Saturday, May 16, 2015

Academic Hours of Degrees

Some institution considers each ECTS credit to be 24 academic hours of credit and equal to half a semester hour of credit even though a semester hour of credit is 45 academic hours and these institution considers the 2 clock hour finals would require a half clock hour of studying for another 3 academic hour for a total of 48 academic hour per semester hour of credit.

What happens if the ECTS are equal to half semester hour of credit?
That means that the European Three-Year Bachelor's degree is worth 90 semester hours and therefore not quite Four Academic Years (96 semester hours = 4 years x 24 semester hours (full time by Pell Grant). On the other hand, the UK's ordinary degree of 300 credits (tariff points) is worth the same as other European BA by the Bologna Process, and the honors degree of 360 credits (tariff points) is worth a fifth more. Therefore, UK's BA with any class honors is worth 108 semester hours, which exceeds Four Academic Years, but does not equate to Five Academic Years (120 semester hours = 5 years x 24 semester hours). This would make the 15 credits (tariff points) modules worth 4.5 semester hours. However, it is more likely that UK accept the transfer rate of 2 credits (tariff points) = 1 ECTS, so the 15 credits (tariff points) modules is worth 3.75 semester hours. Therefore, the ordinary degrees are only worth 75 semester hours, barely over  Three Academic Years (72 semester hours = 3 years x 24 semester hours).

Let us go back to the basic foundation of the measures of education.

US: 1 semester hour =  15 hours of lecture + 30 hours of self study or 45 hours of laboratory or fieldwork. 1 quarter hour = 10 hour lecture + 20 hour of self study or 30 hours of laboratory or field work.
A Bachelors Degree consist of 120 semester hours x 45 hours/semester hour = 180 quarter hours x 30 hours/quarter hours = 5400 hours.
A Master Degree is 24 semester hours beyond Bachelor, but at least 12 units are at gradate level, so 132 x 45 + 12 x 60 = 6660 hours.
A Doctor of Arts is usually 72 units at graduate level where the thesis is typically not original research, so the hours could be measure, so 120 x 45 + 72 x 60 = 9720 hours.
A Doctor of Philosophy is 48 semester hours classes and 24 hour dissertation beyond Bachelor all 72 units at the graduate level, so 120 x 45 + 48 x 60 + 24 Dissertation Units = 8280 hours. Uncertain about the workload of dissertation units.

UK: 1 credit or tariff point = 10 hour of student work.
An Ordinary Degree consist of 300 credits x 10 hours = 3000 hours.
An Honors Degree consist of 360 credits x 10 hours/tariff = 3600 hours.
An  Antegraduate Master is 120 credits beyond Honors so 480 x 10 = 4800.

A Postgraduate Master is 120 credits + 60 credits (Thesis) beyond Honors so 540 x 10 = 5400 hours.
A Doctor Degree is 3 year research beyond Honors, some may have coursework, and others may require Masters if a student does no have first class honors.

ECTS: 1 ECTS = 24 hour of student work.
A Three-Year Bachelor Degree consist of 180 ECTS x 25 hours/ECTS = 4500 hours.
A Four-Year Bachelor Degree consist of 240 ECTS x 25 hours/ECTS = 6000 hours (List as Bachelor Honors).
A Master Degree has a minimum of 300 ECTS (including 180 from Bachelor) so 300 x 25 = 7500 hours.
A Doctor Degree is 3 year research beyond Master.

Australia: 1 Class = 10 hours x 15 weeks.
A Bachelor Degree is 24 classes so 150 x 24 = 3600 hours.
A Bachelor Honors Degree is 32 classes so 150 x 32 = 4800 hours.
A Master Degree is 16 classes beyond Bachelor so 150 x 40 = 6000 hours.
A Doctor Degree has the same course work as Master + 2 year of research beyond coursework.


Degrees United States UK Europe (Bologna Process) Australia
Bachelors 5400 3000 (Ordinary; England)
3600 (Honors; England, Ordinary; Scotland)
4500 3600
Bachelor Honors N/A N/A 6000 4800
Antegraduate Master N/A 4800 (Honors; Scotland) N/A N/A
Postgraduate Master 6660 5400 7500 6000
Master of Philosophy Rare 2 Year Research 2 Year Research 1 Year Research
Doctor of Arts 9720 hours N/A N/A N/A
Doctor of Philosophy 8280 hours + 24 units Research 3600 (First Class Honors; England) + 3 Years of  Research
4800 (Master; Scotland) + 3 Years if Research
7500 hours + 3 Years of Research 6000 hours + 2 Years of Research

In Theory, the 24 semester units of dissertation may be completed in 1 year, but reality does not allow that to happen. In current times, the typical length is 5 years to complete the dissertation. Given that thesis classes are usually 3-unit or 4-unit class per semester, that would mean that 24-unit of research will be 3 to 4 years of research.

Adjustments are needed for General Education. For England, there is the Advanced Subsidiary Level and Advanced Levels (A-Levels), for Scotland, there is the Highers and Advanced Highers, for some European countries, there is 1-2 year of General Education in their four-year bachelor's degree.

In Europe, a four-year bachelors is follow by a 1.5 year master degree (this path is longer), while a three-year bachelors is follow by a 2 year master degree.

In United States, there is typically 32-63 units of General Education with minimum 24-36 units in major, for a total of 120-128 units for a degree. General Education is between 1 year and 2 year in US universities. The professional degree, Bachelor of Architecture, is 150 units is now phasing out, while the Master of Architecture and Doctor of Architecture is replacing it as the professional degree.

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