How many courses or credits are required for a full-time equivalent year of study?

One full time equivalent (FTE) year of study equates to 120 OERu credits (or 30 North American credits) see explanation and corresponding conversion tables below.

(See also: How many micro-courses are needed for full-course credit?)

Typical course size in different regions of the world

As an international network, the OERu must ensure transnational credit transfer. However, the course sizes that make up a year of study differ across international jurisdictions. The international standard for one year of full-time study is approximately 1200 notional learning hours. The difference in course sizes typically found in different regions is illustrated in the table below:

Region / Country Number of courses
for 1 FTE year of study
Learning hours
per course
Total learning hours
North America 10 120 1200
Australia 8 160 1280
United Kingdom 6 200 1200
New Zealand 8 150 1200

Size of OERu micro-courses

To achieve a standard transfer “currency” the OERu has adopted a modular micro-course format. Each micro-course equates to 40 notional hours of learning effort. Therefore, in North America 3 micro-courses are typically required to make up a standard 3-credit course, whereas in Australia, 4 micro-courses must be completed to qualify for transcript credit for the relevant course. In the United Kingdom, 5 micro-courses are the equivalent of 20 UK credits.

OERu credit conversion model compared to North American Credits

In the OERu credit transfer model:

  • 1 OERu credit = 10 notional learning hours.
  • 1 North American credit = 40 notional learning hours.




Learning hours

OERu credits

No. of OERu


3 credit North American course 120 12 3 micro-courses
16 credit New Zealand course 160 16 4 micro-courses
20 credit United Kingdom course 200 20 5 micro-course