ACAS  Academic Credit Appraisal System


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The Academic Credit Appraisal System (ACAS) is the system by which Earlscroft University assesses the worth of Prior Learning and Life Experience in terms of Academic Credits (AC). Earlscroft University has been involved in this process, in one form or another, since 1921 when it coined the term "academic equivalency". The process has evolved over the years to include recommendations and guidelines for educational institutions, personnel officers and human resource managers. Since 1992 Earlscroft University has imported certain standardized methods from the collegiate norms employed in the United States. In 1997 Earlscroft University and was involved in the development and standardization of norms subsequently adopted by the British military under the "Options for Change" scheme called "Accreditation of Prior Learning" or APL.

Earlscroft University degree progammes are modular by nature, with an undergraduate requiring to amass a total of 120 Academic Credits to graduate at bachelor level. An Academic Credit equates directly to a Semester Credit Hour. An additional 30 Academic Credits are required to graduate at master level (150 AC total) and a further 30 Academic Credits to graduate at Doctorate level (180 AC total).

As a general guide, an applicant would need 4 to 5 years relevant experience to candidate for a bachelor degree, 5 to 6 years for a master and  7 to 8 years for a doctorate.

Any aspect of Prior Learning or Life Experience can be taken into account for your degree. This can include formal education, professional courses and qualifications, travel and even sporting achievements. At Earlscroft University, particularly high credits are awarded for military, merchant marine, government and civil service, self employment, time spent abroad from country of origin, language skills, management and higher management experience, computer and information technology skills, charity and voluntary work and published works (including websites). If in doubt, include it.

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Examples are simple to illustrate:

An American serviceman serving 4 years in Germany and having qualified as a Colloquial German Speaker could with confidence apply for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in European Studies.

The self employed internet entrepreneur, with his own website and 5 years experience on-line would find little difficulty in acquiring Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Sciences.

 The Vice President of a car dealership with 7 years management experience but no formal qualifications in business, would find himself already qualified at MBA level.

Any military officer, from any NATO, SEATO, CENTO, former Warsaw Pact or OECD country, or any country who's armed forces are authorized to undertake United Nations Peace Keeping and Observation Missions, having graduated from officer candidate school and served a commission of at least 3 years is automatically qualified at bachelor level. Other ranks serving 5 years or more are also qualified to bachelor level. Field Grade Officers are considered already qualified to master level and Staff Grade Officers are qualified at Ph.D doctorate level.

A Merchant Marine Officers who has qualified as a Deck Officer, Bridge Officer, Communications Officer or Diving Officer with any Merchant Marine Company is automatically qualified to bachelor level. Individuals with Inshore Skipper Certificates are classed as a Merchant Marine First Officer or First Mate.

A Private Pilot Licence is worth 60 Academic Credits while a Commercial Pilot Licence automatically qualifies the holder at bachelor level. Commercial Airline Pilots are considered qualified to master level after 6 years and Ph.D level after 8.

Anyone who has served 4 years or more as a professional police officer, prison guard, fire-fighter or paramedic will have sufficient AC to be considered for a bachelor award. Part-time and voluntary service as a fire-fighter, special constable, deputy or police reservist, and reserve service with any emergency, rescue or armed services or charitable or humanitarian organization is very highly valued at Earlscroft University.

A graduate at bachelor level with one year's relevant post-graduate experience can automatically upgrade to master level. The same applies to an existing master level graduate wishing to upgrade to a doctorate. 

A salesperson with 4 years experience would be considered as already qualified for either a Bachelor of Business Administration or a Bachelor of Commerce.

Anyone living continuously for 4 years or more outside their country of origin would gain sufficient credits for a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Anyone living continuously for 4 years or more on a continent different from their origin, would be immediately granted a bachelor level degree in studies relating to that continent. e.g an Australian living in France for 4 years would have sufficient AC for an immediate award of Bachelor of Arts in European Studies.

A journalist working full-time on a local newspaper for 4 years would be qualified for a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism or Journalistic Studies.

Anyone who has attained the position of religious preacher, no matter what faith or denomination, and has held that position for 7 years or more would be considered already qualified at doctorate level in Divinity or Religious Studies.

A PADI Scuba Diving Course is worth 20 AC.

A Military or Civil Parachute Course consisting of a minimum of 6 jumps is worth 20 AC.

A Red Cross/Red Crescent or St John's Ambulance Brigade First Aid Certificate is worth 20 AC.

Very high AC are awarded to the authors of published works such as books, articles, pamphlets, poetry, music and sacred music. This can include the construction and maintenance of a website. Any application including such works, must be accompanied by a copy of the work if published in a larger publication, the relevant ISBN or ISSN if published individually, or the URL if relevant.

If you have any doubts, or require any assistance, don't hesitate to email our support staff for guidance at  

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[How to apply for your degree]

All mail enquiries should be directed to our UK Represenative Office:

Earlscroft University Administration Building, 11A Turney Road, Dulwich, London, SE21 8LX, United Kingdom Telefax: +44 207 6811780


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