Here are the basics on how studying in Sweden and at our University works.
Differences between programmes and courses
A degree programme at a Swedish university is made up of a number of courses in a particular field of study leading to a specific degree. Courses, sometimes known as modules in other countries, are the building blocks of each programme. Each semester, programme students take one large course or several smaller courses.
All courses are either at bachelor’s level (year 1–3) or at master’s level (year 4–5). Sometimes bachelor´s courses are also titled “in-depth”, “intermediate”, or “continuation” to indicate that the course requires previous experience in the field. In many other countries, these courses are referred to as second-year courses or third-year courses.
Swedish universities use a national credit system (Higher Education Credits), which is based on the principles used in the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and takes into account the total activity of the student in lectures, laboratories, other classroom work, examination, and personal work.
The normal workload (full-time studies) for one academic year is 60 credits, which correspond to 60 ECTS. One week’s full-time study (40 hours) corresponds to 1.5 higher education credits (HP). Each semester is 20 weeks long, during which a student is expected to take 30 credits.
More about ECTS on European commission website
At the University of Gothenburg, it is most common to take courses sequentially, that is, one course after the other during the semester. The semester is divided into four quarters. Most commonly, courses are either 7.5 or 15 credits, but this can vary from 2 to 30 credits.
Courses can run with different study paces. If a course study pace is 100%, it is very difficult to combine that course with other courses taught in the same period. When courses are taught at less than 100% study pace, however, they can be combined with other courses during the same period.