Permission - Study Placements
It is the responsibility of the Erasmus Programme Director to seek permission from the Head of School for students to undertake Erasmus study placements. A Permission to Undertake an Erasmus Placement form must be completed for each student. On this form, Directors must provide a provisional list of the modules which the students intend to undertake at the host institution, and the methods of assessment.
Under current Erasmus rules, it is an essential part of the arrangements that your period of study at the host university should be fully recognised as part of your study for your degree at Queen’s. This may take either of two forms: the Queen’s degree regulations may specifically require a period of study or work abroad; or your period of study abroad will replace a semester or a year of study at Queen's and the marks that you achieve on placement will contribute towards your degree at Queen's. The duration of your degree programme will not be lengthened due to participation in Erasmus.
You should be very clear about what is going to be required of you while you are at your host university, in terms of choice of courses, attendance requirements, submission of written or practical work and passing of examinations. The arrangements made will differ from one Erasmus placement to another; in some cases, a semester's satisfactory attendance will have been agreed as standing in lieu of the work at Queen’s; in other cases you will need to pass a number of formal written or oral examinations in order for your period abroad to be accepted.
If you are on a work placement, your School will provide you with details of the assessment requirements.
For study placements, the procedure for formal recognition involves two stages: the Learning Agreement and the Transcript.
i) Learning Agreement
It is the responsibility of your Queen’s Erasmus Programme Director to discuss the assessment procedures to be used for outgoing students with the Erasmus Programme Director at the host institution before your departure and to include these details in the Learning Agreement. A Learning Agreement form will be sent to you by the Global Opportunities team (Careers, Employablity and Skills).
Students are required to complete a Learning Agreement prior to their departure from Belfast. This form must be countersigned by the Queen's Erasmus Programme Director, the Queen's Erasmus Institutional Co-ordinator (Global Opportunities team), the same officers at the host institution, and returned to the Global Opportunities team.
Erasmus Programme Directors will receive from the host institution a transcript of the marks each of his/her students has attained. The methods of assessment will have been agreed at an earlier date (see above). Most European universities now use ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). The transcript should indicate the number of ECTS credits a student will gain for the work undertaken. A full academic year’s workload should yield 60 ECTS credits. The transcript or report will then be forwarded to the Board of Examiners who will determine how the marks obtained are incorporated into the degree programme.
An unofficial marks conversion table for most European countries to aid the translation of a student's performance at the host institution is shown here. Please note that this table is not definitive and should only be used for guidance by students in determining equivalent marks.
Students who undertake an Erasmus Study Placement are eligible to apply for the placement to be considered towards a Queen’s Degree Plus award. The award provides official recognition by the University of the non-academic benefits of an Erasmus placement, such as improved employability skills, global and cultural awareness and increased self-confidence and motivation. See the DEGREE PLUS website for more information.
If you complete a part-year Erasmus Study Placement, your Erasmus placement can count as one of the two required “Route B” Degree Plus options. You will need to complete the Degree Plus Combined Route form and submit it by 1 April in your year of graduation in order for you to receive your Degree Plus certificate when you graduate. Along with your part-year Erasmus Study Placement, you will need to have completed another of the Route B activities. See here for further information and the application form.
If you complete a full year Erasmus Study Placement, you should download and complete a Degree Plus Route A Report Form. Please note that the form must be completed and returned to the Global Opportunities team (Careers, Employablity and Skills) by 1 April in your year of graduation in order for you to receive your Degree Plus certificate when you graduate.
Duration of Placement
The minimum period for an Erasmus placement is three months, the maximum is one academic year. For Queen’s students, it is best to undertake a placement for one semester, ie at least four months, or for a complete academic year. You will have to bear in mind that methods of teaching, learning and examining may differ in a number of ways at the host university from those you are familiar with. Before you go abroad you should have gained a clear idea of what these differences will be (for example, essays to be written in the language of the host institution).