European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System
What is a credit system?
A credit system is a systematic way of describing an educational program by attaching credits to its components. The definition of credits in higher education systems may be based on different parameters, such as student workload, learning outcomes and contact hours.
What is ECTS?
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a student - centered system based on the student workload (e.g. the time they generally need) required to achieve the objectives of a program. The objectives are preferably specified in terms of learning outcomes and competences to be acquired. ECTS facilitates mobility and academic recognition. In fact it makes study programs easy to be read and compared for all students, local and foreign.
Key features of ECTS
ECTS is based on the principle that 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one academic year. The student workload of a full-time study program in Europe amounts in most cases to around 1500-1800 hours per year and in those cases one credit stands for around 25 to 30 working hours (including the hours of study at home).
Credits in ECTS can only be obtained after successful completion of the work required and appropriate assessment of the learning outcomes achieved. Learning outcomes are sets of competences, expressing what the student will know, understand or be able to do after completion of a process of learning, long or short.
Student workload in ECTS consists of the time required to complete all planned learning activities such as attending lectures, seminars, independent and private study, preparation of projects and examinations.
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 to achieve its specific objectives or learning outcomes in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full year of study successfully.
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