Everything About ECTS And The ECTS Calculator

ECTS calculator

Written by Kimberly Linhares

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May 2, 2022

The ECTS framework assists students and universities in defining and comprehending the workload associated with lectures and study programmes. It may appear intimidating at first, but it is actually quite simple to grasp. Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions about ECTS and the ECTS calculator.

ECTS calculator

What Is The ECTS?

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is a points-based system used by universities and agreed upon by governments that make cross-border international education more easily comparable. The European Credit Transfer System, or, more precisely, the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, makes studying across the European Higher Education Area more comparable. A credit system means that one course or module is worth the same at any university.

It also makes studying abroad much simpler because universities can compare the courses and classes they offer, allowing you to receive credit for your semester or year overseas. Credits for lectures from various institutions can be gathered (or added up) towards a single degree or qualification, providing much more flexibility. Countries throughout the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) have adopted the ECTS system. The EHEA has 48 signatories, ranging from Portugal in the west to Russia and Kazakhstan in the east. Some websites offer a free online ECTS calculator that students can use to calculate their ECTS credits. 

What Are ECTS Points?

ECTS points, also known as ECTS credits, represent the amount of work required to complete a programme of study or a module within a programme of study. ECTS points only represent workload; they do not represent a grade. In general, one year of full-time study (or work, if applicable) is worth 60 ECTS credits. Typically, this is divided into modules. So, for example, in a year, you could have four modules with a similar workload, each worth 15 ECTS credits and totalling 60 ECTS for the year.

An ECTS calculator is used to calculate the total workload for a study course:

  • Bachelor’s degrees generally range from 180 ECTS (3 years full-time) to 240 ECTS (four years full-time) (4 years full-time).
  • Master’s degrees generally range from 60 to 120 ECTS (1 year full-time) (2 years full-time).
  • Because of the flexible length of the workload, it is difficult to predict how many credits a PhD programme will consist of.

Also Read: 5 Best Mathematics Calculators for College Students 

How Do ECTS Credits Convert To Study Hours?

A year of full-time university studies is generally worth 60 ECTS credits and is defined as 1,500 – 1,800 hours of study work. This means that 1 ECTS is equivalent to 25 to 30 hours (with the UK being one exception). The precise number of hours varies from country to country. Here are a few examples:

  • United Kingdom: 1 ECTS is 20 study hours
  • Austria, Ireland, Italy, Malta: 1 ECTS is 25 study hours
  • Finland, Lithuania, Sweden: 1 ECTS is 27 study hours
  • Netherlands, Portugal: 1 ECTS is 28 study hours
  • Germany: 1 ECTS is 30 study hours

After all course, these values are only guidelines. They include not only “contact hours” (hours spent in classrooms), but also time spent preparing, doing homework, and so on, so your individual study times may differ. Because of the reduced workload, the number of ECTS per semester or year will be lower if you study part-time. If you only sign up for 20 ECTS of lectures in a given semester, you will most likely have plenty of free time, whereas more than 30 ECTS may mean you won’t see many of your friends.

What Is The Purpose Of The ECTS Credits Calculator?

Students receive credit points upon completion of each course/seminar/module. Students can use an online ECTS credit calculator to calculate their points. Each point represents the amount of work they completed during that time period. Here are a few examples of ECTS credit points per degree type:

  • 60 ECTS credits- Enough for a full academic year.
  • 120 ECTS credits are required for a two-year master’s degree programme.
  • 180 ECTS credits- Based on a three-year bachelor’s degree programme.
  • 240 ECTS credits- Dedicated to a four-year bachelor’s degree programme

Furthermore, the ECTS system is used by several prominent international study destinations, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Ireland, and the Netherlands. 

PS: If there’s anything more you’d like us to know about. Add it to the comments section!

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on ‘Everything About ECTS And The ECTS Calculator’. Do check out our other blogs. 

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