Credit system

Credit system in effect at the University of Ottawa and full time status

A credit is defined as 13 to 15 hours of formal lectures or the equivalent. Thus, a course comprising three hours of lectures a week and extending over one term of 12 weeks normally carries three credits. A course comprising three hours of lectures a week and extending over two terms, September to April, for example, would normally carry six credits.

A full time undergraduate term in the Licence en droit civil (licentiate in civil law) represents 12 to 18 credits; a full time term at the master’s or doctoral level (graduate studies in law) comprises six to nine credits.

Course load and the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

Contact your faculty to find out what course load you are required to take during your exchange. It is up to your home faculty to provide guidance on course load.

If your faculty uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), you should be aware that, generally speaking, the Civil Law Section course load for one academic year (undergraduate level - Licence) corresponds to 30 credits (60 under the ECTS). The course load for one term is equal to 15 credits (30 under the ECTS).

The course load for one academic year at the graduate level (Master) corresponds to 18 credits (9 credits under ECTS). The course load for one term is 9 credits (4 to 5 under ECTS according to the home faculty's criteria). For more information regarding the course load at Graduate Studies in Law, please visit their Website or contact the Acting Assistant Dean.

Since the ECTS is not used in the same way by all European or foreign institutions, out of fairness, we prefer to establish course load based on the hours of instruction per term.

To help you decide on your workload, we have provided a number of scenarios below for the fall and winter sessions. The scenarios apply for undergraduate studies.

Since January 2012, the January Term is no longer in effect at the Civil Law Section. However, it remains in effect at the Common Law Section. If you wish to take courses offered by the Common Law Section, you should do so during the fall term. By doing so, you will avoid any timetable conflicts during the winter term.

Example of course load for students in the Licence program (undergraduate) – Maximum of six courses per term

1 course consists of 3 hours of instruction a week;
6 courses comprise 18 hours of instruction a week;
1 term consists of 12 weeks;
18 hours of courses X 12 weeks = 216 hours of instruction over one term;
216 hours of instruction in the host faculty/institution = 18 credits at the University of Ottawa.

Example of course load for students in the Licence program (undergraduate) – Maximum of five courses per term

1 course consists of 3 hours of instruction a week;
5 courses comprise 15 hours of instruction a week;
1 term consists of 12 weeks;
15 hours of courses X 12 weeks = 180 hours of instruction over one term;
180 hours of instruction in the host faculty/institution = 15 credits at the University of Ottawa.

Example of course load for students in the Licence program (undergraduate) - Minimum of four courses per term

1 course consists of 3 hours of instruction a week;
4 courses comprise 12 hours of instruction a week;
1 term consists of 12 weeks;
12 hours of courses X 12 weeks = 144 hours of instruction over one term;
144 hours of instruction in the host faculty/institution = 12 credits at the University of Ottawa.

Depending on your course of studies, you may need to register for six, five or four courses during a term abroad. Here are some possibilities:

Example of a course load for students in the LLL program (undergraduate) – Maximum of six courses per term:
1 course consists of 3 hours of instruction a week
6 courses comprise 18 hours of instruction a week
1 term consists of 12 weeks
18 hours of courses X 12 weeks = 216 hours of instruction over one term
216 hours of instruction in the host faculty/institution = 18 credits at the University of Ottawa

Example of a course load for students in the LLL program (undergraduate) – Maximum of five courses per term:
1 course consists of 3 hours of instruction a week
5 courses comprise 15 hours of instruction a week
1 term consists of 12 weeks
15 hours of courses X 12 weeks = 180 hours of instruction over one term
180 hours of instruction in the host faculty/institution = 15 credits at the University of Ottawa

Example of a course load for students in the LLL program (undergraduate) – Minimum of four courses per term:
1 course consists of 3 hours of instruction a week
4 courses comprise 12 hours of instruction a week
1 term consists of 12 weeks
12 hours of courses X 12 weeks = 144 hours of instruction over one term
144 hours of instruction in the host faculty/institution = 12 credits at the University of Ottawa

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