European Credits Transfer System

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What is European Credit Transfer System (1)

The European Credits Transfer System known as the ECTS is a grading system used by European universities to compare marks and recognize academic qualifications. A full academic year is worth 60 ECTS credits and this credit system helps universities standardize different degrees and academic qualifications for transparency and admission purposes. Keep reading to discover how the European Credit Transfer System works.

Click Here to Read About Grading Systems Around the World

What is ECTS?

The European Credits Transfer System known as the ECTS is a points system used by European countries for international admissions. The system ensures students can study and live in different European nations during their studies. In ECTS, 60 credits represent the workload of a normal undergraduate academic year of study. 30 credits are allocated for a semester and 20 credits for a term. A postgraduate academic year for 12 months has 90 credits.

ECTS Grading System

ECTS Grading System Equivalent Percentage % of Successful students achieving a grade Grade  Definition
A 70% > 20 % Outstanding  
B 60-69% 30 % Very Good Above-average standards, with minor errors
C 50-59% 30 % Good Generally sound work, with some errors
D 40-49% 15 % Satisfactory Fair, but with significant shortcomings
E 30-39% 5 % Sufficient Performance meets minimum criteria
FX 20-29%   Fail Extra work is required before credit can be awarded
F 0-29%   Fail Considerable further work is required; involves re-attendance of classes

CGPA to Percentage Free Calculator

How does European Credit Transfer System work?

YouTube: Bharat in Germany

When students complete a course or a seminar, they are awarded with certain credit points. Each ECTS credit point stands for the amount of work done in that stipulated time period. For instance, have a look at this: 

  1. For 1 full year of academic studies, students are rewarded with 60 ECTS credit points.
  2. For 3 full years of bachelor’s academic studies, students are rewarded with 180 ECTS credit points.
  3. For 4 full year of bachelor’s academic studies, students are rewarded with 240 ECTS credit points
  4. For 1 to 2 years of master’s academic studies, students are rewarded with 90-120 ECTS credit points

Top European Countries that use ECTS 

Different countries use different systems for comparing credits and marks for each semester and term. Here are some popular countries in Europe that use ECTS for international admissions:

  1. Sweden
  2. Spain
  3. France
  4. Ireland
  5. Netherlands
  6. Germany
  7. United Kingdom

Benefits of European Credit Transfer System

The primary purpose of ECTS is to make studies in Europe comparable and measurable through a common standard. It is used by members of the European Higher Education Area to ensure students can easily work and study across Europe without any hassle. It has with time complemented the national standards within Europe. Here are the benefits of the ECTS:

  1. Students can pursue a bachelor’s in one country that is a member of EHEA and master’s in another;
  2. Students can work in any EHEA country;
  3. The paperwork needed for studying abroad has also been simplified;
  4. It helps in easier estimation of the class complexity, seminar, internship, thesis, etc., based on the number of credits;
  5. The number of credits remains the same for every degree irrespective of the academic discipline pursued;
  6. Through this European grading method, the differences between local and international students have also reduced;
  7. Even if a student drops out of a programme, through the ECTS credits they can prove their academic achievements.

Must Read: How to Convert SGPA to CGPA?

How to Convert to Study Hours?

One European Credit Transfer System credit point can be around 25-30 hours of study depending upon the country.  For instance,

  1. In Austria, Italy and Spain, 1 ECTS is 25 study hours, while in Finland, 1 ECTS is 27 study hours. 
  2. In the Netherlands and Portugal, 1 ECTS is 28 study hours
  3. In Germany, Belgium, Hungary and Romania, 1 ECTS is 30 study hours.

These hours are just an estimate, as students might spend more hours on a course if they are not familiar with it. 

Also Read: Grading System in India

How to Convert UK Credits to ECTS Credits?

Even though the UK is a member of the EHEA, UK universities use UK credits mostly. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the credits are defined under the CATS scheme whereas, in Scotland, they are within the SQF Framework. However, these credits represent the same value.

To convert UK Credits to European method – 2 UK Credits equals 1 ECTS credit.

Also Read: Understanding US Grading System

How to Convert US Credits to ECTS Credits?

For a student who holds an undergraduate degree from the US and plans to pursue a Master’s from Europe, they must convert their US credits to the European method. To convert US Credits to the European method: 1 U.S. credit point equals 2 ECTS credit points.

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So, this was all about ECTS and how it essentially works. If you wish to pursue studies in Europe, then get in touch with our Leverage Edu experts for a free session today!

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