The following section comprises three case studies examining RPL policy and practice within the context of specific programmes on offer in three universities: Trinity College Dublin (TCD), the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and the University of Limerick (UL). A fourth contribution describes RPL activities in the National College of Art and Design (NCAD).

In undertaking this project, to serve as a useful resource and embrace the spirit of the network initiative in sharing information, it was agreed that it would be useful to bring together a number of case studies which capture the experiences of RPL practitioners in the university sector in Ireland. The case studies which follow explore and expand upon the range of issues which emerged during the initial discussions of network members on RPL, (it is worth noting that different terms are used by institutions to describe RPL activity), and also serve to address a gap in the documented practice of RPL activities in the university sector.

Each case study examines the development of institution (where applicable) and local policies, the practical implications faced by staff in devising and administering RPL processes and concludes with reflections on the experience of RPL by institution staff. The case studies are drawn from institutions which have established RPL activities, but can offer relevant insight to those at any stage of implementation. They acknowledge the disparate approaches and attitudes to RPL within and across institutions. A number of common themes and issues emerge in the case studies and these are addressed in Section 4 of this Handbook.

In order to present a comprehensive picture of RPL practice, a range of programmes from varying disciplines were chosen for the case studies, each concerning a different award type at a different level on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), as follows:

Case Study 1 -

Diploma in Addiction Studies (Special Purpose award, NFQ Level 7), Trinity College Dublin

Case Study 2 -

The School of Nursing and Midwifery, National University of Ireland, Galway

Case Study 3 -

Master of Business Studies in International Entrepreneurship Management (NFQ Level 9), University of Limerick

RPL and the National College of Art and Design - A Reflection

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