ECTS is a student-oriented transfer system
Accumulation of credits based on the process transparency and learning / learning outcomes. Its purpose is to facilitate the planning, acquisition, assessment, recognition and validation of qualifications and educational units, as well as student mobility. ECTS is widely used in higher education and can be used in other forms of lifelong learning.
ECTS credits reflect the student workload needed to achieve the learning / education outcomes assumed in the program. Learning / education outcomes determine what the student should know and understand and be able to do after the successful completion of the learning process. They refer to level descriptors in the national and European Qualifications Framework
The workload specifies the time that an average student needs to obtain credits all of the classes included in the plan and program of studies (such as lectures, seminars, projects, practical classes, self-study and exams) and obtain the learning / education outcomes established for the program. 60 ECTS credits correspond to the annual workload of an average full-time student and the achieved (in the academic year) learning / education outcomes. The student’s workload ranges mostly from 1500 to 1800 hours in an academic year, which means that one credit corresponds to 25-30 hours of work.
Assigning ECTS credits
The credits are assigned to the full study program as well as to its individual components (such as a module, subject, thesis, professional practice and laboratories). The number of credits is assigned to each component depending on its weight expressed in terms of the workload needed to achieve the learning / education outcomes assumed for this component in the formal education conditions.
The credits are awarded to individual students after completing classes included in the formal study program or a single component of the education program and after obtaining a positive assessment of the learning / education outcomes achieved. The credits can be accumulated to obtain a qualification or a diploma, in accordance with the decision of the institution awarding titles or degrees.
If the student achieved the effects of learning / education in other time frames or training conditions (formal, informal, incidental), the credits assigned can be recognized after assessing, validating or approving the learning / education outcomes.
Any credits awarded in one program can be transferred to another program offered by the same or another institution. Point transfer can only take place when the institution awarding titles or degrees recognizes the points and the associated learning / education outcomes. Partner institutions should agree on the recognition of study periods completed abroad in advance.
The transfer and accumulation of credits is facilitated by the use of the basic ECTS documents (Course Catalog, Student Application Form, Program Agreement and Credit Award Record) as well as the Diploma Supplement.
Source: European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. ECTS A Guide for Users. Foundation for the Development of the Education System. Warsaw 2009.