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European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

What is ECTS?

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is a learner-centered system for accumulation and transfer of credits based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a program. The objectives are preferably specified in terms of the learning outcomes and competences to be acquired

Key Features

  • ECTS makes study programs easy to read and compare for all students, local and foreign.
  • ECTS facilitates mobility and academic recognition.
  • ECTS helps universities to organise and revise their study programs.
  • ECTS can be used across a variety of programs and modes of delivery.                         
  • ECTS makes European higher education more attractive for students from abroad.

ECTS Credits

ECTS credits are based on the workload students need in order to achieve expected learning outcomes. ECTS-credits represent relatively (not absolutely) the study workload. Credits are awarded to the students only upon successful course completion and passing all required exams.

Workload indicates the time students typically need to complete all planned learning activities, such as attending lectures, seminars, preparation of projects, practical work, self-study and examinations, etc., required to achieve the expected learning outcomes.

Learning outcomes describe what a learner is expected to know, understand and be able to do after the successful completion of a process of learning. They relate to level descriptors in national and European qualifications frameworks. In the European Credit Transfer System 60 credits signify the study workload of one academic year (30 credits per semester).

These 60 ECTS credits are attached to the workload of a full-time year of formal learning (academic year) and the associated learning outcomes. In most cases, student workload for an academic year is between 1500 – 1800 hours, thus one credit corresponds to 25 to 30 hours of work.