The ECTS Credit Point System


General Introduction to ECTS



The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is a system based on allocation and transfer of academic credits. It was developed and tested in a pilot scheme by 145 European institutions of higher education from all Member States and EFTA countries. ECTS was developed as an instrument of improving academic recognition throughout the European Universities by means of effective and general mechanisms. ECTS serves as a model of academic recognition, as it provides greater transparency of study programmes and student achievement. ECTS in no way regulates the content, structure and or equivalence of study programmes. These are issues of quality which have to be determined by the higher education institutions themselves when establishing a satisfactory basis for co-operation agreements, bilaterally or multilaterally.

The main characteristics of ECTS are:
  • Credits are allocated to each course unit. The starting point is the normal pattern of courses a student would have to take in an academic year. 60 credits represent the workload of an academic year of study.
  • Each institution produces an information package as a guide to all courses available to ECTS students. The courses are described not only in terms of content but also have credits added to each course.
  • Before the student leaves for the host institution, the home institution, the host institution and the student sign a learning agreement in which the study programme abroad is agreed upon. A transcript of records which gives all details of previous higher education is attached to the learning agreement.
  • The transcript of records lists all successfully completed courses together with details on the course, code, content and credits.
  • The home institution guarantees full academic recognition. The study period abroad replaces a comparable period of study at the home university.

In order to promote a universal implementation of ECTS as part of ERASMUS, the European Commission respects the right of each institute of higher education, to choose whatever recognition methods or agreements best suit their particular needs.

If, however, student mobility is to provide universal academic recognition, as many universities as possible should give thought to a system of recognition using commonly understood measurements.

ECTS has so far proved the best instrument to create transparency. Universities that receive financial support for their ERASMUS programmes should envisage measurements to implement ECTS at their institution - or if it is already in use, to try to progress ECTS implementation within further departments/ faculties.


ECTS in Bonn

Attendance is required in the mandatory courses and these courses also all conclude with a graded certificate documenting academic performance. The mandatory courses have been allotted a certain number of credit points listed in this brochure. A student who attends the entire range of mandatory courses can earn 60 credit points in one academic year.

Students requiring an additional graded assessment of academic performance in special parts of a subject (e.g. cardiology or pneumology in internal medicine) in order to obtain fellowship relevant credit for the course at their home institution should contact the ERASMUS departmental co-ordinator after arriving in Bonn. Examination dates for such graded assessments can be arranged solely by the European Office of the Medical Faculty. The range of grades attained for the examinations are set up for the ECTS Transcript of Records from A to E corresponding to the German grading from passed (1 = best to 4 = passed with the minimal standard requested) and F corresponding to the German grading 5 (not passed).

German Grading Scale / ECTS Grading Scale

German Grading Scale
Definition
ECTS Grading Scale
Percentage of successful students usually achieving this grade
Definition
1
Excellent
Outstanding performance with only minor errors
A
10
Excellent
Excellent performance with only minor errors
2
Good
Above the average standard but with some errors
B
25
Very Good
Above the average standard but with some minor errors
3
Satisfactory
Generally sound work with a number of notable errors
C
30
Good
Generally sound work with a number of notable errors
4
Sufficient
Performance meets the minimum criteria
D
25
Satisfactory
Fair but with significant shortcomings
-
E
10
Sufficient
Performance meets the minimum criteria
5
Fail
Some more work required before the credit can be awarded
F
Fail
Some more work required before the credit can be awarded


On the following pages the mandatory courses are listed within the framework of the usual schedule of studies for students of medicine at the University of Bonn. Here incoming ERASMUS students can find the allotted number of ECTS credit points, as well as a brief description of the course content and the assessment requirements.