The Norwegian Research School in History ECTS Guidelines
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is the point of departure for assessing the extent of coursework students should complete in order to be allowed to submit their PhD-dissertations is. This is a common European standard developed through the Bologna process in order to provide students with equal credit across institutions. The work hours are calculated from the time a student/candidate starts preparing for a course and until they complete the work that will give them a pass grade on the course.
The coursework for the PhD grade should amount to at least 30 ECTS in total, which is a full semester of work. This is set to 750-900 hours, which means that the European standard is 25-30 hours per ECTS point. It is further said that this should be estimated from an expectation on how long time a normal student at the particular level can be expected to spend to complete the tasks.
Norms for calculating ECTS for the NRSH
Following the ECTS-system, the calculation of hours for each course organized by the NRSH should be a realistic estimate of how much time a normal PhD student in history is expected to spend in preparations, presence and after-work:
- Readings: 20 pages/hour. Additional hours should be added if the students should prepare written or oral comments based on all or some of the readings. Extra hours should also be added if students are expected to read an additional sample of suggested readings or familiarize themselves with other resources.
- Written assignments: All course-specific efforts are to be included, including both preparations and revisions. For a text written of 2500-4000 words on a theme related to the dissertation, but not the dissertation manuscript itself, the text may be estimated to 30-50 hours, including revisions. For assignments without any direct relevance for the dissertation, the hours may be higher. And similarly, the more the assignment is identical to the work on the PhD-project itself (literature and text), the lower number of work hours should be calculated as related to the course. For example, if the requirement is to submit a chapter or article from the dissertation, without adding significant special requirements, this written assignment should be estimated to a maximum of 15 hours of work per course, regardless of length of the text.
- Comments on other students’ texts: approximately 2 hours per text; 3 hours for text where a student is main commentator.
- Attendance in course: all hours of teaching and lunches.
- No ECTS is awarded if the student audits course (participates without completing written and/or oral student assignments).