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Recognition of Out-of-classroom Learning Experiences – Credit Award Scheme

Recognition of Out-of-classroom Learning Experiences

Credit Award Scheme


The University’s undergraduate curriculum is defined as the totality of experiences afforded to students to achieve its Educational Aims (EAs). Students are encouraged to learn not only in the classroom but beyond. Out-of-classroom learning experiences are valuable and contribute to the achievement of EAs, especially in the development of graduate attributes and skills. The Senate approved at its meeting on July 4, 2017 a credit award scheme for out-of-classroom learning experiences, and approved measures to enhance the scheme in January 2021. All kinds of out-of-classroom learning experiences/activities may quality for such credits, on condition that the outcome of each experience/activity can be mapped to at least one of the University’s six EAs.


For each out-of-classroom experience/activity, either one credit or two credits may be earned. The credits are academic credits, but will not contribute to the University’s degree requirements (i.e. they will not count towards the 240 credits required for graduation from a normative four-year programme). Where an experience/activity involves not less than 20 hours of learning, one credit will be awarded. Where a more advanced experience/activity involving 50 hours or more of learning, with the majority of the hours being highly relevant to the UEAs against which the experience/activity is mapped, two credits will be awarded. Credits can be accumulated one at a time, but students are only able to claim actual, transcriptable credits in blocks of three, as no course should have a credit value of less than three credits under the University’s undergraduate curriculum structure. Standalone credits may be recorded in E-portfolios. The upper limit that can be accumulated is six credits, exclusive of: i) experiences/activities which form credit-bearing components of or are embedded in the curriculum; ii) credit-bearing courses such as the HKU-HKJC Nurturing Global Leaders Programme; and iii) mainland/overseas student exchanges for which a transfer of credits has been approved. In any case, no double counting of credits will be allowed under any circumstances. Examples of out-of-classroom experiences/activities mapped to EAs are in document 343/517. Apart from the requirement that such experiences/activities should be out-of-classroom, they must contribute to the achievement of at least one of the University’s six EAs. For instance, being an ordinary member of a student body may not count but being an office bearer with a leadership role and making significant contributions may be eligible for mapping to EA2, EA5 or EA6. * The hours required must broadly follow the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ETCS), with one credit being equivalent to 20-30 hours of learning Sharing from awardees of the “Credit Award Scheme for Out-of-Classroom Learning Experiences” in 2020



A 2-tier application system is in operation for students intending to participate in out-of-classroom learning experiences:

Tier 1 (Pre-approval): Students to submit an application to the Sub-group of the HKU Horizons Committee through the HKU Horizons Office for preliminary approval at least one month before taking part in an intended activity. (Such activities may be offered by HKU units or outside organizations.  Students are encouraged to consult an academic adviser, course teacher or Head of Department when planning to apply for these credits.)

Application Form: For pre-approval through the E-Portfolio system.

[Note: For activities offered by HKU units and already obtained pre-approval by relevant units, please skip the Tier 1 Pre-approval process and go straight to Tier 2 Formal approval, quoting the pre-approval number in the application.]

Tier 2 (Formal approval): Students to submit an application for formal approval upon completion of the learning experience/activity, normally by the end of the academic year in which the event took place.  The information required includes:

  • evidence of completion of the experience/ activity, and
  • an essay (of 300-500 words for claiming one credit and of 1,000 words for claiming two credits) reflecting on the experience/activity and the outcome, inclusive of what has been learnt, the difficulties encountered, the achievement of the intended learning outcome, and the impact on personal, professional and/or career development.

Application Form: For Formal Approval

[Other than in exceptional circumstances (e.g. an activity taking place in the final few days of an academic year), applications submitted after this deadline will not be processed.][When applications are approved, no grading of any kind will be given and the credits will not be included in the GPA calculation.  The approved credits with associated experiences/activities, in blocks of three and subject to a maximum of six, will be reflected on the transcript and the Academic Attainment Profile (AAP). Where a student has accrued four or five credits, he/she will be given an opportunity to indicate which three credits he/she would like to show on the transcript and AAP.]


HKU Units

HKU units planning to offer out-of-classroom learning experiences for students are requested to submit an application for pre-approval at least three months before the planned activity takes place.  Please include the pre-approval number in the recruitment publicity materials.

Application Form: For Pre-Approval

Email for enquiry: