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European Credit System ECTS

European Credit System ECTS

European Credit System ECTS

The European Credit Transfer and accumulation System (ECTS) is basically academic credit system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives and learning outcomes of a module or programme of study. It is designed to enable academic recognition for periods of study, to facilitate student mobility and credit accumulation and transfer. The ECTS credit system is recommended for higher education across the Europe.

1. What are ECTS credits good for?

The ECTS makes student performance more transparent and comparable to all across European Union countries.

The benefits of ECTS for students are :

  • It is useful when you can study a Bachelor degree in an European country and a Master degree in another European country as if you studied both in the same country.
  • You can easily find work in any Europeans countries, as your studies will be recognised.
  • It will be easy for your home university to keep track of the study hours - credit transfers if your taking a joint-degree, semester abroad, or an Erasmus study experience.
  • It gives a simplified academic paperwork.
  • Easy way to estimate the complexity of a study class, seminars, internships, thesis, etc., based on the number of credits it offers upon completion.
  • It gives you less differentiation between local and international students in universities.
  • Main benefit is even if you are drop out of a course, ECTS credits help you to prove your academic achievements so you don't have to take the same courses all over again.
  • Another benefit is your degree will have the same number of credits no matter what academic discipline you pursue.

2. Where is ECTS credit system used?

ECTS credit system is mainly being used in the following seven European countries

European Credit System ECTS 3

3. How are ECTS credits calculated?

ECTS credits are basically a value allocated to course units to describe the student workload required to complete them. They reflect the quantity of work each course requires in relation to the total quantity of work required to complete a full year of academic study at the institution, i.e, lectures, practical work, seminars, private work in the laboratory, library or at home and examinations or other assessment activities. Upon completion of a course, seminar, module etc., you will be awarded with ECTS credit points. Every ECTS credit point represents the amount of workload.

Few examples of ECTS credits assigned as per degree type includes :

  • For full academic year, 60 ECTS credits will be assigned. normally 30 credits are given for a semester and 20 credits for a trimester.
  • For 3 years of Bachelor’s programme 180 ECTS credits will be assigned.
  • For 2 years of Master’s programme 120 ECTC credits will be given.

As per Germany, Romania and Hungary ECTS credit system 1 ECTS = 30 study hours of workload. ECTS credits are allocated to practical placements and to thesis preparation when these activities form part of the regular programme of study at both the home and host institutions.

4. What is ECTS grading scale?

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) scale is a grading system designed to facilitate the transfer of academic results (Examination and assessment results are usually expressed in grades.) between different country assessment systems. It is adopted by many universities in the countries belonging to the European Higher Education Area, allowing the conversion of the grades from one country to another country.

GradeCumulative %Definition
A10Outstanding performance with only minor errors
B35Above the average standard but with some errors
C65Generally sound work with a number of notable errors
D90Fair but with significant shortcomings
E~100Performance meets the minimum criteria
FXFail – some more work required before the credit can be awarded
FFail – considerable further work is required
  • If your bachelor's college has already adapted the ECTS or equivalent credit system, you are out of trouble. You can directly enter the credits printed on your transcript/grade card into the ECTS form. Here it is important to check whether the CP (Credits) used by your college is equivalent to ECTS.
  • For Example, if your the credit system used in your college assigns 1 credits for every 25 hours of time spent on a subject then the actual credits you earned in ECTS system will be less than your credit system used by your college. In this case 1CP = 0.83 ECTS.
  • However, if your college neither gives the number of hours per subject or the Credit Point (CP) details used in your bachelors, here's how you can calculate the ECTS:
  • Please refer the table below, consider any one subject from your course (Digital Communication), you should know details such as Number of lecture hours per week and Number of weeks per semester since you have already completed (about to complete) your bachelors.
  • For the "Digital Communication" subject, let's assume 4 hours in a week lecture and 4 hours per week on assignments, home work and self study. Since typically the lecture period runs for 4 months in a semester, let's assume, Number of weeks per semester as 16.
SubjectNo. of Hours per weekNo. of weeks per semesterTotal No. of Hours
Digital Communication4 (Classes)1664
4 (Assignment + Study hrs)1664
Grand Total =128 Hours
  • Now calculate by multiplying,

No. of hrs per week x No. of weeks per semester = Total hours

4 hrs/week x 16 weeks = 64 total hrs

  • Similarly Consider,

4 hours per week for self study or assignments X 16 weeks per semester = 64 total hours,

calculate the grand total of hours i.e approximately equal to 128 hours.

  • According to European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)

30 study hours = 1 ECTS credit point

  • Now divide the total no. of hours by ECTS hours,

i.e., 128 hrs / 30 hrs = 4.2 CP approximately 4 credit for "Digital Communication"

  • Similar the calculation for practical labs or workshop as done as shown below
  • Consider "C programming Lab", assume 3 hours of lab session in a week will be taken and you will be having 16 weeks for each semester,

3 hrs X 16 weeks = 48 hrs

SubjectNo. of Hours per weekNo. of weeks per semesterTotal No. of Hours
C Programming Lab3 (Labs)1648
3 (Assignment + Study hrs)1648
Grand Total =96 Hours
  • Assume 3 hrs of lab home work per week

i.e., 3 hrs X 16 weeks = 48 hrs

  • Now divide the total no. of hours by ECTS hours,

i.e. 96 hrs / 30 hrs = 3.2 CP approximately 3 credit for "C programming Lab"

  • Similarly you need to do for all other courses
  • We have built a simple calculator to make this task easier. Just Enter the details to calculate the equivalent ECTS Credits.


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