Credit system & grading in the Netherlands

Just as in most European educational systems, the study workload in the Netherlands is measured in ECTS (European Credit Transfer and accumulation System) credits.

Dutch credit system (ECTS scheme)

In case you are not familiar with the ECTS scheme or the Bologna-process:

Student workload is the notional time an average student needs to achieve the objectives of a programme. This includes lectures, seminars, assignments, laboratory work, independent study and exams.

 60 credits represent the workload of a full-time study year. Apparently, every student has to complete 30 ECTS per semester.

 Each credit represents 28 hours of work. Consequently, to complete the required learning outcomes of a full cycle (full-time, one-year programme) you are expected to spend 1.680 hours of work.

 The ECTS credit system is useful to compare / evaluate different universities, programmes, courses, modules, dissertations or even students’ qualifications.

 Credits are awarded only after the completion of the course / programme.

Grading in the Netherlands

In terms of grading, a 5,5 is the pass minimum. More specifically, grades in Dutch universities are set as follows:

 1 to 5,4 failed 
 5,5 to 7 sufficient
 7 to 8 satisfactory
 8 to 9 good
 9 to 10 outstanding

Please, note that desired grades also depend on the type of programme / study you are after. For instance, an average of 7,5 may be more than sufficient for an MSc but not for a PhD.

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