Preliminary approval of credit transfer and ECTS

How to apply for advance approval of credit transfer

What is an advance approval of credit transfer?

A pre-approval is a list of the courses, you expect to attend at the host university. All courses must be academically approved by the head of studies at your department to ensure that you can receive transfer credits for the courses you have completed when you return to AU

When should I apply for a pre-approval?

You must apply after you have received a reply to your application for an exchange place in Moveon and before you leave. It is a prerequisite to have a pre-approval of your courses to maintain your exchange place. Advance approval is issued by your board of studies who determines the number of courses you have to take at your host institution to make up 30 ECTS.


  • For exchange in the autumn semester: please apply for advance approval no later than 7 May
  • For exchange in the spring semester: please apply for advance approval no later than 7 November.

The processing time is four working weeks (excluding holidays), provided that all required documentation is attached to your application. In some cases, it may take up to eight weeks. Read more about advance approval here.

How to apply for advance approval of credit transfer

  1. The study abroad semester must be approved in your Bachelor's/Master's contract in the contract generator before you apply for pre-approval (not relevant for bachelor of engineering students)
  2.  We recommend that you talk to your head of programme about the list of courses before you apply.
  3. The application must list all the courses you plan to attend at the host university as all courses will be registered individually in the application system.
  4. It must be clear from your application which course from your degree programme at AU, the course at the host university will replace. .
  5. If you only have elective subjects in the relevant semester at AU, you can enter the courses at the host university as one group worth 30 ECTS credits. Please see the scheme below as an example:
  6. It is very important that you add course descriptions to your application. The course descriptions must include the number of ECTS credits and the level of the courses (BSc/MSc).
  7. If your host university uses another credit system than ECTS, you must provide documentation for how to translate the credit system to ECTS.
  8. In the menu Study Abroad --> Preliminary approval of credit transfer and ECTS --> Pre-approved universities you can find a list of ECTS-calculations of a number of universities in the world. 

Host institution


Course 1

Elective course 1

Transferred jointly as 30 ECTS

Course 2

Elective course 2

Course 3

Elective course 3

Course 4

Elective course 4

Your application must be sent directly to your board of studies via selvbetjeningen ( Please note that your application cannot be processed before you have entered all information and attached the required documentation. Make sure to submit your application for advance approval of transfer credit to your board of studies well in advance of the deadlines, so that there is time to obtain additional documentation, if necessary.

Changes to your pre-approval

If there are any changes to your course programme while you are abroad, you should NOT apply for a new advance approval. Instead, you should have the new programme approved by your head of degree programme. This approval will be used when you apply for the final credit transfer.

Conversion between credits/units and ECTS

When you calculate how many courses you must take abroad, you should start by finding information about the standard length of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme for an ordinary full-time student at the faculty/department in question (At Nat and Tech, the standard length for a BSc is three years and two years for a MSc)

Next, you should find out how many credits you need to pass in order to complete the degree programme. (At Nat and Tech, 180 ECTS credits are required to complete a BSc, and 120 ECTS are required to complete an MSc).

When you have found information on the standard length of the degree and the necessary credits to complete the degree you can calculate the necessary credits per semester.

Please note that particularly in the United States, Canada and some Asian countries there is often a difference between the workload per credit, depending on whether it is Bachelor’s or Master's course.

Finally, you should find out how the academic year is structured (trimester or semester structure as well as how many weeks of classes). For trimester or quarterly structure, depending on the number of weeks of teaching per trimester or quarter, it may be practically impossible to achieve what corresponds to 30 ECTS. An example is the University of Calgary, where you typically take a range of courses corresponding to 25 ECTS.

Example conversion: 
You want to take courses at the University of Technology, Sydney. At this university, the following conditions apply:

Standard length of degree programme: Three-year Bachelor's degree programme (undergraduate)

Required number of credits to complete the programme: You must pass at least 144 credits in order to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. So you have to take 24 credits per semester in order to have a full workload.

Academic year: The academic calendar at the University of Technology is based on a semester structure with approx. 15 weeks of classes per semester. This corresponds to the semester structure at Nat-Tech.

24 credits = 30 ECTS
Their courses typically have a value of six credit points, so you have to take four courses of six credit points to get a full workload equivalent to 30 ECTS.

You are welcome to book an appointment with your international coordinator if you need guidance on conversion between credits and ECTS.