ECTS credits or the European Credit Transfer System is an academic credit system used to calculate a student’s workload that he spends on a specific subject or entire study program. ECTS makes the educational performance of a student more transparent and equivalent to the education system of other countries.

Why is ECTS needed?

If a student gets one degree in one country and wants to pursue a second degree in another country then ECTS credits are required. For example, if George completed his bachelor’s in Germany and he wants to pursue a master’s in Sweden. Then he requires to calculate ECTS credits to prove that his bachelor’s degree is equivalent to a Swedish bachelor and he is eligible to pursue a master’s degree in a Swedish university.

Benefits of ECTS credits conversion:

The beauty of the ECTS credit system is that it makes a degree valuable so it can be accepted around the world. Mostly students who want to study in Germany want to convert their educational performance in ECTS credits. So, they always ask about the benefits of ECTS credits. These are the topmost benefits of ECTS credit conversion:

  • You can easily study one degree in one country and second in another country. e.g a bachelor in UK and master in Germany.
  • You make your academic records more transparent and simple.
  • It merges all your educational efforts e.g lectures, homework, labs, and seminars, etc.
  • It makes your degree equivalent to the education system of other countries and reduces the distinction between international and local students.
  • It helps to find a job in Germany and other EU countries.

How to calculate ECTS credits?

You have to understand some basic points before the calculation of ECTS credit points. If your degrees are from those universities who already use the ECTS credit system and mention calculated credit-points on the final mark-sheets then you don’t need to recalculate these credit-points. Use the same ECTS credit-points where they require to mention.

In case, when your university didn’t mention ECTS credit points on your mark-sheet then you can calculate ECTS credits. Here you have to keep two things in your mind.

If you want to know about total ECTS credit points to get admission to a German university then follow this general rule in which 60 ECTS credit points assigned to 1 year of studies.

1 year of studies60 ECTS credit points
4 years bachelor program240 ECTS credit points
2 years master program120 ECTS credit points

For example, if you completed 4 years of bachelor’s in your country then generally your 4 years bachelor’s degree will be equivalent to (4 x 60) 240 ECTS credit points. If you want to take admission to TU Berlin and their admission requirement is 180 ECTS credit points then you are eligible because you already have 240 ECTS credit points.

Secondly, if TU Berlin divides the admission requirements into different modules and they demand 60 ECTS credit points for the mathematics module and 10 ECTS credit points for the economics module then you can calculate ECTS credit points for each module by following this method.

According to the ECTS credit system:

30 study hours = 1 ECTS credit point

So use this formula to calculate exact ECTS credits points.

Lecture hours per week * No. of weeks per semester +
Self study hours per week * No. of weeks per semester = Grand total / 30 hrs

We can use an example for better understanding. Suppose George wants to calculate ECTS credit point for one subject ‘Marketing’. According to his university rules, a typical 3 credit hour marketing course is delivered in 48 teaching hours that include lectures, examinations, assignments, seminars, and research projects.

He attends the marketing course lectures 3 hours per week in a semester and also spends 3-hours per week as a self-study. Here one semester is roughly equal to 16-weeks. Now, if we use this data in the above-mentioned formula then the result will look like this.

3 x 16 + 3 x 16 = 96 / 30 = 3.2 CP, approximately 3 ECTS credit points for Marketing subject.

You can calculate ECTS credit points for all the subjects of a module in a similar way and then make a sum of all points. For example, if George studied 19 mathematical subjects in a four-year bachelor program and each subject has 3.2 CP then total ECTS credit points will be (3.2 x 19 = 60.8 CP) approximately 60.

Which countries accept ECTS credits?

The following top countries are using and accepting the ECTS credit point system.

GermanyIceland
SwitzerlandAustria
NorwayItaly
HungaryPoland
SwedenPortugal
GreeceFinland
Czech RepublicDenmark
IrelandCyprus
FranceSpain
Belgium

FAQ

How to convert non-German grades into German grades?

We have a separate article on this topic. So please read that to convert your non-German grades into German grades. [Link]

What is the difference between credits and ECTS?

Both credits and ECTS are the same.