Education Academic Matters

Exemptions from study requirements (for candidates)

In order to avoid duplication of individual study effort and to acknowledge previous academic or professional experience, students enrolled in a Bachelor or Master programme of the University of Luxembourg can receive recognition for prior experience of relevance to their programme.

The following experience may be considered as part of a request for recognition:

Prior studies in formal educational programmes at higher education institutions (at level 5 or above in the European/Luxembourg Qualifications Framework), e.g., courses taken as part of a different study programme at the University of Luxembourg or a similar study programme at a different university, courses completed as part of a previous version of the study programme at the University of Luxembourg after an interruption of studies, qualifications obtained in professional or technical education and training programmes.
Professional experience acquired as an employee or free-lancer, while self-employed or working as a volunteer, for a cumulative duration of at least three full-time equivalent years (please see also Access studies with professional experience“).

To be considered for recognition, the experience must be in relation to the curriculum of the study programme.

Forms of recognition of prior experience

The University can recognise your prior experience in the form of transfer credit or waivers or a combination of the two. As a result of the exemptions granted, you can also be placed into a higher study semester.

  • 1
    Transfer credits

If your experience corresponds to the learning outcomes of a given course or module of the study programme, you can be awarded transfer credits. This may be the case, for example, if you have completed an equivalent course at another higher education institution. You may be transferred ungraded ECTS credits for individual courses, modules or entire study semesters that are part of the programme study plan. These credits count towards the minimum credit requirement for completion of the study programme.

To receive a diploma from the University, students need to have obtained at least 60 ECTS credits by completing courses taken at the University. This condition remains applicable regardless of the number of credits transferred.

  • 2
    Waivers without credit

If your eligible experience is equivalent to part of the learning outcomes or study requirements of a specific component of the study programme, it will not qualify for transfer credits, but this component can nevertheless be waived. No credits are awarded in this case. This may apply in the case of a mobility period or internship module which provided you with study experience abroad or professional experience, but in a different field.

A waiver exempts you from the respective study requirements. Since no ECTS credits are awarded for waived courses or modules, waivers do not affect the minimum credit requirements for completion of a study programme. The Study Programme Director will propose a series of for-credit study activities through which you can acquire the credits needed to complete the programme. Waivers never affect more than 30 ECTS credits in total.

  • 3
    Advanced standing (placement in a higher study semester)

If you have been granted a sufficient number of transfer credits, the University can decide to place you in a higher study semester or year (advance your standing in the programme). Please note that this does not, however, exempt you from completing courses in lower study semesters for which you have not received transfer credit or a waiver.

Receipt of transfer credits and placement in a higher study semester may reduce the maximum duration available to you for completion of the programme. The Study Programme Administrator will inform you accordingly.

How to apply

To check whether your prior experience qualifies for recognition, please see the module plan and course listing for your chosen study programme. This information is published on the study programme webpage.

If you believe that you have prior experience of relevance to the programme for which you are applying, you can submit a request for recognition together with your application. To do so, please:

  1. Tick the corresponding box on the online application form.
  2. Download the form to request recognition of prior experience.
  3. Fill out and sign the form.
  4. Upload the form in the corresponding field in the application portal, together with relevant supporting documentation attesting to your prior experience.

If you believe that your experience is equivalent to all or the majority of modules of an entire study year of the programme, you should indicate that you would like to be placed in a higher study year by selecting semester 3 or semester 5 on the application form when submitting your application.

Please make sure that you upload your request before 15 June. The University cannot guarantee that requests for the recognition of prior experience submitted after this deadline will be decided on before the start of the academic year.

If at any moment during the recognition process you decide that you no longer wish to pursue your request, please notify the Student Department (SEVE).

How to provide additional evidence for prior experience

You must provide suitable documentation attesting to your prior experience. This should be:

  • Related to studies you have undertaken as part of official educational programmes or to professional activities involving knowledge and skills at level 5 or above of the European/Luxembourg Qualifications Framework;
  • Authentic and certified as far as possible (e.g. copies of original documents bearing an official stamp or signature, original study plans and syllabi, original written work/assignments, original job descriptions or work samples);
  • Relevant to the study requirement of your study programme, as defined by learning outcomes for the programme and its courses. If you acquired the experience in a formal educational programme, please submit documentation detailing the curriculum (study/module plans, course descriptions) together with a copy of your transcript of records.

If you are asked to provide references, they should come from referees who have had a direct role in your education or work (e.g. former teachers, supervisors, co-workers).

You may indicate the courses or modules in the study programme which you believe are covered by your prior experience. Please do not submit documentation of experience obtained at secondary school or at lower qualification levels or exclusively involving knowledge and skills outside the disciplines/fields of the study programme.

How is my prior experience assessed?

Once you have compiled all the relevant documents, they will be reviewed by the Study Program Director to which you are applying and assessed by an academic committee, which establishes the extent to which your prior experience is equivalent to the learning outcomes and study requirements of the study programme.

The University will inform you of the decision and, if applicable, the courses or modules for which you receive transfer credit or a waiver as well as the study semester in which you have been placed.

Please note that the recognition process can take several weeks. You will be notified if the University needs any further information from you during the process.

What if I am called for an interview

The committee in charge of recognition may decide to invite you for an (online) interview in order to further clarify the nature and extent of your experience. You will receive an invitation with the time and modalities of the interview by email. If the committee has specific questions, these may be communicated to you in advance of the interview. Please be ready to answer these and other questions related to the documentation you have submitted.

Useful documents