This web page represents a sub-section of a larger document. As such it should be read in this context and not as a stand-alone document. Please visit the menu page to access the entire document.Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme

Except where otherwise stated, this scheme applies to programmes starting from September 2013. Students registered on programmes prior to that date will be governed by the scheme in force at the time of admission.


1.    Definition of Credit 

The University endorses the view of the Welsh Government (WG), as set out in its Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW), that credit may be defined as an award made to a learner in recognition of the achievement of designated learning outcomes at a specified credit level. The University also operates within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ).  

The amount of credit attributed is based upon an estimation of the learning time which it would take the average learner to achieve the learning outcomes specified.

2.    Credit Weighting and Notional Hours

One credit equates to 10 notional hours of student learning which includes contact time, directed and independent study, and assessment.

On this basis, a full-time undergraduate student would accumulate 120 credits within a 1200-hour academic year and a full-time taught Master's Student 180 credits within an 1800-hour academic year.

3.    General and Specific Credit

General credit is the total amount of credit a student possesses by virtue of his/her prior learning. In terms of credit transfer, all the general credits possessed by a student are eligible for consideration. Specific credit is that proportion of the total credit possessed by a student which is accepted as being directly relevant to the study scheme to which the student is being admitted.

4.    Level of Modular Unit of Study

In accordance with the CQFW, credit levels may be defined as indicators of the relative demand, complexity, depth of learning and learner autonomy derived from agreed generic level descriptors.

Levels are not intrinsically related to years of full-time study or the previous learning achieved and/or experience of the learner. Credit levels relate to modules rather than whole awards.

As defined above, levels are indicative and are thus different from the specific learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria, which specify the threshold standards required for the award of credit for any specific module or unit.

5.    Level Descriptors

The following University level descriptors reflect the CQFW and FHEQ:



Level 3

Apply knowledge and skills in a range of complex activities demonstrating comprehension of relevant theories; access and analyse information independently and make reasoned judgements, selecting from a considerable choice of procedures, in familiar and unfamiliar contexts, and direct own activities, with some responsibility for the output of others.

[Modules studied in the preliminary/foundation year leading to entry to an initial degree scheme.]

Level 4

Develop a rigorous approach to the acquisition of a broad knowledge base; employ a range of specialised skills; evaluate information using it to plan and develop investigative strategies and to determine solutions to a variety of unpredictable problems; and operate in a range of varied and specified contexts, to achieve specified outcomes.

[Modules typically studied in the first year of a full-time initial degree scheme or the equivalent.]

Level 5

Generate ideas through the analysis of concepts at an abstract level, with a command of specialised skills and the formulation of responses to well-defined and abstract problems; analyse and evaluate information; develop the capacity for significant judgement across a broad range of functions; and accept responsibility for determining personal and/or group outcomes.

[Modules typically studied in the second year of a full-time initial degree scheme or the equivalent.]

Level 6

Critically review, consolidate and extend a systematic and coherent body of knowledge, utilising specialised skills across an area of study; critically evaluate new concepts and evidence from a range of sources; transfer and apply diagnostic and creative skills and exercise significant judgement in a range of situations; and accept responsibility for determining and achieving personal and/or group outcomes.

[Modules typically studied in the third and/or final year of a standard full-time degree scheme or the equivalent.]

Level 7

Display mastery of a complex and specialised area of knowledge and skills, employing advanced skills to conduct research, or advanced technical or professional activity, accepting accountability for related decision-making including use of supervision and in appropriate circumstances the guidance of others. 

[Modules typically studied in the final year of an integrated Master's full-time initial degree scheme or as part of a Taught Master's scheme, including the dissertation, or the equivalent.]

Level 8

Make a significant and original contribution to a specialised field of inquiry demonstrating a command of methodological issues and engaging in critical dialogue with peers; accepting full accountability for outcomes.

[This represents research work at doctoral level.]

A table showing the correlation between the University and ECTS credits can be found in Appendix A.

A table showing the correlation between the recommended credit levels of the CQFW framework and the commonly used FE and HE levels can be found in Appendix B. 

Credit Accumulation - parts 6 - 14

August 2013