Accreditation or Validation of Study Attainments

If you want to register studies you have completed/competences you have gained before commencing your studies at Arcada you shall apply for accreditation immediately when you start your studies. The same goes for work experience prior to your studies - this way a personal study plan can be created for you.

Students may apply for accreditation or validation of:

  • studies carried out at another tertiary institution or at another institution of learning with the same standard of education
  • corresponding practical training or work experience
  • such knowledge that has been attained by informal means from working or organisational life

Accredication principles:

  • only competences that are relevant to the degree are accredited
  • competences that are a prerequisite for gaining admission to a degree programme (e.g. upper secondary education) cannot be accredited
  • study attainments older than 10 years cannot be accredited without assessing the relevance and whether or not the knowledge is up-to-date
  • the original grade will be registered, if the grading scale is the same as the one used at Arcada
  • leadership education gained from military service corresponds to 5 cr N.B. Please note that this only concerns students studying at the Department of Managememet and Analytics and the Department of Energy and Materials Technology. Nursing students at the Department of Health Care are also able to accredit the leadership education gained from military service if they choose to complete the module Making Sense of Leadership)

Competences are divided into four categories, which are based on how they have been acquired:

  1. Formal competence
    Competence acquired from studying at the same or equivalent level as the current degree programme (tertiary institution, e.g. university or university of applied sciences).
  2. Non-formal competence
    Documented studies that do not meet the required level, but can be considered relevant for the degree.
  3. Informal competence
    Competence acquired in an informal way and for which there is no documentation. Competence acquired in this way must always be assessed by means of an examination. If you have gained competence this way, please contact the examiner personally and do not fill in the application form.
  4. Work experience

How to apply for accreditation

The student takes the initiative for accreditation or validation and is responsible for presenting sufficient evidence of his/her competence so that the university can assess it.

The student fills in form 6: Application for accreditation of previous study attainments/recognition and accreditation of prior experiential learning. The form is to be submitted to Student Affairs in C3, from where it will be forwarded to the examiner.

The student must submit a separate form for each course/examiner. The student shall, in all cases, complete the first two sections of the form.

Section 3 should be filled in if the student has completed studies at another institution of tertiary education or at Arcada. The following documents should be submitted with the application:

  • Copy of official certificate of the courses successfully completed (e.g. transcript of records)
  • Course description
  • Any document showing the English name of the course, e.g. transcript of records or course description in English
  • NB! If the work load has been measured in other credits than ECTS, the student must provide information on how it can be converted to either ECTS or hours. Often this information is given on the transcript of records.

Section 4 should be filled in when the student has gained competence that has to be accredited validated through work experience. An employment certificate should be attached to the application.

Form 6 is found only in the Study Guide. It should be filled in on a computer before printing it out. Print only the pages you have filled in and the last page (the decision). The applicant should make sure that the printed text is clear. If there is no sufficient space for writing, the applicant should submit a separate enclosure.

It is good to consult your amanuensis before applying for accreditation or validation.

Please note that credits/attainments completed before you conducted your studies at Arcada will not be taken into consideration for the period of which you have received financial aid for. More information can be found here.

The accreditation process

Please note that the programme director may decide to give the student the right to take a course or study module at Arcada which has been replaced by an accredited course. The accredited study attainment is then deleted from the study records. Otherwise no approved study attainments will be deleted from the study records.

Accreditation of partial achievements

If the student has competences that correspond to part of a course, accreditation should not be applied for using form 6. The student should contact their examiner, who will take the measures required for validation of the competence. The course is assessed as a whole and registered as an attainment performed at Arcada.

Time frame

Form 6 may be submitted at any time during the academic year, but students who wish to apply for accreditation or validation of studies or competences gained prior to beginning their studies at Arcada should do so when commencing their studies at Arcada.

The decision on accreditation or validation of formal competence is communicated to the student within three weeks after a complete application has been submitted.

Accreditation of exchange studies

A student who completes part of their degree at a university abroad must make a Learning Agreement in advance. The Learning Agreement is a study plan covering all study attainments that the student intends to take at the foreign university. The Learning Agreement is signed by the degree programme director, after which it is binding for Arcada.

If the student during his/her stay abroad realises that he/she cannot follow the Learning Agreement, he/she must immediately contact the amanuensis to discuss the changes.

If the Transcript of Records issued by the foreign university matches the Learning Agreement, the student does not have to apply for accreditation. The student only submits these documents to the Student Affairs Office in C3 for registration. If the courses performed differ from the Learning Agreement, the student must apply for accreditation in normal order.

Are you an Open Student?

Open Students cannot apply for accreditation, since accreditation is possible only for students who are pursuing a degree.

Correction procedures

A student who is dissatisfied with the decision (or grade) may within two weeks after the decision has been communicated contact the examiner or Head of Programme or Head of the language department to discuss the issue. A student who after this remains dissatisfied with the decision may seek correction of it by the Examination Board.


Department of Energy and Materials Technology
Plastics technology
Amanuensis Gitta Eriksson
Block: D3
Booking of appointments: gitta.eriksson(a)

Department of Healthcare
Amanuensis Erica Åkermarck
Block: A4
Booking of appointments: erica.akermarck(a)

Department of Business Management and Analytics
International business
Amanuensis Hanne Karlsson
Block: C4
Booking of appointments: hanne.karlsson(a)

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