Prior learning assessment related to eligibility

Last changed: 11 December 2019

According to the Higher Education Ordinance (only available in Swedish), Swedish universities and higher education institutions are obligated to assess an applicant’s prior learning. If an applicant is deemed eligible to study a specific course or programme even though they do not have the formal qualifications in question, they must be assessed as meeting the entry requirements.

Admission regulations for access to the first- and second cycle education at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (only available in Swedish) contains, among other things, eligibility rules and entry requirements exceptions.

Prior learning assessment related to eligibility


Prior learning and applicant information can be found on several websites, including:

Information, guidance and personal estimate

The applicant is responsible for proving their prior learning. SLU has created a personal estimate form to help applicants assess their skills. Applicants can choose to write a personal letter instead of filling in the personal estimate form.

SLU study and career guidance can provide prior learning information and describe how such an assessment is carried out. It can also help applicants estimate their prior learning. By asking a study and career advisor for help, prior learning assessments become more relevant, elaborate and well-documented.

Applicants can apply for a prior learning assessment at by following instructions on the SLU web.


Prior learning applications are primarily assessed by an admissions officer and a study and career adviser at the Division of Educational Affairs. An admissions officer at the Division of Educational Affairs assesses prior learning in relation to general entry requirements.

If necessary, the study and career adviser contacts the applicant and requests supplementary documents.

In cases where an expert opinion is needed, the matter is forwarded to the programme director of studies or department in question together with assessment material and instructions.

Statement of opinion

The programme director of studies or department in question states whether the applicant is eligible to study a specific course or programme.

In such cases, a special form is used. Administrative officers at the Division of Educational Affairs fills in parts of the form beforehand. The expert (programme director of studies or department) adds their opinion to the form and sends it back to the Division of Educational Affairs in accordance with the instructions they were given.


The admissions officer at the Division of Educational Affairs decides whether the prior learning application is granted or denied. The applicant receives the decision in combination with their admission decision at They are also given information on how to appeal.


The terms below are from the National Delegation for Validation’s interim report SOU 2018:29 “Validering i högskolan – för tillgodoräknande och livslångt lärande” (higher education institution validation – credit transfer and lifelong learning (only available in Swedish)).

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 that involves a structured assessment, evaluation and documentation as well as a recognition of knowledge and expertise a person possesses regardless of how they have been acquired (Education Act (2010:800) (only available in Swedish). Not an official translation).


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

Formal expertise

Expertise that an established organisation, e.g. an education organisation, public authority or business have assessed and documented in formal conditions through grades, certificates, ID, etc.

Prior learning

The gathered, 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 e.g. professional careers, staff training, association activities and parenthood. The learning can be formal, informal and non-formal.

Formal learning

Learning that has taken place in the formal educational system and which is clearly designed in relation to subject/field, time and resources. Formal learning is regulated by laws, ordinances and other regulations, and its purpose is grades, degree certificates, course certificates or equivalent. Public authorities carry out quality assurance in the form of supervision and other monitoring.

Non-formal learning

Intentional and organised learning not regulated by laws, ordinances or regulations. Non-formal learning is e.g. study circles, labour market training and staff training. In such cases, quality assurance varies.

Informal learning

Often unintentional learning that is not organised or structured and which takes place at the workplace, in the home, during spare time, holidays, etc. 


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 meeting.



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