University courses are organised in 3 cycles: bachelor's degree, master's and Doctorate/PhD. The usual university course takes place in 2 cycles, generally over 5 years. In order to understand the course programmes and presentations, it is important to know about the structure and related vocabulary. This page will give you useful information in this respect.
The course programmes are presented in credits or ECTS (European transfer credit system). These units correspond to the workload that you should devote to a module, within a course programme. The credit takes into consideration the number of hours spent in lectures, but also the practical work, seminars, laboratory work, work experience, individual work, research and field trips, etc.
1 credit corresponds to a fixed amount of 30 hours of learning activities and 1 year of studies counts as 60 credits.
The university bachelor’s courses are considered as “transitional”: they do not lead to a career and entitle the holder to take a master’s course.
There are "60 credits" master's (1 year), mainly "120 credits" master's (2 years) but also a "180 credits" master's (3 years) in Veterinary Medicine and in Medicine.
For certain subjects, you have a choice between a 1 year or a 2 year course. However, you should take into consideration the fact that although a "60" Master's can be put to use on the job market, it consists in a general course and does not correspond to the European model. Moreover, it does not offer the same opportunities as the "120" Master's.
This master's has a flexible programme and can adapt to your professional project according to the options, modules and in particular the purpose chosen (30 credits out of the 120).
It also enables you to have access to the adavanced master's course and to go on to a PhD/Doctorate. Finally, the "120" master's, the specialisation master's, a European standard, is the one that will open doors for you on an international level, through the exchange programmes.
In order to have access to certain jobs or to become more specialised in a very specific area of study, you should continue with another 2nd cycle course: an advanced master's (at least 60 credits). Examples: specialisations in medicine, European law, profession of notary, town-and-country planning, risk management and well-being at work, financial risk management, nanotechnology...
The PhD course leads to the academic title of doctor. It may only be read after a course of at least 300 credits (bachelor's degree + master's) and consists mainly in preparing and presenting a thesis. The PhD course includes a PhD training of 60 credits completed by a research training certificate. This training is linked to the specific skills of the research teams and grants graduates with high scientific and professional qualifications.
In general, studies are organize on full-time schedule.
Every academic grade (bachelor, master, advanced master) is designed and divided in “year of studies”. Each academic year starts on the 15th of September and represents a full time workload (in principle 60 ECTS).
Part-time studies are available for some students benefitting from a special status and with duly justified reasons, such as top-level athletes, students with a status of artist, disabled students, working students, etc.), the jury may authorize them to spread their yearly course programme over 2 academic years (3 in exceptional circumstances).
Finally, some learning activities are available through distance learning, through downloadable on-line supports or podcasts.
University institution resulting from an association of universities. For its part, the ULg is linked to the University Faculty of Agronomic Sciences of Gembloux within the Wallonia-Europe University Academy. An academy may establish a partnership with other higher education establishments. Thus, the Wallonia-Europe University Academy has established a partnership with the Haute Ecole Charlemagne and the Haute Ecole Robert Schuman.
Division of the academic year covering approximately four months. The academic year therefore has three “quadrimesters”. The learning activities are shared over the first two, with the exception of certain appraisals or professional integration activities. At the end of each of these first two “quadrimesters”, an appraisal period is organised. The third includes appraisal periods and professional integration or personal work activities.
An orientation indicates a specificity of the course cycle programme corresponding to a series of learning activities. This series must include more than 30 credits (for 1 year master's) or at least 60 credits (for master's with more than 60 credits). Moreover, this series may not exceed two thirds of the credits making up the course cycle.
An option indicates the choice, per student, of a coherent series of specific learning activities of 15 to 30 credits which characterise all or part of the student's course cycle programme. The total number of options may not exceed half of the credits that make up the course cycle.