ECTS is the credit system used in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The ECTS was designed to facilitate evaluation, recognition and validation of qualifications as well as student mobility.
The idea was conceived at the 800th anniversary celebrations of the University of Paris among the Ministers of Education of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom and led to the signing of the Sorbonne Joint Declaration in 1998 with the aim of creating a common frame of reference to facilitate the creation of the EHEA in order to promote mobility of students and academics. These aims were confirmed the following year with the signing of the Bologna Declaration and the subsequent voluntary harmonisation of higher education throughout an expanding EHEA ever since.
ECTS credits are based on student workload. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS credits, which is equivalent to approximately 1500-1800 hours of study time in all EHEA members.
The Quantitative Economics Master (QEM) is structured as a two-year programme of 120 ECTS credits, i.e. 60 ECTS credits per year, 30 ECTS credits per semester. If students wish to take more than 30 ECTS credits in a semester, they should first ask permission from the Director of Studies.
Each QEM student is offered different curricula depending on their chosen mobility track. The student will spend at least three semesters of their studies in two partner universities. In the second year, students write a masters dissertation worth 20 ECTS credits under the supervision of a double tutorship system consisting of members from the two universities (see here for more information).
This arrangement makes possible a visit to a third university from the associated partners of the Quantitative Economics Master network for one semester during which QEM students can take 30 ECTS credits as a part of their curriculum.