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 Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Unit

RPL Application for UWC admission in academic year 2021 (RPL applications/advising opens 13 January 2020- Closing date for Portfolio programme and TAP applications is 28 February 2020)

For more detailed information refer to the RPL for lifelong learning website 

The University of the Western Cape has pioneered as a leader in the policy development and implementation of Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) within South Africa’s higher education landscape.  RPL is an integral part of the Admissions Policy at UWC and finds expression in a range of services to support mature students (23 years and older) seeking alternative access into higher education degree programmes at UWC. “Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the formal acknowledgement of the knowledge, skills, competence, expertise and capabilities that people possess as a result of prior learning that may have occurred through formal, informal or non-formal means – through self-study, work or other life experiences.”  The domain of RPL is aligned to the main elements of the South African national policy discourse since 1994, with a specific focus of achieving transformation; accreditation; lifelong learning; and complying with the National qualifications framework (NQF) of South Africa. The main purpose of RPL is to facilitate access to, mobility across and progression within education, training and career paths. The principles and procedures for the assessment and recognition of prior learning at UWC are governed by the National Policy and Criteria for the Implementation of Recognition of Prior Learning (Amended in March 2019), and by the rules and regulations set out in the UWC General Calendar and, for specific programmes, in the UWC Faculty Calendars.

The aim of the RPL unit is:

  1. To implement and facilitate the RPL policy on a scale that is available to anyone who meets the specific admissions criteria and can demonstrate self-competence and academic readiness
  2. To provide effective access into UWC through the RPL route as stipulated and governed by the rules and regulations of the UWC RPL policy
  3. The Portfolio programme, TAP and all other RPL related programmes are designed to model the University of Western Cape in order to introduce, promote and develop an academic ”University” experience for potential candidates wanting to gain access into higher education qualifications.

Please note the following:

1.    Our operating hours are from 8.30 am- 16:00 pm (Monday-Friday), for more details visit the UWC RPL Unit with all your supporting documents

2.    There will be no extension of deadlines

3.    Please ensure that your email address is correct as the RPL office will be communicating with ALL RPL applicants via email

4.    Please ensure that you attend the compulsory information session that takes place a week prior to the preselection tests: these sessions are meant to inform, guide and assist you with your UWC-RPL journey

5.    Please ensure that all supporting documents/details are provided (Matriculation certificates, or latest school-leaving certificate, subjects, short courses, work experience and the degree of choice that you are interested in)

6.    Please ensure that you are aware of the subject requirements for the specific degree you wish to apply for as stipulated by the Faculty prospectus/handbook


Important dates



13 January 2020

RPL Registration starts

28 February 2020

RPL Registration closes

7 & 14 March 2020

Information sessions for shortlisted applicants. Portfolio programme or TAP?

1 March 2020

RPL (TAP and PORTFOLIO PROGRAMME) applications and advising closes

28 March 2020

TAP and PORTFOLIO PROGRAMME pre-selection tests (English literacy and Mathematics)

8 April 2020

Preselection round two- final shortlisting stage Portfolio programme or TAP

15 April 2020

DEADLINE for TAP (R700.00) and PORTFOLIO PROGRAMME (R1350.00) application payment

22 April 2020

RPL portfolio development programme workshop 1 (8:30-16:00)

29 April 2020

RPL portfolio development programme workshop 2 (8:30-16:00)

6 May 2020

RPL portfolio development programme workshop 3 (8:30-16:00)

13 May 2020

RPL portfolio development programme workshop 4 (8:30-16:00)

20 May 2020

RPL portfolio development programme workshop 5 (8:30-16:00)

27 May 2020

RPL portfolio development programme workshop 6 (8:30-16:00)

3 June 2020

RPL portfolio development programme workshop 7 (8:30-16:00)

10 June 2020

RPL portfolio development programme workshop 8 (8:30-16:00)

17 June 2020

RPL portfolio development programme workshop 9 (8:30-16:00)

24 June 2020

RPL portfolio development programme workshop 10 (8:30-16:00)

1 August 2020

Portfolio programme: Mentoring starts

25 August 2020

Submission of portfolios internal (Mentors/rpl applicants)

4 September 2020

Interview and assessment guidelines meeting with Faculty reps- Submission of portfolios

20 September 2020

UWC Reading and writing proficiency test

October /November

NBT test (English language and Mathematics)

18 October

Life sciences challenge exam

1 November 2020

Physical science (Physics-Chemistry) challenge exam

Contact us at the RPL office

Dr. Rekha Rambharose

Teaching and Learning Specialist: RPL 

(RPL: Head of Office)

Tel:   021 959 3954

Email: ;

Mrs. Faye Jacobs

RPL Program officer: Senior Administrator RPL Office
Tel:   021 959 3792

Email: ;

Ms. Rethabile Mcube

RPL Advisor: Administrative assistant

Tel:   021 959 2799

Email: ;






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