Guidelines for setting ECTS values for legal PhD courses

(Adopted at board meeting held in JurForsk on 9 February 2011, revised on 21 May 2015)



The purpose of JurForsk's ECTS value setting is to:

  • measure the PhD student workload required to complete the course,
  • clarify when the requirements set out in the Danish PhD Order (Ph.d.-bekendtgørelsen) for participation in courses or other research education activities corresponding to a total of approx. 30 ECTS credits have been complied with, and
  • establish guidelines for the setting of ECTS values by the participating institutions for PhD courses in law, see clause 2.3 and 3.3 of the collaboration agreement.


ECTS values for courses offered through JurForsk are set by the course organisers in accordance with the principles below and after consulting JurForsk's daily manager. When consulting JurForsk's daily manager the ECTS values should be justified by distribution of workload on different activities, see example below.

ECTS values for courses offered in other contexts and for participation in relevant conferences, seminars etc. are based on the ECTS value set by the organiser and generally in accordance with the principles below.

ECTS values for courses, conferences, seminars etc. for which the organiser has not set an ECTS value are set by the relevant institution taking into account the principles below and the relevance of such activities to the PhD student's project. ECTS for pedagogical courses may be set by the relevant institution.


ECTS credits are allocated according to the following principles:

  • Generally, 1 ECTS credit corresponds to 25 working hours, and the value set must reflect the actual workload.
  • ECTS values are set on the basis of four types of possible activities in relation to courses and other academic activities:
    • Preparation (e.g. required reading)
    • Attendance (course duration is taken into consideration)
    • Active participation (e.g. independent presentation)
    • Subsequent follow-up (e.g. report writing)
    • The activities may be weighted differently in each individual case - the weighting should be indicated in the course description, see example below.
  • JurForsk recommends the following “rules of thumb”
    • ECTS credits are not allocated for short presentations of own projects at PhD courses, but can be included in the ECTS for the course.
    • 1-2 ECTS credits are allocated for actual project presentations (pre-defences) depending on workload.
    • 1-2 ECTS credits are allocated for independent lectures or presentations at conferences depending on workload.
    • ECTS for a full course day should be set according to the expected workload, e.g. as regards preparation, attendance and possible follow-up. As an example for 1 ECTS.
Preparation (reading, abstract/presentation) 17
Course day 09:00-16:00 7
Follow-up, for example evaluation 1