The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a protocol for the design, description, and delivery of study programs and higher education qualifications. The use of ECTS, together with outcomes-based qualifications frameworks, make study programs and qualifications more transparent facilitating their recognition throughout the EU.
Why is it needed? By making higher education directly comparable across Europe, ECTS makes teaching and learning in higher education more transparent and facilitates the recognition of all degree courses. It aids curriculum design and quality assurance and allows for the transfer of learning experiences between different institutions, promoting greater student mobility, and more flexible routes to obtaining a degree. ECTS is part of the modernisation of higher education in Europe. In particular, it is a central part of the Bologna Process which aims to make national systems more compatible.
How does it work? Participating institutions publish their course offers on the web, including detailed descriptions of their degree programs, course outlines, modules, university regulations and student services. Course descriptions include ‘learning outcomes’ (i.e. what students are expected to know, understand and be able to do) and workload (i.e. the time students typically need to achieve these outcomes). Each learning outcome is expressed in terms of credits, with a student workload ranging from 1500 to 1800 hours per academic year. One credit generally corresponds to 25-30 hours of work. The following documents are needed for the transfer and accumulation of credits
degree course descriptions
transcript of records and
the Diploma Supplement (DS)
Find out more
ECTS Users’ Guide
The ECTS Users' Guide provides guidelines for implementation of ECTS. It also presents the ECTS key documents. The Guide is being revised, so as to include recent developments in the student-centred learning approach.
Percentage of students admitted
Excellent – high result
Very good – above the average with a few small errors
from 29/30 to 28/30
Good – generally good but some failings
from 27/30 to 25/30
Satisfactory – quite good but some important failings
from 24/30 to 22/30
Sufficient – minimum criteria have been met
from 21/30 to 18/30
Insufficient – further work is needed to obtain the academic credit
Insufficient – the student needs to engage in substantial work