Gabriella Cannon

The RPL process offered a transformative opportunity for me to leverage my practical experience as a valid substitute for the conventional academic qualifications I lacked.

Gabriella Cannon
Gabriella Cannon, RPL Learner, MSc in Cyberpsychology, IADT

Before returning to Ireland, I had spent five years immersed in the technology sector while living abroad, gaining extensive hands-on experience and a deep appreciation for the field. Always harbouring aspirations to formalise my expertise through higher education upon my return, I encountered a significant hurdle: the courses I was interested in demanded a bachelor's degree, which I did not possess. This challenge became a focal point of discussion with a career counsellor who recommended exploring Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). The RPL process offered a transformative opportunity for me to leverage my practical experience as a valid substitute for the conventional academic qualifications I lacked. Intrigued by the possibility, I discovered that the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) supported entry into their MSc in Cyberpsychology program via RPL. Encouraged by this, I applied, showing how my years of technology work equipped me with a robust set of skills and knowledge commensurate with a formal degree program's requirements. This pathway validated my practical experience and paved the way for my enrollment at IADT, bridging my past professional experiences with my academic ambitions and enhancing my career prospects and educational goals.

RPL was perfect for me as it turned my tech experience into a ticket to further my education. Without needing a bachelor's degree, I could dive into IADT's MSc in Cyberpsychology, aligning my past work with my future goals.

Seeing my years of practical experience and learning valued equally to a traditional degree was affirming.
It made me feel seen and respected, not merely as a candidate lacking a specific credential but as a competent individual whose diverse experiences contribute significantly to my field.

Seeing my years of practical experience and learning valued equally to a traditional degree was affirming. This acknowledgement made me feel seen and respected, not merely as a candidate lacking a specific credential but as a competent individual whose diverse experiences contribute significantly to my field. This humane approach to education has elevated my self-worth and reinforced my belief in my ability to succeed and thrive in new academic and professional environments.

RPL has opened up new avenues for career advancement that were previously inaccessible. This advanced education has not only deepened my understanding and skills in my field but has also positioned me as a more qualified and competitive candidate in the job market.

The RPL application process required me to submit an updated CV, write an essay on a Cyberpsychology topic, compile a dossier detailing my experiences, and evaluate an article followed by answering questions about it. While the writing tasks were initially daunting, they were well-aligned with the course expectations, making the effort feel purposeful and well-planned.

My advice for anyone considering RPL in higher education is to always apply, even if you doubt your qualifications. Don't let self-doubt or overthinking hold you back. Push past those internal barriers and give it a shot—you might be surprised by what you're capable of achieving.