Bologna Process

Chemistry studentsThe European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is a Europe-wide credit system for higher education. It is a central tool in the Bologna Process, which aims to make national higher education systems within Europe more compatible with each other.

The Bologna Process defines three cycles of higher education:

  • Bachelor’s (first cycle)
  • Master’s (second cycle)
  • Doctoral (third cycle)

How does ECTS work?

ECTS credits may be attached to study programmes, courses or even modules within a course. The ECTS credits you accumulate are transferable, meaning you can use them towards another programme offered by the same institution or by another institution that participates in ECTS.

The typical credit ranges are 180–240 units for the first (Bachelor’s) and 90–120 units for the second (Master’s) cycles; for the latter, a minimum of 60 must be at second cycle level. There is no credit range for the third cycle (Doctoral).

Successful completion of an academic year of three terms accumulates 60 ECTS credits.

Bachelor’s degrees have an ECTS value of at least 180 credits.

All of our integrated Master’s courses are recognised, where appropriate, for professional accreditation in the UK. Some of our integrated Master’s degrees incorporate assessed work outside the academic terms and therefore attract 270 (or more) ECTS credits.

In cases where integrated Master’s degrees attract 240 ECTS credits, some, but not all, students will optionally be able to undertake additional study or project work in the summer vacations to raise their ECTS count to 270 – details of available opportunities will be confirmed by your department.

The ECTS does not currently apply to undergraduate medicine.