Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of prior learning and experience (RPL) is a process that allows skills and competencies already acquired to be taken into account for study purposes if they are the learning outcomes for the courses on the curriculum. In University of Tartu, previous studies and work experience may be taken into account in the completion of the curriculum without limitation, but it does not apply to final examinations and defense of graduation papers. There may be courses in the study programme for which RPL cannot be taken info account. Further information about this is available in the general information on particular courses in SIS.

  Application form to have previous studies and work experience taken into account

  Annex 1 (taking courses/continuing education into account)

  Annex 2 (taking work experience into account)

In addition to the application and the corresponding annex, the student must submit documents certifying studies (the original and a copy), for example a diploma, extract from the diploma supplement, a document describing the substance of the studies and other materials (for example portfolio, description of work experience, creative work, etc.), unless the completion of the course has been proven in the Study Information System. The applicant is responsible for the accuracy of the submitted documents and other materials.

The application and additional documents must be submitted to the Dean’s Office of the Faculty or to the RPL adviser. The application is evaluated by the Faculty’s RPL Committee, which must reply to the application in writing within one month of submission of the application. Applications submitted for the completion of the curriculum are not reviewed in July.

No RPL application is needed for the recognition of prior learning in the following cases: 

  • when the student is transferring courses taken at another higher education institution on the basis of the study plan
  • when the student is rematriculated to the same version of curriculum he or she has previously studied;
  • when the student is transferring courses completed at another university as a visiting student according to the doctoral student’s individual study plan;
  • when the student is changing curriculum (applying for a free student place);
  • when recognition of study results has been agreed in the joint study cooperation agreement between education instututions;
  • when an applicant for master's studies has completed a curriculum that matches the prerequisite curriculum in terms of content.

The fee for review and evaluation of the application is 10 euros per credit point.

Review and evaluation of the application is free of charge in the following cases:

  • when evaluation of courses completed in UT up to 12 years ago;
  • when evaluation of compliance of previous studies with the terms of admission is applied for;
  • if the recognition of student mobility results (during the previous UT studies) is requested towards the completion of another curriculum;
  • when an application for completion of the doctoral curriculum is submitted.

If an applicant is discontent with the reply received to an RPL application, the applicant can appeal against the decision.

The initial appeal must be filed either orally or in writing with the same person or committee who made the original decision.

If the person (or committee) does not change the decision, the student can appeal to the Dean within seven days of announcement of the appeal decision.

The following appeals must be submitted in writing:

  • appeal against an RPL decision (form in Estonian);
  • a copy of the appeal decision and, if possible, additional documents supporting the appellant's position (originals and copies) should be appended to the appeal.


 The procedure for appeal, the possibilities of resolving appeals and the time limits for replying are set out in the University of Tartu Study Regulations.


RPL in doctoral studies for learners in programmes opened from 2022/2023


If you have questions relating to previous studies and work experience please contact your RPL adviser. You can also write with general questions.


 Taking previous studies and work experience into account is regulated by the Study Regulations.


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