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Who Can Apply?

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Who Can Apply?

Applicant Requirement

 PLA applicants should:

(a)   be over age 21 years

(b)   have at least five (5) years experience relevant to the desired area of study for which PLA is currently available; and

(c)   possess non-formal, informal and short-term training in areas relevant to the desired area of study.

Persons interested in PLA must meet the University’s matriculation requirements.  Persons will apply to The UWI Open Campus using the online application form.

When the outcomes of a student’s relevant prior learning are assessed and the student achieves a passing Grade (as defined by The UWI Board for Undergraduate Studies), the student will:

(1)  earn PLA credits;

(2) be exempted from the comparable course within a programme for which the PLA credits have been allocated;

(3)  not be required to take the course for which PLA credits have been earned.


Admission Requirements

These Regulations govern the use of PLA for advanced placement.  PLA applicants are required to satisfy the relevant University minimum entrance requirements for matriculation, either at Normal or Lower Level, before being considered for admission to degree or other programmes.  These are explained below:

Normal Matriculation

Applicants with the qualifications listed below are eligible for normal matriculation for admission to degree programmes, provided that they have an acceptable pass in English A in an examination of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) or an acceptable equivalent.  (An acceptable pass in a CXC (CSEC) examination is defined as a pass with Grades I or II at the General Proficiency Level, or Grade III General Proficiency from June 1998.)

1.       Holders of CXC Certificates, General Certificates of Education (GCE)

Holders of CXC Certificates, General Certificates of Education (GCE) (or the approved equivalents) who satisfy either Scheme A or Scheme B as stated below:

Scheme A:       They possess FIVE (5) subjects of which at least TWO (2) must be GCE Advanced Level (‘A’ Level) passes, while the remainder may be acceptable passes in the CXC or GCE ‘O’ Level examinations.

Scheme B:       They possess passes in FOUR (4) subjects of which at least THREE must be GCE A-Level passes, while the fourth may be an acceptable pass in the CXC or GCE ‘O’ Level examinations.

CXC CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination)

(i)                 Candidates who have passed two 2-unit courses in a particular subject area fall within the two (2) ‘A’ Level matriculation standing (Reference Scheme A).

(ii)               Six (6) Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) Units, including the two single-unit courses – Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies will be accepted for normal matriculation (Reference Scheme B).

2.      Holders of Degrees from any university recognised by the Board for Undergraduate Studies.

3.      Holders of Certificates and Diplomas awarded by this University.

4.      Holders of an Associate Degree from the UWI, or from approved Caribbean tertiary level institutions with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

5.      Persons over age 21 based on having demonstrated academic potential, having gained academically relevant knowledge and workplace experience.  Applicants will be required to present, where appropriate:

Full details of their career; a document outlining knowledge development and employment record, official academic transcripts, certificate, documents and references.  Applicants may be required to submit to test and/or interviews.

Lower Level Matriculation

Holders of the following are eligible for lower level matriculation for admission to degree programmes:

1.      Holders of five (5) CXC or GCE ‘O’ Level passes or equivalent, not necessarily obtained at the same sitting, as follows:

(i)                 English (A), and

(ii)               Mathematics or a foreign language, or an approved science (not Health Science), or additional Mathematics or Geography

(iii)             Three (3) other approved subjects not already counted above.

2.      Persons over the age of 21 on the basis of their overall academic and professional attainments.

3.      Holders of one of the approved certificates from the School of Continuing Studies with an acceptable pass in English Language.


Mature Students

Mature applicants are persons over the age of 21 years who have been out of secondary school for at least five (5) years.  Such applicants may be granted normal or lower level matriculation on the basis of their overall academic and professional achievements.


Specially Admitted & Occasional Students

Candidates may be admitted to take select courses under the categories of Specially Admitted or Occasional Students.  Occasional Students are only permitted to attend face-to-face classes and may not write examinations.  Specially Admitted Students may register for online/blended and face-to-face courses and are permitted to write examinations.  Specially Admitted/Occasional Students normally must meet matriculation requirements.  For more information see Specially Admitted & Occasional Students.


Regulations for Specially Admitted Students

In addition to the students admitted to courses leading to degrees, the Vice Chancellor may admit to the University as specially admitted students, for limited periods, persons who comply with the following regulations.


Special Admission

The following persons are eligible for special admission:

(1)               Persons sponsored by governments or other employers to read certain courses, not for credit towards a University qualification, under a special arrangement.

(2)        Private individuals who wish to pursue and develop a particular area of intellectual interest.

(3)        Graduates of the University of the West Indies or of other recognised universities who wish to pursue a particular course or courses:

(a) to equip themselves for a particular job;

(b) to increase efficiency in the performance of a job;

(c) to satisfy entry requirements to a programme in this or another institution;

(d) to update or improve their knowledge in a subject.

(i)         Such students should be known as “specially admitted students”.

(ii)        Applications for special permission must be made on the appropriate form.

(iii)       To be considered for entry as “specially admitted students”, applicants should normally be matriculable.

(iv)      Those students who do not satisfy the requirements for entry to the University should provide satisfactory evidence of their previous studies. In appropriate cases they may be required to sit a special entrance examination. In the assessment of the qualifications of applicants due allowance shall be made for their maturity.

(v)        Specially admitted students shall be required to pay the appropriate fees as are in force.

(vi)       Such students shall be required to comply with the General Regulations for Students as are in force.

(vii)      Normally, a specially admitted student should be allowed to take no more than (12) credits in any given year; nor more than a total of 24 credits under this category of registration.

(viii)     Specially admitted students are permitted to write the University examinations appropriate to the course(s) they have been allowed to pursue.

(ix)       Their membership of the University shall be subject to satisfactory reports on their work and conduct.

(x)        The credits obtained through special admissions can be counted towards UWI certification and University programmes provided they have been obtained within such time limits as are set from time to time by the Institution.


English Language Requirement

Potential PLA applicants without University-level English will be required to take the English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT).

Holders of the following qualifications are exempt from the ELPT

(i)             Grade 1 – CXC English ‘A’ examination

(ii)           Grade A – GCE ‘O’ Level English Language

(iii)          Grade A or B – Cambridge GCE A/O Level General Paper examination

(iv)          Grades I-II CXC CAPE Communication Studies

(v)          Grade B+ or above – College English Skills I or II – College of the Bahamas

(vi)        Grade B+ or above – Advanced Communication or Business Communication – University of Technology (UTECH)

(vii)       Grade B+ or above – Freshman Composition I or II – Northern Caribbean University (NCU).


See ELPT for further information


Mathematics Requirement

For entry into certain BSc programmes an approved qualification in Mathematics is required. The minimum Mathematics requirement is a pass at CXC General Proficiency or the equivalent.  Candidates who do not meet this requirement must successfully complete an approved remedial Mathematics course.  Approved remedial Mathematics courses include “Improving your Math Skills (IYMS)” and “MATH0900/CE001 Mathematics”.


Technical Requirements

Students applying to online/distance and mixed-mode programmes should be comfortable using a personal computer and email.  Students will need to have access to a computer with Internet access.

As for the English Language and Mathematics requirements, an appropriate access/remedial computer literacy course may be recommended for persons not meeting the technical requirements.