One of the first rules that students living in Europe learn is ECTS. In this article we explain clearly and simply what these ECTS credits consist of and we explain everything you need to know about them.
What are ECTS credits?
The European System of Transfer and Accumulation of Credits in Spanish language (ECTS for its acronym in English) is the system that is used in European universities to measure the work that a student has to do in a subject.
ECTS credits include class hours. These can generally be divided into theoretical and practical. Both parts must be passed for the course to be approved. However, it is not limited only to the training time given by a teacher to students. This amount also includes the completion of some work or project, attendance at seminars, study hours and preparation for the exam.
How many hours is an ECTS credit?
This type of accreditation does not have a fixed number of hours. This generally equates to an average of 25-30 hours of training. This means that if you take a 100-hour course, 4 ECTS credits will be recognized.
How many ECTS credits does a master’s degree have?
If you are thinking of doing a master’s degree, you should know that they do not have a fixed number of credits. It is true that the minimum amount is 60 and the maximum, 120 ECTS credits.
Differences with old credits
Formerly each European country had its own study plan totally independent from the rest of its neighbors. However, in order to unify educational systems, ECTS credits were created. With this system, the validation of subjects between universities is facilitated. This is especially useful for Erasmus students who spend a few months displaced studying at another university on the continent.
Formerly, in Spanish universities, credits were equivalent to 10 hours of class, either theoretical or practical. However, all the time required to study or perform work was not contemplated.
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