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Description of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) for use in Course Handbooks

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS ) is an academic credit system based on the estimated student workload required to achieve the objectives 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 is the recommended credit system for higher education in Ireland and across the European Higher Education Area.

The ECTS weighting for a module is a measure of the student input or workload required for that module, based on factors such as the number of contact hours, the number and length of written or verbally presented assessment exercises, class preparation and private study time, laboratory classes, examinations, clinical attendance, professional training placements, and so on as appropriate. There is no intrinsic relationship between the credit volume of a module and its level of difficulty.

The European norm for full-time study over one academic year is 60 credits. 1 credit represents 20-25 hours estimated student input, so a 10-credit module will be designed to require 200-250 hours of student input including class contact time, assessments and examinations.

ECTS credits are awarded to a student only upon successful completion of the course year . Progression from one year to the next is determined by the course regulations. Students who fail a year of their course will not obtain credit for that year even if they have passed certain component courses. Exceptions to this rule are one-year and part-year visiting students, who are awarded credit for individual modules successfully completed.

Last updated 9 May 2017 webdes@tcd.ie.