ECTS and grading


What is ECTS?

ECTS, the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, was developed by the Commission of the European Communities in order to provide common procedures to guarantee academic recognition of studies abroad. It provides a way of measuring and comparing learning achievements, and transferring them from one institution to another. The ECTS system is based on the principle of mutual trust and confidence between the participating higher education institutions. The few rules of ECTS, concerning information on available courses, learning agreements between the students, the home and host institutions, and the use of credit points to indicate student workload, are set out to reinforce this mutual trust and confidence. Each institution participating in ECTS will describe the courses it offers not only in terms of content but also by stating the ECTS credit value for each course.

ECTS credits

ECTS credits are a value allocated to course units to describe the student workload required to complete all planned learning activities, such as attending lectures, seminars, independent and private study – in the library or at home –, preparation of projects, examinations, and so

In ECTS, 60 credits represent the workload of a year of study; normally 30 credits are given for a semester and 20 credits for a term. The student workload of a full-time study program in Europe usually amounts to around 1,500 – 1,800 hours per year, and in those cases one credit stands for around 25 to 30 working hours. It is important to note that no special courses are set up for ECTS purposes, but that all ECTS courses are mainstream courses of the participating institutions, as followed by home students under normal regulations.

It is up to the participating institutions to subdivide the credits for the different courses. Practical placements and optional courses which form an integral part of the course of study also receive academic credit. Practical placements and optional courses which do not form an integral part of the course of study do not receive academic credit. Non-credit courses may, however, be mentioned in the transcript of records.

Credits are awarded only when the course has been completed successfully and the learning outcomes achieved have been assessed appropriately.

Grading at HsKA

The grading scheme used at Hochschule Karlsruhe comprises five verbal grades with numerical equivalents, as follows:

sehr gut (“very good”): 1.0 – 1.5
gut (“good”): 1.6 – 2.5
befriedigend (“satisfactory”): 2.6 – 3.5
ausreichend (“sufficient”): 3.6 – 4.0
nicht ausreichend (“non-sufficient / fail“): 4.1 – 5.0

The minimum pass grade is 4.0.