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The Academic Credit System in Education: Advantages And Distribution

credit system in education

In various universities worldwide, the credit system in education is used for grading students. A credit system is a systematic way of evaluating an educational programme by attaching credits to its components. A credit is a unit by which coursework is measured. The workload relating to a course, how much you have to study, is measured in “credit hours.” When you start your academic journey, there are many new learning activities, teaching strategies, and testing methods. 

Now, you need to understand what is credit system in education and the process of evaluating your progress used by universities under this academic credit system. Also, read below to learn how to transfer credit points to enrol in a university abroad. 

What Is Credit System In Education?

The credit system is a criterion universities use to evaluate the student’s work and progress, mainly while pursuing their Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD degrees. 

Since almost every country might use different credit system in education depending on its preference, the basic idea remains the same. It becomes essential to understand how these credits are estimated and calculated. Students might also be expected to take preparation courses to meet the credit requirements initially required for admission to a university. 

For international students, here are the most appropriate academic credit system in education around the world:

  • ECTS, or European credits
  • Quarter Credits (QC) and Semester Credit Hours (SCH) are American credits.

You will receive a certain amount of credits for each course you complete as part of your degree programme. After you finish that course, your professor will evaluate you based on your acquired information and skills. Students are assigned a certain number of points for each course according to different criteria, such as the amount of work they do, the outcome of their learning, and how many contact hours they have. Combining the following assessment methods is a common practice to give credits:

  • Attendance 
  • Assessments done during the course 
  • Research projects
  • Oral and written exams

Countries & Their Credit System In Education

Australian Credit System Of Education

There is no unified credit system in Australian universities. According to university regulations, credits are calculated based on workload and study hours.

Undergraduate and postgraduate credit transfer is available and administered through the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

A few of the Australian Universities that one can consider are:

University NameQS World University Rankings
University of Canberra#511
University of Newcastle#192
The University of Western Australia#90
Charles Sturt University#801
La Trobe University#316

The American Credit System Of Education

The number of contact hours completed over a semester in the US determines how many semester credit hours students obtain.

Generally, you are expected to enrol in 5 courses every semester, in which each course is worth three semester credit hours which is almost the equivalent of 45–48 contact hours. They would add up to the 30 credits needed to earn an undergraduate degree in the United States each year.

A few of the American Universities that one can consider are:

University NameQS World University Rankings
Columbia University#22
Boston University#108
Drexel University#651
Northwestern University#388
University of Portland

The European Credit System Of Education

Universities in the EU and EEA countries utilise the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) in compliance with the Bologna system as their primary credit system and as a mechanism to track credit transfers for students arriving from these countries.

So now to answer: What is the minimum number of credits required in Europe for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree? A full study year typically consists of 60 credits under the ECTS system. Therefore gaining 180 credits would be necessary to get a bachelor’s degree, and 120 credit points would be needed to finish a master’s degree.

A few of the European Universities that one can consider are:

University NameQS World University Rankings
Manchester Metropolitan University, UK#801
Maastricht University, Netherlands#278
University of Cologne, Germany#335
Aarhus University, Denmark#161
KU Leuven, Belgium#76
ESIEE Paris, France

Advantages Of Credit System In Education For International Students

There are numerous advantages to overseas students by the credit system in education.

  • Students can earn academic credits for any study programme (modules, courses, placements, dissertations, etc.). 
  • Academic credits measure the work required to complete a programme successfully. 
  • A credit system provides a consistent and transparent way for students to value their learning achievements. 
  • A credit transcript containing the awarded credits can be used for qualification.
  • You can enter a higher education programme with credits.
  • They estimate a programme’s workload.
  • Transferring part or all of your previously earned credits to another university programme is possible. 
  • You can study abroad with your academic credits because they are widely recognised worldwide. 
  • When seeking employment, academic credits are proof of previous education. 
  • In some universities, degree costs are determined by academic credits.  

How Is The Distribution Of Academic Credit Done Among Courses?

Let us consider the example of the ECTS system used in EU/EEA nations. The required number of credits for the whole year is 60, or 30 credits every semester. 

Usually, in most credit systems, every semester would have four required courses with an average credit value of 7.5. In some cases, you may earn 9 credits, in others 4, and in others 5 credits, but your semester total will always be 30 credits.

What Is The Workload For Students?

Students may receive credits depending on their workload in specific situations. The workload is the average student’s time to complete the targeted learning outcome. The majority of academic activities, including lectures, seminars, individual study, tests, etc., are included in the workload.

What Are Learning Outcomes?

‘Learning outcome’ denotes the quantity or degree of knowledge or education that students ought to have learned and be able to apply after completing a learning process. This may also involve learning experiences they could apply to their future professional lives.

Contact Hours

A lecture or lab session that lasts 50 minutes is typically called a “contact hour,” which is essentially a teaching class. However, this could differ from one educational credit system to another.

How Are Credits Affected If A Student Chooses to Dropout?

The credits are usually not affected because a student’s academic record will be kept in an account. Now once this account has been set up, all educational institutions are in charge of maintaining the academic credits that each student has earned. The account will save earned credits that can be used to re-enrol in the same or a related course within a few years. 


The academic credit system is redefining education based on learning outcomes. The “unified credit system” is designed to facilitate the transfer of credits from the secondary to the postsecondary levels. Additionally, this will allow students to complete online courses for credit and support mixed, open, and distant learning.

Thanks for reading this blog; If you want to read more such informative blogs; please check out the links below.

1 thought on “Top PGDM Courses In Canada: Universities, Specialisations & Eligibility”

  1. I have done Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts from India and completed my graduation in the year 2022 .I am 22 years old. After graduation, I have done 1 year paid internship from USA .Now, I would like to take occupational experience and learn culinary skills and also do masters in Culinary arts.How can I find the college n best course / country where I can persue studying further

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credit system in education

The Academic Credit System in Education: Advantages And Distribution

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