Eligibility through prior learning assessment

Last changed: 12 May 2024

Applicants who do not have the formal qualifications necessary to be admitted to a course or programme may still be eligible. The Higher Education Ordinance requires Swedish higher education institutions to assess an applicant’s prior learning to determine if they meet the entry requirements in another way.

The admission regulations for first and second-cycle courses and programmes at SLU include details about entry requirements and exceptions.

Eligibility through prior learning


Several websites provide information about prior learning, including:

Information, guidance and self-estimate

It is the applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate their prior learning. The SLU website tells applicants whether they need to upload a description of their skills in conjunction with their application for an assessment of prior learning.

The SLU Study and Career Guidance Service offers an explanation of prior learning and the application and assessment process. Applicants can arrange a meeting with a study adviser for help when estimating their prior learning. By asking a study and career adviser for help, prior learning assessments become more relevant, elaborate and well-documented.

Prior learning applications are submitted either via antagning.se (in Swedish) or universityadmissions.se and follow the instructions on the SLU website.

The process

Prior learning applications are assessed by an admissions officer and a study and career adviser from the Division of Educational Affairs.

A study and career adviser will contact the applicant if supplementary documentation is needed.

If an expert opinion is necessary, the application will be forwarded to the programme director of studies or department for comment.

Statement of opinion

The relevant programme director of studies or department will issue a statement of opinion on whether the applicant’s prior learning will enable them to benefit from the programme or course. The programme director of studies or department can consult with the course coordinator or subject specialist.

In such cases, a special form needs to be completed. Some parts of the form will be pre-filled by administrative officers from the Division of Educational Affairs. The programme director of studies or department will add their statement of opinion to the form and return it to the Division of Educational Affairs, as per the instructions included with the request for their statement.


The admissions officer at the Division of Educational Affairs will determine whether the prior learning application will be accepted or rejected. The applicant will receive the decision via universityadmissions.se. Applicants will also be informed about how to appeal the decision.


Here is a list of common terms and explanations related to validating prior learning and credit transfer.

Individual eligibility assessment

A higher education institution’s objective assessment of an applicant’s knowledge and skills in relation to the expertise required for them to be eligible to study a specific course or programme.


A process involving a structured assessment, evaluation and documentation as well as approval of a person’s knowledge and expertise regardless of it was acquired (Swedish Higher Education Act).


The ability to use knowledge and skills in order to carry out tasks and solve problems.

Formal expertise

Expertise that an established organisation such as an educational institution, public authority or business have assessed and documented in formal conditions through grades, certificates, ID, etc.

Prior learning

The combined, actual expertise that an individual has regardless of how, when or where it developed. Formal proof is not required. This may be experience and knowledge acquired from professional careers, staff training, association activities and parenthood. The learning can be formal, informal and non-formal.

Formal learning

Traditional instruction that has taken place inside the formal education system. There are clear academic targets such as grades, degree or course certificates, or similar. Formal learning is designed in relation to a subject or field, time, and resources. It is regulated by laws, ordinances or other provisions. The quality of formal learning is assured through supervision and monitoring by public authorities.

Non-formal learning

Intentional and organised learning not regulated by laws, ordinances or regulations. Types of non-formal learning include study circles, labour market training and staff training. Quality assurance procedures for non-formal learning vary.

Informal learning

Often unintentional learning that is neither arranged nor structured. Informal learning often takes place at work, home, during leisure time and other casual contexts.


Controlled process where previous learning is assessed in relation to expertise criteria or entry requirements.


Study and career guidance

You can ask the study and career counsellors about the courses and programmes at SLU and which ones might be right for you. We can also help you towards achieving your future goals, with your study environment, and discuss your career opportunities after graduation.

You may be able to find the answers to your questions about the university and our programmes on the frequently asked questions page about studies at SLU.

Book an appointment
Call or email us to schedule an appointment. We also offer guidance via telephone or online meetings.


+46 18 67 28 00 

Telephone hours:
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Tuesday 10:00–12:00
Thursday 13:00–15:00