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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): Your Path to a Master’s/MBA Without a Bachelor’s.

Study online,  

On your own schedule, 

And open new professional opportunities –  

In as little as 1 year

A young managerial economics professional arranges a meeting.

Take the extra step in your career, with a Master’s/MBA degree that certifies your skills and experience

Built a successful career, but feel that something is missing? 

Are some opportunities not available to you because you don’t have a university degree? 

At IU International University of Applied Sciences, Germany’s biggest private university, we believe that education should be accessible to everyone. That’s why we now offer expert professionals and managers, with 6 years or more of qualified work experience, the opportunity to earn a Master’s or MBA degree, even if you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree – with our recognition of prior learning (RPL) process. 

 Study 100% online, on a full-time or part-time basis, and earn a degree that can transform your career –  All while comfortably combining your studies with your work. 

 Ready to make the impossible possible

No prior bachelor’s degree needed

Earn admission to your desired degree programme based on your professional experience + passing the preparatory module 

Work and study at the same time

Thanks to the flexibility of studying online, on your own schedule 

Graduate with an international degree

Our online degrees are accredited by the German state and recognised around the world 

A group of young process management professionals discussing strategies at a computer screen and smiling.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL): what is it, and how does it help you?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a way for us to assess your previous learning and/or professional experience, to determine if they're on the same level of knowledge as provided by a university degree. 

If you’ve developed a significant amount of professional knowledge and skills in your field, but have done so outside of formal education, RPL is a great tool for you to use as an entry point to an advanced academic degree. 

To make a long story short: RPL lets you gain a formal academic recognition for your skills and experience – and skip the need to get a Bachelor’s degree, in the process. 

That way, you can start your studies at a Master’s (or MBA) level

But only if you meet certain admission requirements

Choose your study programme

With the Master’s/MBA for Professionals study track, you get to pick your degree from over 15 available programmes, depending on your experience and future career aspirations. 

The degrees offered consist of 60, 90 or 120 ECTS credits, with study periods ranging from 12 to 36 months

(ECTS credits stands for European Credit Transfer System, the standard credit transfer system in the European Union and many other countries around the world.) 

The programmes you can choose from are: 

Master Degree Programmes

  • M.Sc. Artificial Intelligence 60/120 ECTS credits
  • M.Sc. Business Intelligence 60 ECTS credits
  • M.Sc. Business & IT 60 ECTS credits 
  • M.Sc. Data Management 60 ECTS credits 
  • M.Sc. Data Science 60/120 ECTS credits 
  • M.Sc. DevOps and Cloud Computing Management 60 ECTS credits
  • M.A. Human Resource Management 60 ECTS credits 
  • M.A. Digital Innovation and Intraprenuership 60 ECTS credits 
  • M.A. Digital Marketing 60 ECTS credits
  • M.A. Digital Product Management 60 ECTS credits
  • M.A. Growth Hacking for Entrepreneurs 60 ECTS credits
  • M.A. International Healthcare Management 60 ECTS credits 
  • M.A. Information Technology Management 60 ECTS credits 
  • M.A. Management + Majors 60 ECTS credits 
  • M.A. Marketing Management 60 ECTS credits
  • M.A. Project Management 60 ECTS credits

MBA Degree Programmes

  • MBA Master of Business Administration 60/90 ECTS credits 

What a Master’s/MBA for Professionals degree can do for your career

Improve your profile

Match your educational credentials to your professional skills, and companies will notice. 

Increase your salary

Be eligible for a raise, or attract new offers that pay better than your current job.

Open new challenges

Remove any blockers standing in your way of becoming a C-suite executive or climbing up the corporate ladder. 

Develop on a professional and personal level

Prove to others – and yourself – that you can achieve anything, regardless of the obstacles.

Master’s/MBA for Professionals – what you need in order to apply

Educational requirements

  1. Vocational Diploma
  2. Professional experience:
  • A minimum of 6 years of full-time professional experience in a field relevant to your desired study programme, including at least 3 years of full-time work in a leadership or expert role.
  • Your experience must be backed by proof in the form of official documents. 

Successfully completing the preparatory module

The preparatory module* consists of two parts:  

  1. A seminar paper (approx. 40 pages), time for completion: 12 weeks (full-time)  
  2. A 30-minute-long oral exam (colloquium)  

The 4 steps to starting your degree

1. Apply online:

Choose the study programme you want to start and fill out the online application form. You’ll then receive your personalised study contract, to review and accept its terms.

2. Start your studies:

Once your application is complete, you can start your studies. On the starting date you chose in your application, we will e-mail you your login credentials to the digital campus, myCampus. You still need to submit your documents – you can do so before or after the start of your studies.

3. Start (and finish) the qualification:

Once we have received your documents and established your eligibility, you'll need to successfully pass the Master's Qualifying Examination. You’ll find all the info about the qualification on myCampus, where you’ll need to work on and complete your seminar paper and colloquium. You will not be able to continue your studies before you pass the exam!

4. Finish your studies:

Now that you’ve passed the qualification exam, you can focus on your degree studies. Complete the rest of your courses, and graduate with your new degree.

Master’s/MBA for Professionals FAQ:

Will the Master’s/MBA for Professionals degree be recognised in my country?

The Master’s/MBA for Professional study track is state-accredited in Germany, and are compatible with the EU’s Bologna Process standards for international university degree recognition. That means that the degree you’ll earn is recognised around the world

What is the preparatory module?

Once your admission has been provisionally approved (and your study contract has been signed), you’ll get access to our digital campus, where you’ll begin your “Introduction to Academic Work” course. The course will give you all the tools you’ll need in order to successfully pass the preparatory module – including the support of a tutor throughout the module. 

The preparatory module, which consists of two parts – a 40-page seminar and an oral exam (a colloquium) – is required in order to validate your admission and prove your ability to meet academic requirements. 

How much does the Master’s/MBA for Professionals cost?

The costs depend on the programme you choose to take and the time model you decide to do (full-time/part-time). For information about our tuition fees, please visit our tuition fees page. 

In addition, there is a €500 fee for the preparatory module. The application itself is free of charge

What are the most popular programmes?

For experienced managers and experts, the most popular degree programmes we offer are the One-Year MBA 60 ECTS credits, MBA Master of Business Administration 90 ECTS credits and M.A. Management + Majors 60 ECTS credits

Can I switch to another university during my studies?

If you start your Master’s/MBA for Professional’s degree, you cannot switch to another university, as our preparatory module is not recognised by other universities. Only the degrees themselves are recognised externally. 

I don’t have a vocational diploma, but I meet the professional experience requirement. Can I still start a degree?

To qualify for admission to this preparatory programme, you need to either have a high school diploma (or an equivalent), or a vocational training diploma that is relevant to the master's degree you intend to pursue. 

Earn a degree without compromising

And get a discount of up to 1444 € if you apply by June 20th!*

Studies designed to fit your schedule and match your ambitions: cutting-edge and 100% online! Study anytime, from anywhere, and earn your degree on your own terms.

*You can start anytime. 

Study flexibly: live, work and travel in Europe!

Apply by June 20th to save up to 1444 € on your on-campus tuition.

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Personal counselling
Have any questions?

Visit our FAQ page or get in touch with our Study Advisors. You can also find information about the application process under our Become a Student page.

Personal counselling
Have any questions?

Visit our FAQ page or get in touch with our Study Advisors.