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What is ECTS?

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a student-centered system based on the student workload required to achieve the program objectives, objectives preferably specified in terms of learning outcomes and competences to be acquired.

What Are The Key Features of ECTS?

  • ECTS is based on the convention that 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one academic year. In most cases, the student workload of a full-time study program in Europe amounts to 36/40 weeks per year, whereby one credit equals 25 to 30 working hours. Workload refers to the period of time an average learner might expect to complete the required learning material.
  • Credit is also a way to assess your learning outcome. Learning outcomes reflect what the student has learned, understood and will be able to do after completion of the course. ECTS credits can only be obtained after completion of the required work and appropriate evaluation of the students' learning outcomes.
  • The allocation of ECTS credits is based on the official length of a study program. The total workload necessary to obtain a first cycle degree lasting officially three or four years is indicated as 180 or 240 credits.
  • Student workloads in ECTS credits include the time spent in attending lectures, seminars, independent study, preparation for and taking of examinations, etc...
  • Credits are allocated to all educational components of a study program (such as modules, courses, placements, dissertation work, etc.) and reflect the quantity of work each component requires in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full year of study in the program considered.
  • The student's performance is documented by a local/national grade. It is good practice to add an ECTS grade, for credit transfer in particular. The ECTS grading scale will rank the student on a statistical basis. Grades are assigned to students with a pass grade as follows:
A best 10%
B next 25%
C next 30%
D next 25%
E next 10%

A distinction is made between the grades FX and F. FX means: "fail - some more work required to pass" and F means: "fail - considerable further work required". Students may opt to include failing grades in the Transcript of Records.

What are the Key Documents of ECTS?

  • The regular Course Catalog of the institution is to be published in two languages (or only in English for programs taught in English) on the Web and/or in hard copy.
  • The Learning Agreement contains the list of courses to be taken and agreed upon by the student and the responsible academic body at the institution concerned. In case of credit transfer, the Learning Agreement has to be agreed upon by the student and the two institutions concerned before the student's departure and to be updated immediately if any changes occur.
  • Transcript of Records document the student's academic performance listing all of of courses taken, the credits earned as well as the local grade awarded and possibly the awarded ECTS grade. In regards to credit transfer, the Transcript of Records must be issued by the home institution for outgoing students before departure and by the host institution for incoming students at the end of their period of study.

Additional Information on ECTS

... can be found on the ECTS website of the European Commission.