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Jenny Mair: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Case Study

Jenny Mair and toddler girl playing with toys in a playhouse.

Background to the institution

UHI Moray is a unique institution. Beginning life as a technical college over 50 years ago, it has evolved over the decades to combine the rigorous higher education standards of the University with the flexible access of a community learning hub.

In 1997 the college became an active partner in the University of the Highlands and Islands Project (UHIP) and increased its provision of higher education programmes. In 2011, UHI was granted university title to become The University of the Highlands and Islands. Moray College UHI is now part of the 12 institutions that make up UHI across the Highlands and Islands. In 2022, the UHI partnership underwent a rebrand and is now known as UHI Moray.

The learner’s background

Busy working mum of two, Jenny Mair, completed the HNC Early Education & Childcare at SCQF level 7 in 2012-13. Having worked in schools providing pupil support for many years, and subsequent roles within an ELC setting for Moray Council, she decided to apply for the BA Childhood Practice which she has been studying at UHI Moray on a part-time basis since 2019-20.  

Can you tell us about your Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) claim?Jenny Mair looking over toddler boy sat in a chair at a table looking at magazine containing images of toys.

“When I applied for the BA, the college staff contacted me to discuss a possible RPL claim. I had absolutely no awareness of RPL prior to that, so was very grateful that admissions staff were on hand to advise. Having achieved 96 credits at SCQF level 7 with the HNC, I had to make up 24 credits at level 7 to meet the entry requirements, and was able to accomplish this by completing one module and submitting an essay on attachment in young children. Once completed, I could start the BA course at SCQF level 8, the second year of a degree programme.”

How did the college/university help you with your RPL claim?

“The college offers flexible study routes which are based on previous qualifications and relevant workplace experience which is ideal, especially for older learners with family and work commitments. The college staff were very supportive, both when I was doing my HNC and moving on to the degree. I was made aware of all of the possible topics I could focus on in pursuit of my RPL claim and was encouraged and supported with every step.”


How has having access to RPL enhanced your learning experience?

“Doing the HNC and the required top-up at level 7 was a really good soft start in terms of getting into the way of academic writing and referencing. I have been a student rep since my first year at Moray and know that people sometimes struggle with this, especially at SCQF level 9, even with years of experience in the sector, so the RPL approach has stood me in good stead in this respect.”


What are your future study/career plans?

“I will achieve my BA Childhood Practice in May 2024 and would love to become a tutor or assessor at UHI Moray as I have had such a good experience there. The current programme leader for the course joined as a student and has stayed ever since, as have many others in the department, so I would be in good company!”


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