How you can earn a degree without formal qualifications

“Our mission is to help people succeed in life and live a life of significance through education,” says Prof Chan.

WHILE obtaining a degree without having formal qualifications seems to be an impossibility, the accreditation of prior experiential learning for award of academic qualifications (APEL.Q) now offers those looking to upgrade their qualifications and further their career progression a chance to do so.

APEL.Q is the award of academic qualifications to individual learners through assessment of their prior working experience towards a fully accredited degree programme.

In the spirit of flexible and lifelong learning, this “special” educational pathway recognises your working experience and converts it into a formal recognition towards the award of a postgraduate or undergraduate degree. This reduces redundancy in learning and accelerates the time taken to earn a degree.

APEL.Q is designed for promoting lifelong learning through recognising what the individual has learned in the workplace – including formal, informal and non-informal education and training. It ensures greater equality of access, recognition, opportunity and practice in career progression.

This pathway values the prior working experience and other training programmes learners have attended. It also opens access to individuals who have missed the opportunity to pursue a tertiary education in the earlier phase of their lives.

HELP University is the first university in Malaysia to offer the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) through the APEL.Q pathway. The other three postgraduate degrees offered are the Master in Business Administration, Master of Entrepreneurship, and Master of Science in Economic Crime Management. The university plans to offer undergraduate programmes through the APEL.Q pathway in the near future.

Entry requirements for the programmes are a minimum of 15 years related work experience for the undergraduate programmes, minimum 20 years for the Master programmes and minimum 25 years for the DBA.

In the event if the candidate does not meet the minimum years but has exceptional working experience, the university senate will consider the application on a case-by-case basis.

One does not need any foundation, diploma or undergraduate degree to be considered for the postgraduate degrees through the APEL.Q pathway.

“HELP University has always been innovative and entrepreneurial in improving appropriate educational programmes, learning practices and learning outcomes,” says HELP University vice-chancellor and president Prof Datuk Dr Paul Chan.

“We are proud that the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) has approved HELP University to offer four of its postgraduate programmes via the APEL.Q route as part of the lifelong learning agenda.

“These programmes are supported by a high-quality enhancement programme to enrich the lifelong learning of the adult achievers, who continue their self-actualisation journey.”

The APEL.Q postgraduate programmes at HELP have been popular among senior people and high-level executives.

HELP University’s first APEL.Q DBA student graduated at the recent convocation held at Shangri-la Hotel.

On another note, as part of its corporate social responsibility, HELP University is also offering a special tuition fee of only RM8,000 for selected postgraduate programmes under the National Upskilling Programme (NUP).

The following postgraduate programmes are offered to the public until September at this special price – Master of Data Science, Master of Applied Business Analytics, Master of Business Administration (Online), Master of Business Administration, Master of Human Resource Development, Master of Accounting and Finance, Master of Corporate Governance, Master of Project Management, Master of Entrepreneurship, Master of Education (Teaching and Learning) and Master of Education (TESL).

“Those who aspire to upskill themselves through completing a postgraduate degree will find this offer attractive.

“HELP is one of the pioneers in private tertiary education in Malaysia and has always aimed to maintain a high culture of academic quality, while ensuring our degrees are affordable and accessible to the public.

“Our mission is to help people succeed in life and live a life of significance through education,” says Prof Chan.

For more information on postgraduate APEL.Q programmes, contact Afdzal Hasmi at

For the NUP, contact Luke Jesudasan at or call 03-2716 2000.

You may visit for more details.

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