Qualification frameworks

The UK framework

The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies (FHEQ) outlines the minimum requirements for UK higher education qualifications. Higher education study covers levels four to eight of the framework, from introductory study (typically during the first year of an undergraduate programme) through to doctoral level.

The European framework

The Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA) is an intergovernmental agreement which aims to organise national higher education qualifications into an overarching European-wide qualifications framework. This framework is divided into three cycles which loosely correspond to Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral level study.

The UK Quality Assurance Agency verified the compatability of the UK qualification framework within the European qualification framework in November 2008 in a Report of the FHEQ self-certification Advisory Group.

Credit systems

The College awards credits according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation Scheme (ECTS) but must also operate within the Higher education credit framework for England

The UK credit system

The Higher education credit framework for England outlines the credit values typically associated with the main higher education qualifications in terms of the minimum number of credits required for the award, including the minimum number of credits required at the level of the award. The credit framework outlines these requirements in terms of the UK Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (CATS) where 1 UK credit is equivalent to 10 notional hours of student effort.

The European credit system

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is designed to make it easier for students to move between different countries without the problems created by differences between national systems and the recognition of educational qualifications. the ECTS User Guide offers guidelines for implementing ECTS where 1 ECTS credit is equivalent to 25 notional hours of student effort. 

the relationship between the UK Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (CATS) and the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is outlined in the Higher education credit framework for England. Typically 1 ECTS is equivalent to 2 CATS.