European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
Ideal basis for the adequate recognition of course achievement abroad
The European Commission developed the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) in order to facilitate academic mobility. This student-centered system serves the purpose of accumulating and transferring course achievement. It is based upon the transparency of the processes of learning, teaching and evaluating.
ECTS-credit points, often referred to as ‘Credits’ are the foundation of the system. They represent a tool for referring to the estimated student workload. Furthermore, modules can be related to thematic course units. Therefore, so-called credit points assess work effort in relation to the educational objectives of a module.
The basis for one credit is a workload of 30 hours. Over the course of one semester, 30 credits should be acquired.
Therefore, 180 credit points can be earned in the course of a three-year undergraduate programme. 240 credits is the amount to be earned in the case of a four-year programme. In the context of a Master’s programme an additional 60 to 120 credit points can be acquired, depending on the length of the programme (one year or two years of studies).
In compliance with a resolution of the German Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) in 1997 the upper limit of workload for students is 1 800 hours. This corresponds to a full-time employment with six weeks of vacation.
To sum up: In the context of a regular course of studies students should complete a semester abroad without a loss of time and make use of the stay abroad for the development of their personal academic as well professional career.