Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
In order to foster transparency and comparability
between the different European curricula, the European Credit Transfer
and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a means to promote understanding
and recognition of the academic tracks currently in use in
the various higher education institutional networks and academic
systems of different countries.
The ECTS system is based on 5 basic elements: the learning contract, credits, student record, student transcript,
and academic recognition.
ECTS = Credits
A credit system is a systematic way of describing an educational
programme by attaching credits to its components. The European
Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a student-centred
system based on the student workload required to achieve the
objectives of a programme, objectives preferably specified
in terms of learning outcomes and competences to be acquired.
ECTS is based on the convention that 60 credits measure the
workload of a full-time student during one academic year. The
student workload of a full-time study programme in Europe amounts,
in most cases, to 36/40 weeks per year and in those cases one
credit stands for 25 to 30 working hours. Workload refers to
the notional time an average learner might expect to need to
complete the required learning outcome.
Credit is also a way of quantifying the results of learning.
Learning outcomes are sets of competencies, expressing what the
student will know, understand or be able to do after completion
of a process of learning, whether short or long. Credits in ECTS
can only be obtained after completion of the work required and
appropriate assessment of the learning outcomes achieved.
The student workload in ECTS includes 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 programme (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 specific programme.
The allocation of ECTS credit is based
on the official length of a study programme cycle. The total
workload necessary to obtain
a first cycle degree in France – Bachelor – is expressed
as 180 credits, to obtain a second cycle degree – Master – is
expressed as 120 credits.
ECTS = Information brochure
The brochure of a given foreign university provides information
on the courses offered and the objectives of each programme
(duration, level, content, teaching language etc).
You will choose your course work according to this information.
ECTS = Learning contract required for study period abroad
In the case of a structured exchange programme with your university,
you will prepare your departure based on information provided
in the brochures or from the web sites of the host university.
You will need to fill in the learning contract, which formalises
the choice of course that you wish to follow abroad. Before
leaving, your director of studies must validate your choice
of course on the learning contract, which you then send to
your host university together with your application forms.
When you arrive in the country of your choice, you may be able
to modify your contract, and you have three weeks to get it signed
once again. After this, the contract cannot be modified for a
ECTS= Student transcript
Evaluations enable students to be credited with the ECTS points
obtained. Students taking part in an exchange programme follow
the same courses and are subject to the same assessment criteria
as the other students.
The host university will send your student transcript to your
home university in accordance with the local marking system,
together with the corresponding ECTS credits, as well as the
grades obtained, based on the ECTS scale:
TOP 10 %
NEXT 25 %
NEXT 30 %
NEXT 25 %
FINAL 10 %
more work required to pass
further work required
Nota Bene: Only those students who have passed their exams are
eligible for the ECTS system.
It should be noted that the ECTS system
gives more importance to a student’s assessment in relation to the grades obtained
by students from the whole year. In parallel with the
local grading system notation, the ECTS system completes this
information and facilitates the transfer of grades without prejudice
from one country to another.
ECTS = Academic recognition
At the end of your programme in the host university, your grades
will be converted to your national system, which will take
into account the marking scale of the ECTS system. Your grades
will thus be integrated into your home system, thereby ensuring
the academic recognition of the knowledge you acquired during
your study period abroad. You may then continue your study
programme as normal, as validation for your study period abroad
will be fully recognised.
Not only will you have acquired a valuable multicultural experience,
but your year of studies abroad will be validated in the same
way as if you had stayed in your home university.
Charter of ECTS quality in Pdf-format (download: Acrobat
of ECTS credits