ECTS credits

ECTS credits

The ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) makes it possible to compare the higher education systems throughout Europe. It thus strengthens the transparency of education and apprenticeship and facilitates the recognition of all studies.

What purpose does it serve?

It enables the transfer of learning experiences between different establishments, greater student mobility and more flexible pathways through to graduation.

ECTS is closely linked to the modernisation of higher education in Europe. It is a central instrument of the Bologna process, which aims to improve compatibility between the different national systems.

It is a tool that aims to facilitate the design, description and implementation of study programmes, and the awarding of higher education diplomas. The utilisation of this European standard, combined with the certification frameworks founded on learning outcomes, favours the transparency of programmes and qualifications, and also the recognition of diplomas.

How does ECTS work?

ECTS is based on the convention whereby the work to be accomplished by a student working full-time for one academic year corresponds to 60 credits. One teaching semester is equivalent to 30 ECTS credits.

As the workload for a student enrolled on a full-time study programme in Europe lasts 36 to 40 weeks a year in most cases, the value of one credit therefore represents 24 to 30 hours’ work. By workload, we mean the time needed in theory by an average student to achieve all the results required at the end of their training.

So, the student’s workload includes the time spent in the classroom, taking part in seminars, studying on their own, preparing for and taking exams, etc.

Credits are awarded for every component of a study programme (modules, classes, internships, dissertations, thesis, etc.), according to the amount of work that each activity requires with respect to the total amount of work required to complete a full year of studies in the programme concerned.

ECTS credits are only awarded on total completion of the work to be done and of the appropriate assessment of the results of the training.

Source : Commission européenne