Aston University Year Weighting
ECTS Credits describe the student workload required to complete course units. They reflect the quantity of work each course unit requires in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full academic year, and therefore they are a relative rather than an absolute measure. Please refer to the module outlines for details of the ECTS credit values allocated for each module and the dissertation for a specific Masters course.
Please note that although partners should use the ECTS credit rating to work out the workload of their students at Aston, they should NOT use ECTS grades. The Aston local results are far more representative of students’ performance at Aston.
Modularisation of Aston Curriculum
The year is divided into three terms, each of ten weeks.
All postgraduate taught study programmes are organised in ten-week blocks over the first two terms with an examination period at the end of each term. Term three is dedicated to the Masters dissertation and soft skills.
Each student will study 7 to 8 modules a year (depending on the Masters programme they have registered for) if they are registered on a double-degree. Generally, each module runs for one 10 week term, studied in three hour sessions, with one session per module per week together with private study, group work and assessment and is worth 15 or 30 Aston credits – equivalent to 7.5 or 15 ECTS credits. Some modules may be taught over 2 terms. Students attending Aston for one or two academic terms will be able to study up to 5 modules per term although we normally recommend a maximum workload of four modules.
Assessment, either by examination and/or submission of coursework takes place in the last week of each academic term. Re-sits take place in June and only at Aston University as we cannot arrange overseas exams.
The Masters dissertation is submitted in the middle of September.
Contact hours and assessment
The majority of modules consist of ten weekly three-hour sessions – eight weeks of taught material, one week of revision, and then the tenth week for sitting examinations or submitting coursework. All modules are assessed either by a 2-hour or 3-hour examination and/or by the submission of coursework, the results of which are available at the beginning of the following term.
The three-hour sessions, with one session per module per week, give students a weekly timetabling commitment of 12-15 hours which take place between 9.00am and 9.00pm. Including further reading, preparation of coursework, group work in syndicates and development of presentations each module is likely to require another 30 or more hours a week.
Dissertation (Double degree students only)
All MSc programmes include a dissertation which forms a substantial element of the course both in terms of workload and assessment weighting. The dissertation (guideline 15-20,000 words) is undertaken from the end of the second term and is submitted in mid-September. However, work will begin during the first and second terms, when a topic for the dissertation is identified, an academic supervisor is allocated, a work plan and dissertation summary/proposal are produced and an ethical approval for the proposed research is obtained in conjunction with the dissertation’s supervisor.