Credits & Professional Certifications

Credits & Professional Certification

What is an ECTS Credit?

'ECTS' stands for European Credit Transfer System. It is the common credit system in place at TU Dublin and in other universities in Ireland and in Europe to assign credits to a programme or module.

Each ECTS credit corresponds to 20 'learning hours' (not all learning hours are hours spent in class sessions).

How to Credits make up my Qualification?

Higher Certificate (level 6 on the NFQ)

A Higher Certificate programme is normally two years full-time duration (or an equivalent part-time duration). Such programmes are expected to have an applied orientation and include suitable relevant aspects of the technology and techniques appropriate to the discipline. The Higher Certificate is awarded for the attainment of a total of 120 ECTS Credits, 60 at Level 1 and 60 at Level 2.

Ordinary Degree (level 7 on the NFQ)

An Ordinary Degree programme is normally of either three years full-time or of one year full-time post-Higher Certificate duration (or equivalent part-time duration). An Ordinary Degree programme reaches a significantly higher level than a Higher Certificate programme, perhaps in a more specialised area of study, entailing a significant input of both theoretical knowledge and project work, especially at the final year stage. The Ordinary Degree is awarded for the attainment of a total of 180 ECTS Credits, 60 at Level 1, 60 at Level 2, and 60 at Level 3.

Honours Degree Awards – (level 8 on the NFQ)

A programme leading to a Bachelor or primary Honours Degree award is normally the academic outcome of a four-year full-time programme (or part-time equivalent). Honours Degree-level programmes have a significant conceptual orientation, with learning objectives that develop comprehension, analysis, synthesis, practical application of knowledge, and research methods.

Bachelor Degree with Honours is awarded for the attainment of a total of 240 ECTS Credits, 60 at Level 1, 60 at Level 2, 60 at Level 3, and 60 at Level 4. This Degree is usually required for entry to Master's Degree programmes.

Postgraduate Programmes(level 9 on the NFQ)

Postgraduate Programmes and Awards: A taught Master's Degree level programme is normally of one or one and a half years' full-time study (or part-time equivalent) for holders of honours Bachelors Degrees. It requires the preparation of a dissertation on a project related to the taught content of the programme.

  • Postgraduate Certificate -  is awarded for the attainment of a minimum of 30 ECTS credits at level 9 .
  • Postgraduate Diploma  - is awarded for the attainment of a minimum of 60 ECTS credits at level 9.
  • Taught Masters Degree -  is awarded for the attainment of a minimum of 90 ECTS credits at level 9.

PhD - (level 10 on the NFQ)

What is a Special Purpose Award?  (level varies based on detail of award)

Special Purpose QQI Awards are an award type developed for specific areas of learning that have a narrow scope. All special purpose awards comprise one or more components. This means that the credit value of this type of award will be higher than that of a minor award but significantly lower than a major award

What is a CPD award?

Continuing Professional Development or CPD are stand-alone modules that can be taken after a primary degree has been achieved. Certain professional bodies require members to undertake a number of CPD courses or hours every year to remain certified as members or professionals. CPD is the means by which professionals develop and maintain their level of competency. Some CPD courses may offer certificates or diplomas which fall on the NFQ. Others offer “CPD hours” which count towards a professional’s annual requirements.