Recognition of Prior Studies

Distance Learning Students Advanced Standing Recognition of Prior Studies

Recognition of Prior Studies

The University recognizes students' prior study attainments for credit transfer. Credits may be transferred to the University in the following manner:

  • Admission through Entry Pathways
  • Applying for Advanced Standing

What is Advanced Standing?

Advanced Standing (also known as credit transfer) deals with the recognition of prior learning achievements.

Credit transfer opportunities are available for students who have completed tertiary-level studies elsewhere. Successful advanced standing applicants will be awarded transfer credits for their previous academic attainments. These transfer credits may be counted towards the requirements for an award. In this way, the time required for the completion of a programme may be shortened.

Advanced standing is available for most programmes offered in the part-time distance learning mode, with the exception of some programmes which do not allow advanced standing. Please refer to Section F of Appendix 1 of the Guide to Application for Advanced Standing for details.

Types of Credit Transfer

There are three types of credit transfer, General Credit Transfer (GCT), Specific Credit Transfer (SCT) and Block Credit Transfer (BCT).  Each type of transfer credits has its specific use in counting towards programme requirements.

General Credit Transfer (GCT)

  • Transfer credits awarded by means of General Credit Transfer are known as general credits.
  • GCT is only available for programmes with free-choice requirements. 
  • General credits may be used to reduce the number of credits required for graduation, but cannot be used for the exemption of a specific named course. In other words, general credits can only be used for the exemption of free-choice credits in an undergraduate programme.
  • General credits are deemed to be related to Foundation level studies, and are therefore counted as credits at Foundation level in satisfying programme requirements.
  • General credits are awarded for an eligible qualification with Total Credit Value (TCV) > 0, subject to a maximum limit set in the respective programme. The BGS programme may grant GCT up to a maximum of 40 credits. For other programmes, normally, a maximum of 20 general credits may be granted, but some programmes may award fewer. Applicants are advised to refer to Guide to Application for Advanced Standing (paragraph 4 of Section D1) for details.
  • General credits may be used together with specific credits towards a programme, subject to the applicant's maximum entitlement, and the maximum transfer allowed in a programme.


  • You should not register for free-choice courses until the GCT application result is known.

Specific Credit Transfer (SCT)

  • Transfer credits awarded by means of Specific Credit Transfer are known as specific credits.
  • SCT deals with course exemption. Specific credits are awarded towards a particular course specified in the requirements of a programme.  Students awarded specific credits towards a course are exempted from taking that particular course. In short, this is course-to-course exemption.
  • Applicants are required to nominate one or more course(s) from (a) previous qualification(s) in applying for SCT towards a course.
  • Award for specific credits is primarily based on syllabus match. The course(s) nominated by an applicant in the application must exhibit a very high degree of syllabus match (at least two-thirds match is required) with the  course in respect of which SCT is sought in contents and level. Moreover, each SCT application is considered case by case. All related factors such as course results will be taken into account in considering an application.
  • Specific credits may be used together with general credits, subject to an applicant's maximum entitlement and the maximum transfer allowed in a programme.
  • Each SCT application will automatically be processed for GCT if the number of SCT awards is not yet up to the applicant's maximum entitlement.


  • You should not register for a course in respect of which SCT application is made.
  • Also, you are advised to enrol on free-choice credits only after the application result is known.
  • SCT application will not be accepted if an applicant has already enrolled in that particular course.

Block Credit Transfer (BCT)

  • Transfer credits awarded by means of Block Credit Transfer are known as block credits.
  • Block credits are unspecified credits which may be counted towards the credit requirements of a programme. In an award of block credits, the successful applicant is also assigned a list of top-up courses. The applicant must complete all top-up courses assigned in the top-up list in order to use the awarded block credits for graduation.
  • The number of top-up credits required to study is fewer than the normal requirements of a programme.
  • An applicant is required to nominate one complete qualification in applying for BCT.
  • The number of block credits awarded depends on the TCV of the qualification used in a BCT application.
  • The number of top-up credits assigned depends on the relevancy between the applicant's prior qualification used in the BCT application and the University programme to be pursued. The more relevance between the two, the fewer top-up credits will be assigned, and vice-versa. Hence, an award of block credits does not imply an automatic reduction by that number in the number of credits required for completion of the respective programme.

Top-up Courses

  • In a bachelor's degree programme or sub-degree programme, the required Higher-level courses must be included in the top-up list (in other words, no transfer at Higher level is allowed). Free-choice credits are NOT included in a top-up list (except in some special cases).
  • Successful cases may serve as precedents. Applicants are advised to consult the BCT precedents before submitting an application.


  • Do not enrol in free-choice courses.
  • Enrol in a course which is on the top-up list if a precedent is available.
  • If no precedent is available, you are advised to register for required Higher level courses in a bachelor's degree or sub-degree programme.
  • Alternatively, you may apply via the Extended Scheme in case a precedent is not available; or, if you would like to have a top-up list before enrolling in any courses.

Use with Other Transfer Credits

Block credits cannot be used together with either general credits or specific credits.