase their professional practice and experience in the creative arts/industries and are invited to include audio-visual elements in the submission if this supports the reflection. Reflective writing needs to demonstrate that additional reading has been carried out and these sources should be referenced using the Harvard Referencing System (please see Appendix 1 for further details).

RPCEL submissions are marked throughout the year by a panel of specialist markers and the Head of Post Graduate School. Once you have been identified as eligible and requiring RPCEL for entry onto a course, a member of the Admissions team will contact you with information regarding submission dates, the timeframe in which you are required to submit your portfolio and the date that you can expect a decision. The marking and decision process typically takes 14 days and you will be informed of the outcome, via email once this has been received.


Any questions?

If you require any further assistance, please contact our Admissions Team on 0344 2 646 666 or email [email protected].

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