Armed Forces

Are you ex-armed forces and wondering what the skills and knowledge you've acquired during your career are worth back in the civilian world?

Under this new scheme, ex-armed forces personnel can earn up to two thirds of an undergraduate degree and up to two thirds of a masters degree, based on the training and knowledge they acquired while serving.

The scheme assesses your skills and experience, and even includes those acquired without formal training.

It's a great opportunity for someone who has served to find out what possibilities exist for them in the civilian world and get a head start in finding a new career.

Ross Hall, Armed Forces Champion for the University of South Wales.

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Did you know?

The University of South Wales is the winner of the Silver Award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, for our support and commitment to ex-armed forces personnel.


Recognition of Prior Learning

The scheme helps ex-forces personnel who have served in the last 10-15 years to gain higher education credit by placing a value on the knowledge, skills and experience they achieved while serving or since leaving service. This academic credit can be used to study a higher education course at the University of South Wales.

This unique and pioneering scheme is a joint venture between the University of South Wales, the Cwm Taf Community Covenant panel, funded by the Community Covenant Grant Scheme (CCGS), and 160 (Wales) Brigade.

How this benefits you

You acquire a vast amount of skills, knowledge and experience throughout your Armed Forces career. However, when you leave, it can be hard to identify how you can build upon these skills and get ahead as a civilian. Through a process of matching your skills, knowledge and experience to modules of University of South Wales courses, this scheme will help you to:

  • gain access to a course where you don’t have the formal entry requirements
  • fast-track a qualification by gaining credit for some elements of a course, therefore reducing your time studying
  • gain advanced entry to a course, eg, start on year 2

How does it work?

The scheme assesses your skills, knowledge and experience, regardless of whether or not this has been formally achieved through an educational institution. We can accredit up to two thirds of an undergraduate qualification and potentially up to two thirds of a postgraduate qualification.

We work with you to map prior learning against relevant courses offered at the University of South Wales and identify evidence that demonstrates this. The evidence is then assessed by the relevant academic staff and, if successful, you are awarded academic credit that can be used towards studying your chosen course.

How much does it cost?

Assessment of your eligibility to use the RPL process is provided free of charge, however academic credits gained using the RPL process may be eligible to a fee of £10 per credit. You will be given an indication of course costs and the number of credits needed to complete the award before you formally apply for the course.

Applicants who have served in the Armed Forces for four years or more, joined the Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme and left the Armed Forces after 17th July 2008, should be able to gain exemption from tuition fees, provided the course studied is Level 3 or above.

Study a wide range of courses from teaching and project management to sports coaching.

Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor Armed Forces

"Don't be afraid, age is just a number. It's the best decision I've ever made." Sarah Taylor, BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology


Royal Navy to Forensic Biology

Sarah joined the Royal Navy at 16 and loved her role as an Operator Mechanic. After finding that going away to sea wasn't compatible with bringing up children, she left. However, after the Navy, a desk-bound job didn’t suit her either. She decided to return to education. Sarah, 34, is hoping to go into the area of DNA and genetics in a laboratory setting, or study a Masters degree.

Gareth Parry

Gareth Parry - Armed Services

"I figured that choosing a degree in an area that I am both interested in and have a history of was a wise choice." Gareth Parry, BSc (Hons) Forensic Science


Military Police to Forensic Science

Gareth spent 13 years in the armed forces working as a Crime Scene Investigator in the Military Police. He was involved on the frontline in Iraq and Northern Ireland. After returning to the UK, Gareth decided to explore a new path and study forensic science. After graduating, Gareth hopes to secure a job in the forensic world, combining his degree with his military experience.

Ross Hall

Ross Hall

"Had this scheme been available when I changed careers, I’m confident I wouldn't have had to study for three years to gain my undergraduate degree." Ross Hall, Armed Forces Champion


Act Now

Free individual application process, but places allocated on a ‘first-come, first-served basis’

For more information email armed.forces@southwales.ac.uk