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About us Faculty of Law International programmes Study Abroad programme

Examinations, Credits and Grading system

Type of examinations
Oral and written examinations are used to assess students’ comprehension of lectures and required reading.

In some cases a course is concluded by a paper: students have to write, and sometimes defend in class, a paper on a specific subject agreed upon by the lecturer. Papers should be handed in before the deadline, set by the lecturer.
Sometimes lecturers also give assignments during a course: students are asked to do some research on a related subject and write a short paper, or give a presentation in class of the research results.

The duration of a written examination is two to three hours. Written examinations may consist of multiple choice questions, or essay questions, or a combination. In general, this is previously indicated by the lecturer of the course. The results of written examinations are published by the examination office in Progresswww and are usually available within 10 working days.

Oral examinations are arranged by the lecturers, and normally take about an hour.
In principle, oral exams must take place in the examination period following the block. The student will receive the result (the grade and the number of credits obtained) immediately after the oral exam.

In general, each course offers two opportunities for students to take an examination, the original exam in the exam period immediately after the block in which the course was taught, the resit in the exam period of the next block.

Dates of written examinations – no changes possible

It is important to realise that the written examinations are fixed on specific dates and may take place in the last week, or even on the last day of the examination period. These dates cannot be changed. Foreign students should take this into account when planning their journey home. No special arrangements will be allowed for students who decide to leave before the end of the examination period, assuming they will pass all their exams; if these students fail an exam, they will have to return to Groningen to take the resit.

Compulsory enrolment for written examinations
Enrolment for written examinations is compulsory. For students in the Study Abroad programme this computerized enrolment is done by the administrative officer Ms. Helen Hofman. She will provide students with information on exact dates, times and places of the examinations, and proof of their registration.

Written examinations: first chance and resit
As stated, there are generally two opportunities for students to do an examination. Students who fail the first examination are automatically enrolled for the resit.

Credits and grading system

Marks and credit points
All classes and courses carry a number of credit points. A credit point tells you something about the amount of time invested in a particular subject. Credits are only awarded when a student passes the exam. In the course descriptions the credits for each course are listed.
The Dutch grading scale runs from 1 to 10. The pass mark is 6. The highest mark, 10, is rarely given. Sometimes assessment is done on a pass/fail basis.

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
ECTS, the European Credit Transfer System, was developed by the Commission of the European Community in order to provide common procedures that guarantee academic recognition of courses completed abroad. It provides a way of measuring and comparing learning achievements, and of transferring these achievements from one institution to the other.
ECTS also improves access to information on foreign curricula. The ECTS system is based on the principle of mutual trust and confidence between the participating higher education institutions.

European credits (EC's) are values allocated to course units to describe the students’ workload required to complete them. They reflect the quantity of work each course requires in relation to the total quantity of work required to complete a full year of academic study at the institution, i.e. the sum of lectures, practical work, seminars, private work - either in the library or at home - as well as examinations and/or other assessment activities.
European credits therefore express a relative value.

Number of credits per year
In Groningen (and in all other European universities using the ECTS), the workload of a full year of study corresponds to 60 European credits (ec). Normally, it is possible for regular students to obtain 30 credits in a semester (teaching period A + B). For students in the Study Abroad programme, the Faculty of Law does not impose specific credit requirements.

One European credit in Groningen equals 28 hours of student workload (consisting of lectures, practical work, seminars, student’s preparation at home or in the library, exams or other assessment activities).

Last modified:18 September 2019 10.24 a.m.