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home > ECTS - European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System
ECTS - European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System

A credit system is a systematic way of describing an educational programme by attaching credits to each of its components, based on learning outcomes. There are different credit systems used internationally; within Europe the most commonly used is the ECTS system.


The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a student-centred system for credit transfer and accumulation that was initially developed to facilitate student mobility in the Erasmus programme. The ECTS convention is that 60 credits measures the workload of a full-time student during one academic year. The student workload of a full-time study programme in Europe amounts in most cases to 36/40 weeks per year and in those cases one credit is assigned to 25 to 30 working hours (1 ECTS = 25/30 working hours). Workload refers to the notional time an average learner might expect to complete the required learning outcomes.


ECTS makes study programmes easier to read and compare for all students, local and foreign; as such, it facilitates mobility and academic recognition.


Further information


ECTS – European Commission website


ECTS Users’ Guide - It provides guidelines for implementation of ECTS and it presents the ECTS key documents


Study on the use of credit systems in higher education cooperation between the EU and the US