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The ECTS credit system

The international Bologna agreement introduced a common assessment system known as ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).

What is a credit system?
A credit system is a method that enables the assessment of each component of a course of study. The definition of credits at higher education level may be based on parameters such as the student's workload, the number of hours of lessons and practical work, internships and the objectives of the course.

The value of a credit
 
1 ECTS credit represents 25 to 30 hours of work (lessons, supervised work, laboratory, workshop, homework etc.).
A masters degee is often comprised of 4 modules of 30 ECTS credits each.
It is deemed that no more than 75 credits can be earned in one year (12 months) and that a masters degree is therefore a two year course.
The Network "n+i" and its members take sole charge of assessing the compatibility of your country's credits with European credits and their relevance to the course you are applying for.

Levels of skill L,M,D and credits.
 
It is required after the end of secondary education:
  • 180 ECTS credits to obtain a Bachelor's Degree,
  • 300 ECTS credits to obtain a Master's degree or 120 credits after a Bachelor's degree (180+120 equals a total of 300)
  • No number of credits after a Master's degree to obtain a PhD (around 3 years).
 
The total student workload comprises preparation time, lessons, seminars and personal reading, examination preparation, project preparation etc.
 

http://ec.europa.eu/education/programmes/socrates/ects/index_fr.html