Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Academic Credit System (ECTS)


The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is an academic credit system based on the estimated 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 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.

For more information and ECTS documentation, see the EU Commission website at

Back to top

Credit at Module Level

All modules must carry 5 ECTS credits as a minimum or multiples of 5. (Council 2006)

Back to top

Credit at Prgramme Level

Under Development

Back to top

TCD Guidelines

Back to top

Credit and Student Progression

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.

Back to top

Credit and student mobility/exchange programmes

TCD students studying abroad for a full academic year on an approved mobility/exchange programme must obtain not less than 45 ECTS credits or equivalent from the host institution in order to rise with their year.

Back to top

Credit Norms (by Course Year and Term)

The norm for full-time study over one academic year is 60 credits (30 credits in each of Michaelmas and Hilary Terms).

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 and assessments.

Back to top

Last updated 7 November 2016