So as y'all might or might not know, I've been living in Dusseldorf for the past 4 months, and as well as visiting lots of theme parks (Phantasialand, Liseberg, planning to go to Heide Park before I leave) and enjoying the glorious weather of summertime in North Germany, I've also been dabbling in a bit of studying.
And today I had my last exam. Basically, In Germany, you can only access the next year when you have a certain number of credits to do so. IN Germany, you need 60 credits to progress upwards. However, you yourself pick and choose which modules you do, and how many you do. You can do a semester studying only two modules and then achieving 2-4 credits for each depending on the subject's difficulty, and simply put, you just have to keep doing this and eventually you will reach 60 credits and be allowed to progress to the next year. So in effect, your first year at uni could last up to 10 academic years. Most people take assessments in a module called BN or AP, BN's are usually worth 2 extra credits and AP's are worth anywhere between 4-7 because they are harder, 8-20 page-long term papers that typically are only done one-per-semester.
Now, in the British system, a German "credit" is worth two British credits, because we operate a different system to the rest of Europe. So in English Universities, you need 15 credits per module and you have 4 modules per semester and two semester in a year, meaning that at the end of the year, you need 120 credits to progress to the next year. Progression is a mandatory requirement though and you will automatically receive 15 credits for completing a module and not failing. If you fail, or miss an assessment, you automatically score 0 in that module and need to redeem that module/assessment or retake the year if your credit score is below 100 (at least, that's the case at my University). So basically, each module in Germany needs to be worth 7.5 if I am only planning on taking 4 (I am taking 5).
So, when you do what I do, and go on the Erasmus Exchange Programme for one semester, you need to fill out a Learning Agreement that verifies that you are taking enough modules to earn yourself 30 German credits (or ECTS credits) will equate to 60 English credits (or UKTS credits). So you need to go to your lecturer of the modules you are doing and ask for them to give you extra credits because you are an Erasmus student and will not be allowed to return to your home institution without an equivalent of 60 UKTS credits.
I currently take five modules in Germany, one of which is a module from Winchester. So here's how my credit sheet breaks down:
English Morphology meets Phonology: 6 credits
Language and the Brain: 7 credits
Old English: 7 credits
Volunteering (Winchester Module): 7.5 credits
Deutschkurs als Fremdsprache: 4 credits (+2 for Erasmus Students)
Which means I have 33.5 credits and plenty to progress to the third year at Winchester. After this, I just need to ensure the grades I achieve aren't fails, or the credits won't count.
I only get formally marked on the first four however. The last one - Deutschkurs als Fremdsprache, is purely to make up the 30 credits. Without it I would only have 29.5.
So today I received my grade for Language and the Brain. I had my exams for the first two in that list on Monday and Tuesday respectively. Now let me talk a bit about the German grade system and conversion:
German Grades and estimated conversion rates:
1.0 = 80
1.3 = 74
1.7 = 69
2.0 = 65
2.3 = 62
2.7 = 59
3.0 = 57
3.3 = 53
3.7 = 45
4.0 = 39
5.0 = <34
Yeah, messed up.
But I just found out my grades for the first three modules! (Finally getting to the point). And after stressing unbelievable amounts, I was awarded 1.3 for both Old English and English Morphology meets Phonology, and a 1.0 for Language and the Brain!
Really rather happy about coming to Germany now.