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 experiences qualify for assessment as part of a request for recognition:

Prior studies in formal educational programmes at institutions of higher education (at levels 5 or higher of the European/Luxembourg Qualifications Framework), e.g., courses followed in a different study programme of the University of Luxembourg or courses followed in 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 within the framework of a work activity carried out as an employee, free-lancer, while self-employed or as voluntary work, 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 concerned.

Forms of recognition of prior experience

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

  • 1
    Transfer credit

If your experience corresponds to the learning outcomes of a given course or module of the study programme concerned, you can be awarded transfer credit. This can be the case, e.g., if you have completed an equivalent course at another institution of higher education. Transfer credit is ungraded ECTS credit attributed for individual courses, modules or entire study semesters that are part of the study plan of the programme. Transfer credit counts towards the minimum credit requirement for completion of the study programme.

In order to receive a diploma from the University, a student needs to have obtained at least 60 ECTS credits through completion of courses followed at and offered by the University. This condition remains applicable independent of the volume of transfer credit awarded.

  • 2
    Waivers without credit

In the case in which the eligible experience is equivalent to only a part of the learning outcomes or study requirements of a given element of the study programme, it does not qualify for transfer credit. The concerned element can nevertheless be waived. No credit is awarded in this case. This can apply, e.g., to a mobility or internship module, where you have 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 Director of your study programme will define an offer of for-credit study activities through which you can acquire the credit needed to complete the programme. Waivers never affect more than thirty 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 credit and placement in a higher study semester may reduce the maximum duration available to you for completion of the programme. The Study Programme Administrator of your programme will inform you accordingly.

How to apply

In order to check whether your prior experience qualifies for recognition, please consult the module plan and course offer of the study programme concerned. This information is published on the website of the respective study programme.

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

  1. Check the corresponding box on the online application form
  2. Download the form for requesting a recognition of prior experience
  3. Fill out and sign the form
  4. Upload the form together with all pertinent supporting documentation of your prior experience in the respective field of the application portal

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 does not guarantee that requests for the recognition of prior experience submitted after this deadline are decided before the start of the following academic year.

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

How to provide additional evidence for prior experience

You must provide suitable documentation of your prior experience. Documentary evidence should be:

  • Related to studies you have undertaken as part of official educational programmes or to professional activities that involved knowledge, skills and competences at qualification levels 5 or higher of the European/Luxembourg Qualifications Framework;
  • Authentic and certified as far as that is possible (e.g. copies of original documents carrying an official stamp or signature, original study plans and syllabi, original written work/assignments, original job descriptions or work samples);
  • Relevant to study requirements of the respective study programme, as defined by learning outcomes for the programme and its courses. If you have acquired the experience in a formal educational programme, please submit documentation of the respective 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 have the possibility to indicate the courses or modules of the study programme which you believe to be covered by your prior experience. Please do not submit documentation of experiences obtained in secondary school and lower qualification levels or exclusively involving knowledge and skills outside of the disciplines/fields of the study programme concerned.

How is my prior experience assessed

Once your file is complete, it will be reviewed by the Director of the study programme 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 given 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