You can be considered eligible for a course or programme despite the fact you don't meet the formal entry requirements. A university can assess your prior learning and decide if that qualifies you for the course or programme.

You can meet both the general and specific entry requirements for a course or programme without having studied at an upper secondary school. This can be done by referring to your accumulated competence, if you document it completely and clearly.

What is prior learning?

Prior learning can be for example the knowledge and experience you've acquired from your work life, work in associations, longer periods of time abroad or from different courses you've studied. In order to apply for studies based on your prior learning, you must submit a letter (or a special form) and documentation that shows what accumulated competence you have.

Who assesses prior learning?

The university where you wish to study will assess your prior learning after you apply for the course or programme. You need to submit a description of your knowledge and experience, and documentation that supports them. What you report is assessed in relation to the eligibility requirements for the course or programme.

Your prior learning can be assessed for both the general and specific entry requirements.

You can attain prior learning in different ways

Here are some examples of how you can attain prior learning:

  • Work: You've been employed or had your own business.
  • Education: You've studied at upper secondary school or adult education (formal education system). You've completed an internship or a training course at your place of employment. 
  • Volunteer work: You've been active in associations, organisations, clubs or politics.
  • Other experience: You've cared for a relative or completed military service. You have experience as a parent or other family life experience.

Applying for assessment of prior learning

At, you can find step-by-step instructions on how to apply for an assessment of your prior learning. There's a special form you can use for your application. Please note that this information is only available in Swedish; you can ask a guidance counsellor to help you.

The application process can be different depending on the university. It's important to find out how you should apply to the university where you wish to study. 

Prior learning doesn't give a merit rating

For many courses and programmes, there are more applicants than places available. Therefore, it's important to have a merit rating you can use to compete for these places. Even if you meet the entry requirements with your prior learning, you won't receive a merit rating. One way to get a merit rating is by taking the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (Högskoleprovet). Your result on the test becomes your merit rating.

The test is given in Swedish, with much focus on skills in Swedish. It is important to become quite good at the language before taking the test.

What is the Högskoleprovet?

If you've previously been awarded prior learning/exception

If you've previously been granted prior learning or an exception, you should submit a copy of that decision. If the decision is not for a course or programme that corresponds to the one you have now applied for, you must submit a new application. Each decision is made for a specific course or programme.

Do you have questions?

If you have questions about your application, you should contact the university in question. Each one works a bit differently with assessment of prior learning and exceptions. Visit their website for more information.

Find university contact information

Page last updated 2024-03-15