What is ECTS?
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a student-centred system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a programme, objectives preferably specified in terms of the learning outcomes and competences to be acquired.

How did ECTS develop?
ECTS was introduced in 1989, within the framework of Erasmus, now part of the Socrates programme. ECTS is the only credit system which has been successfully tested and used across Europe. ECTS was set up initially for credit transfer. The system facilitated the recognition of periods of study abroad and thus enhanced the quality and volume of student mobility in Europe. Recently ECTS is developing into an accumulation system to be implemented at institutional, regional, national and European level. This is one of the key objectives of the Bologna Declaration of June 1999.

What are the key features of ECTS?
• ECTS is based on the principle that 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one academic year. The student workload of a full-time study programme in Europe amounts in most cases to around 1500-1800 hours per year and in those cases one credit stands for around 25 to 30 working hours.

• Credits in ECTS can only be obtained after successful completion of the work required and appropriate assessment of the learning outcomes achieved. Learning outcomes are sets of competences, expressing what the student will know, understand or be able to do after completion of a process of learning, long or short.

• Student workload in ECTS consists of the time required to complete all planned learning activities such as attending lectures, seminars, independent and private study, preparation of projects and examinations.

• Credits are allocated to all educational components of a study programme (such as modules, courses, placements, dissertation work, etc.) and reflect the quantity of work each component requires to achieve its specific objectives or learning outcomes in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full year of study successfully.

• The performance of the student is documented by a local/national grade. It is good practice to add an ECTS grade, in particular in case of credit transfer. The ECTS grading scale ranks the students on a statistical basis. Therefore, statistical data on student performance is a prerequisite for applying the ECTS grading system. Grades are assigned among students with a pass grade as follows:

A best 10%
B next 25%
C next 30%
D next 25%
E  next 10%

A distinction is made between the grades FX and F that are used for unsuccessful students. FX means: “fail- some more work required to pass” and F means: “fail – considerable further work required”. The inclusion of failure rates in the Transcript of Records is optional.

ECTS Credit Allocation At Istanbul University

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a credit system that is student-centered and based on the workload of the student. This value expresses all the work that a student must do to be able to complete courses successfully and to attain the predetermined learning outputs (theoretical lessons, practical lessons, seminars, individual study, exams, assignments, etc). Every course offered at ıstanbul University has both local and ECTS credits. The local credit of a lesson is formed by taking the total hours spent by the student in theoretical lessons every week, and half the hours spent in the laboratory, practical lessons, or in the studio. This system, created from the start for credit transfer, is used as a credit accumulation system institutionally, regionally, nationally and on the European level. Istanbul University has prepared the ECTS tables of all its, faculties, institutes, schools and vocational schools in a comprehensive manner in 2007. The ECTS guidelines are available at the following address. In the framework of the reconstruction of the learning outcomes of each programme at the university also the ECTS credits are being reformulated to reflect learning outcomes. ECTS credit allocation is based on the student workload needed in order to achieve expected learning outcomes.Student workload hours consist of theoretical and applied/laboratory hours of courses, self studies, seminars, field study, atelier, research and presentations, projects, homeworks, quizzes, midterms, finals and exam preparations, etc. All student workload hours are fully recognized. An educational semester comprises 16 weeks (including exam weeks) and an educational week includes 8 hours in five working days and 4 hours at the weekends, totally 44 hours per week. 16 weeks per semester times 44 hours per week results in 704 hours per semester and 1408 hours per an academic year. Since each year has 60 ECTS credits, 1408 hours per year divided by 60 ECTS credits equals 24-25 hours per ECTS credits.

The calculation of the General Academic Grade Average (GANO) is carried out according to the student’s local credits and grades. However, both local credits and grades, as well as the ECTS credits and grades, will be shown on the transcripts.


For Outgoing Students

Full academic recognition is the basic condition for the student mobility in the framework of the Erasmus programme. Full academic recognition means that the study period abroad (including examinations or other forms of assessment) replaces a comparable period of study at the home institution (including examinations or other forms of assessment). To enable full recognition of completed studies, a trilateral learning agreement among the student, home institution and the host institution will be made. Student has to follow this agreement during the whole exchange period. Recognition can only be denied if the student does not achieve the level required or fulfill the preconditions. The Learning Agreement (LA) covers the programme of study to be taken and the ECTS credits to be awarded for their satisfactory completion, committing home and host institution, as well as the student. The Transcript of Records (ToR) shows students’ learning achievements in a way which is comprehensive, commonly understood and easily transferable from one institution to another. The Proof of Recognition shows students that the study abroad period has been recognized in the home institution.

At Istanbul University, the recognition procedure starts before an outgoing student departs. Before the student departs, the ‘ recognition sheet’ is prepared by using the course study plan in the learning agreement of the student and full academic recognition is confirmed by the Executive Committee of the relevant Faculty. The ECTS credits to be gained at host institution are guaranteed. After completion of the studies abroad ‘Proof of Recognition’ is prepared by the Executive Committee of the relevant Faculty, by taking into account the information on ‘Transcript of Records’ provided by the host institution. Courses shown on the ToR should not be different from the courses previously confirmed with the LA form (unless the LA form had been revised by following the relevant regulations accurately).

The table below will be used to convert Istanbul University grades to ECTS grades:

ECTS Grades

Cooresponding I.U. Grades

Cooresponding Grades in Numbers

ECTS Grades

Cooresponding I.U. Grades

Cooresponding Grades in Numbers




























ECTS credits are converted to local credits by the Department Coordinator and Faculty Executive Committee by assessing the contents, learning outcomes and assignments of each course taken from the host university. After the conversion process, courses taken from the host university are shown on the Transcript of Records with their original codes and names. The studies carried out by students during the mobility period are also clearly mentioned in the Diploma Supplement issued by Istanbul University.

For Incoming Students

The home institution of the incoming student sends his/her Student Application Form, Learning Agreement and Transcript of Records to Istanbul University. In coordination with the International Academic Relations Committee, the departmental Erasmus coordinator accepts the application after consulting with the Department. The International Academic Relations Committee confirms the decision to the sending institution and issues a “Letter of Acceptance” for the exchange student.

When the exchange student arrives at Istanbul University he/she checks his/her learning agreement with the departmental coordinator and makes the changes if necessary. If there are any changes, a modified learning agreement is sent to the student’s home institution for approval.

When the exchange period ends, the student is given the Transcript of Records which implements the studies completed at Istanbul University. The Transcript of Records lists the course units taken, the credits gained, the local grades awarded and the corresponding ECTS grades. The “Confirmation of Attendance” is also sent to the student and sending institution within one month after the end of exchange period. Student’s home institution uses the ToR for academic recognition as well.