Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme 2023-24

The Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (the Scheme) applies to all taught programmes in the University and all collaborative provision. 

1. Introduction 

The Scheme allows students to qualify for awards of the University through the accumulation of credit points for modules which are the building blocks of programmes of study. Programme specifications define which modules students may take to assemble individual programmes according to their needs and interests, and credit points may be given for prior learning. Modules taken and credits obtained are recorded on a transcript, which also shows where credits have been "cashed in" for an award, available to the student. 

The Scheme also permits students to study individual modules, for example continuing professional development modules, without the immediate aim of achieving an award. 

2. Definitions 

Regulations and Definitions Applying to Progression for all Credit-Bearing Programmes. In this Framework the following additional terms are used: 

Credit: A quantified means of expressing equivalence of learning. Credit is awarded to a learner in recognition of the verified achievement of designated learning outcomes at a specified level. 

Credit Level: An indicator of the relative demand, complexity and depth of learning and of learner autonomy. The level identifies the relative demands of learning that will be required of a learner undertaking a module of learning. The University has developed generic Credit Level Descriptors which describe the characteristics of learning demand which the learner will encounter at each credit level. The levels used articulate with the National Qualifications Frameworks and map to the corresponding cycle of the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA). 

Typical HE Qualification 2008 FHEQ level FQ-EHEA Cycle 2001 FHEQ level Pre-2001 FHEQ level 
Doctorates (Eg: PhD, EdD, DBA, DClinPsych) Third cycle (end of cycle)  
Masters degrees (eg: MPhil, MLitt, MRes, MA, MSc) 7Second cycle (end of cycle) M 
Integrated Masters degrees (eg: MEng, MChem, MPhys, MPharm)  
Primary qualifications (or first degrees) in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science (eg: MB ChB, MB BS, BM BS, BDS, BVSc, BVMS)   
Postgraduate Diplomas  M 
Postgraduate Certificate in Education 
Postgraduate Certificates 
Bachelors degrees with Honours [eg: BA (Hons), BSc (Hons), BEng (Hons)] 6First cycle (end of cycle)H3
Bachelors degrees (eg: Ordinary degree) 
Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)  H3
Graduate Diplomas 
Graduate Certificates 
Foundation degrees (eg: FdA, FdSc)  5Short first cycle (within or linked to the first cycle) qualificationsI2
Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE) 
Higher National Diplomas (HND) 
Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE) 4C1

Notional Learning Time: The number of hours that it is expected a learner (at a particular level) will spend, on average, to achieve the specified learning outcomes. The amount of student effort equivalent to 1 ECTS is between 20 hours and 25 hours. Previously the University used the UK Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme where the notional learning time ratio used is 1 CAT credit being equivalent to 10 hours of student effort. 

Programme of Study: The named award for which a student is registered. A student's programme of study may be taken by full-time or, where permitted, by part-time study and may incorporate credits for appropriate prior learning (see below) and for the successful completion of employment-based training. A programme of study may be composed of modules of any size but, for 3-year undergraduate degree programmes the normal module size will be 7.5 ECTS and multiples thereof. 

Recognition of Prior Learning: The University has devolved arrangements for the management and assessment of prior learning within the policy set out in the Quality Handbook.  

Condonement: The process by which a Board of Examiners, in consideration of the overall performance of a student, decides that, without incurring a penalty, one or more modules that have been failed do not need to be redeemed. Condonement is not permitted except in special circumstances within the responsibility of a Special Considerations Board. 

Re-use of Credit: Credit may be kept and used to satisfy the credit requirements of any award for which the credit learning is deemed relevant. Mechanisms must be in place to record declarations by students that the credit presented has not been used for a previous claim. More information can be found in the policy set out in the Quality Handbook

Back Tracking and Forward Tracking: Back tracking and forward tracking by one level are allowed in each Part of an undergraduate programme, where the maximum combined amount of back tracking and forward tracking allowed per Part is 15 ECTS (30 CATS) and where the minimum credit requirements for each level are satisfied at the time of the award. The requirements of specific programmes may restrict the amount of back tracking and forward tracking allowed on the programme as a whole or in any given Part of the programme.

3. Credit Requirements for University Awards

The following table sets out the details of credit requirements for all University awards.

QualificationFHEQ levelMinimum overall credit in ECTS creditsMinimum ECTS credits required at level of awardAdditional Criteria
Professional Doctorate8at least 270180Remaining 90 ECTS credits to be at level 71.
MRes7at least 9075

Normally 30 ECTS credit are derived from taught modules.

Normally all credit will be at 7 level but up to 15 ECTS credits at 6 level may be permitted

60 ECTS credits research element.

Masters Degree7at least 9075

Normally 30 ECTS credit are derived from the independent study element of the programme.

Normally all credit will be at 7 level but up to 15 ECTS credits at 6 level may be permitted

MSci, MEng (Integrated 4-year Masters degree)7at least 24060

Based on:

60 ECTS credits in Part 1 (level 4)+

60 ECTS credits in Part 2 (level 5)+

60 ECTS credits in Part 3 (level 6)+

a minimum of 60 ECTS to a maximum of 75 ECTS credits in Part 4 (level 7)

Postgraduate Diploma7at least 6045N/A
Postgraduate Certificate7at least 3020N/A
Postgraduate Certificate in Education7at least 3020N/A
Graduate Diploma*6at least 6045N/A
Graduate Certificate*6at least 3020N/A
Double Honours degree6at least 240

45 in each subject

(ie: 90 in total)

Based on 60 ECTS credits per year. There must be study at level 6 in both subjects of which at least 45 ECTS credits must be passed.
Honours degree6at least 18045N/A
Intercalated degree6N/AN/ASuccessful completion of the Intercalated programme shall result in the award of an Honours degree. The Intercalated programme is based on Honours level work alone.
Ordinary degree6at least 15030An Ordinary degree can only be awarded as an exit award.
Professional Graduate Certificate in Education6at least 3020N/A
Diploma of HE / Foundation degree5at least 12045N/A
Certificate of HE4at least 6045N/A

*Short courses and professional 'conversion' courses, based largely on undergraduate material, and taken usually by those who are already graduates in another discipline (QAA, 2014).

Note: The EWNI credit bodies recommend that the programmes leading to the Honours degree and the Ordinary degree reflect planned progression and credit attainment throughout the levels spanned by the qualification.

The Certificate of HE, Diploma of HE, Foundation degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma Ordinary degree, Intercalated degree, Honours degree and Double Honours degree and Integrated Masters programmes are dealt with collectively for the purposes of progression and classification in the General Regulations Progression, Determination and Classification of Results: Undergraduate and Integrated Masters Programmes

The, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma,  MSc, MSc(Ed), MSc (Social Science), MA, MA(Ed), MMus, LLM & MRes, are known collectively as Standalone Masters programmes and are dealt with collectively for the purposes of progression and classification in the General Regulations Progression, Determination and Classification of Results: Postgraduate Master's Programmes

The awards of Certificate of HE, Diploma of HE, Ordinary Degree, Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are not classified awards. 

4. Assessment

Arrangements for the assessment and re-assessment of modules will be as specified by the School Programme Committees and described in the Programme Specification.

The University does not regulate the amount of assessment (eg: essay wordage or length of examination) which must be completed for each credit-bearing module; however examples of practice are provided in the Quality Handbook bearing in mind the demands of the discipline.


Reviewed in May 2019; endorsed by AQSC in May 2019 and approved by Senate in June 2019.

Reviewed in May 2020; changes made to the Additional Criteria for MRes, endorsed by AQSC in May 2020 and approved by Senate in June 2020.