Higher education credits, self-study and distance learning — plenty of new terms get thrown around when you start your studies, but what do they actually mean?

Learning approach and self-study

The Swedish learning approach at university level is largely based around self-study. There might not be many classes during each week, and students are expected to study independently between lectures. This requires students to do a lot of coursework independently or in groups, without direct supervision, and take responsibility for their own learning. Lectures and seminars are largely seen as a chance to reflect around the subject and students are expected to take an active part in the lecture. 

Distance learning

Most students at Malmö University study on campus, meaning that they regularly go to lectures and meet up for group work with their classmates. Some programmes give students the opportunity to study remotely, without regular face-to-face contact with teachers and fellow students. This allows a certain degree of flexibility but can also be demanding, as independent study requires self-motivation and the ability to manage time efficiently.

Higher education credits

Higher education credits are a standard used by universities to measure and assess students’ work and indicate the scope of an education. In Sweden, 60 credits correspond to one year of full-time academic study. Different parts of the world use different credit systems, and credits can sometimes be converted or transferred between these systems.

Courses can have different timeframes and different study-paces. The duration of a course depends on how many higher education credits are earned once the student has completed it. Some courses may run at a slower pace; for example, a part-time course that runs over two semesters.

Good to know about higher education credits

  • 30 credits are equivalent to one semester of full-time studies
  • 15 credits are equivalent to half a semester of full-time studies, or a full semester of part-time (50%) studies 
  • 7.5 credits are equivalent to one-quarter of a semester of full-time studies, or a full semester of part-time (25%) studies

Programmes and courses

All programmes are made up of several courses. You can pick and choose any number of courses to study individually, or you can take a particular set of courses chronologically as part of a programme, resulting in either a bachelor's or master's degree.

Combining courses

You can choose to combine part-time courses so that they add up to full-time studies. Be sure to check both course dates and credits carefully to make sure the number of credits adds up to full-time studies. It is very important that you make sure that you do not, for example, choose two full-time 15 credit courses that run during the same dates.