What is a credit scheme?

May 16, 1997

TRSHA credit accumulation scheme aims to give students flexibility, allowing them to move between departments and institutions, and to dip in and out of education. Such schemes break down the full and part-time distinction.

All the UK's credit schemes share the following characteristics: * Credit The currency of learning which can be accumulated by students and then transferred if desired from one course or institution to another, and "cashed in" at some point to gain a whole qualification. In most systems, 120 credits are equivalent to one year of an undergraduate degree.

* Notional learning hours The number of hours of timetabled and private study and assessment students must clock up to gain a credit. In most systems ten notional hours equal one credit.

* Learning outcomes The defined achievements and skills students are expected to have acquired on completion of a course.

* Level descriptors Define what kind of learning outcomes are to be expected at each level. Most systems have three undergraduate levels, but some have two, the first level comprising years one and two of a degree course. The Scottish system has four levels.

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