You may only apply for exemption from a maximum of 50 per cent of each HEQ level as follows:

  • Certificate in IT - only one out of three modules can be exempt
  • Diploma in IT - up to two of the four modules can be exempt.
  • Professional Graduate Diploma in IT - up to two of the four modules can be exempt.

(Professional IT project - no exemption available)

For your existing qualifications to be considered for exemption against HEQ modules, they need to have been gained within the last five years.

There are two routes to HEQ exemption

1. Accreditation of prior learning (APL)
We maintain a list of qualifications that are approved for exemption from HEQ modules. If you hold one of these, you can apply for exemption against an individual HEQ module - if APL exemption is granted, you won’t need to take that module.

Check the list of recognised qualifications to see if your existing qualification is approved. If your qualification is on the approved list, complete the application for exemption form and apply for your exemption when you register for your HEQ programme.

2. Individual exemption
Qualifications that are not on our pre-approved list may still be considered for HEQ exemption on an individual basis if they’re at the appropriate academic level and cover at least 80 per cent of the HEQ syllabus.

International HEQ are accredited and recognised by Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) at the following levels:

Qualification Level
BCS Certificate in IT 4
BCS Diploma in IT 5
BCS Professional Graduate Diploma in IT 6


If you hold a qualification you think may be eligible for exemption, you need to complete the individual exemption application form and apply for exemption when you register for your HEQ programme.

When to apply for exemption

It’s important that you make your application for exemption when you register for your HEQ programme, as applications received after registration may not be considered.