The ECTS system is based on three core elements: information (on study programmes and students achievement), mutual agreement (between the partner institutions and the student) and the use of ECTS credits (to indicate student workload). These three core elements are made operational through the use of three key documents: the Information Package, the Application Form/Learning Agreement and the Transcript of Records. ECTS provides transparency through the following means:
- A trimester basis, with 560 hours as an estimated workload of a full-time student; - A semester basis, with 840 hours as an estimated workload of a full-time student; - An annual basis, with 1680 hours as an estimated workload of a full-time student.
- Trimester: 20 ECTS credits; - Semester: 30 ECTS credits; - Annual: 60 ECTS credits.
a) the characteristics and diversity of the methodologies to be used in the student teaching-learning process, paying particular attention to his/her personal work.b) the calculation of the number of hours necessary to acquire the competence(s) foreseen in the course unit.
The grading system is a key issue in the academic recognition process for students participating in international mobility programmes. Grading scales vary according to host countries and institutions which increases the difficulty and complexity levels of the equivalence process.
Therefore, having in mind the different grading systems in Europe, a grading scale has been developed in the framework of ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) to make the comparison between different national scales easier and the assessment process more transparent.
The ECTS grading scale allows the qualitative assessment of students' performance in the subjects attended at the host institution.
At the first level, this grading system divides students into two separate groups: pass and fail; and afterwards, those obtaining passing grades are divided into five subgroups. An ECTS grade is allocated to each subgroup.
The ECTS grade aims at providing additional information regarding the student's achievements in a specific subject. It is based on the rank of a student in a given assessment that is how he/she performed relative to other students in the same class (or in a significant group of students).
ECTS grade does not intend to replace the local grade but to provide qualitative information about the student's academic performance.
Having under consideration the good practices in the use of ECTS tools, Universidade do Minho issues to all exchange students (in the end of their study period) a Transcript of Records that includes the grades achieved in each course unit both in the national and the ECTS scales.
National Grading System
16-17 Good with distinction
18-19 Very Good with distinction
20 Very Good with distinction and honors
In the national grading system, the results are represented in a scale from 0 to 20, and the minimum mark required to approval is 10.