International students

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International students

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  • What is the difference between a professional programme and an academic programme?

    Professional bachelor's programmes are only offered by university colleges. Programmes offered by the university are academic programmes.
    Starting in 2013-2014, academic master's programmes which were previously organised by university colleges, have been transferred to universities (not including art programmes). Hasselt University has expanded its range of study programmes with the programmes for Architecture and Interior Architecture, Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy and Engineering Technology (Industrial Science). As a result, 5,400 students now attend Hasselt University.
    A professional bachelor's programme focuses on direct employability on the labour market. After completion of a three-year professional bachelor's programme, you are ready to work independently. If you would like to switch to academic higher education later and pursue a master's degree, you will not be admitted directly. You will first have to complete a bridging programme (one to two years) in which you will have to acquire the missing general scientific competences and scientific basic knowledge. This is not self-evident and reserved only for students with an inquisitive and critical attitude and sufficient analytical skills. You should not underestimate the time and effort which are needed to complete a bridging programme. Therefore, students who want to pursue a master's degree should start with an academic bachelor's programme.
    An academic programme consists of a bachelor's programme followed by a master's programme. These bachelor's programmes build a broad scientific basis and prepare students for the master's programme. The academic bachelor's programme provides direct access to a master's programme, which in turn prepares people for professions in which they are expected to independently apply scientific knowledge. After completion of a master's programme, you can also choose to prepare for a PhD thesis, with which you will contribute to scientific research and which can also be the starting point for an academic career.  
  • How are programmes structured?

    Each bachelor's programme has a value of at least 180 ECTS credits. The value of a master's programme depends on the programme: 60, 120 or more credits.
    Each programme is built up of programme components of at least 3 ECTS credits each.
  • What is an ECTS credit?

    The value or size of a programme (component) is expressed in ECTS credits.
    An ECTS credit is a measure of the study time needed to reach the necessary study results / final competencies for a programme component. On average, one credit equals 27 hours of study activity, including tuition and exams included.
    In the study programme, you can find the number of credits which is attributed to each programme component. There are programme components of 3, 4, 5, 6 or more credits. For a full-time study, you'll use roughly 60 study points per academic year. This equals an average study activity of 1620 hours per year.
  • What is the difference between selected and obtained ECTS credits?

    Selected credits are the credits of a programme component for which a student has registered in an academic year. Obtained ECTS credits are the credits related to a programme component, for which the students has received a credit certificate.
  • What is a credit certificate?

    A credit certificate for a programme component is a document you will receive if you pass your exam and have obtained a grade of at least 10 / 20. A credit certificate indicates that you have obtained the competencies related to a programme component.
  • What is an academic year and an academic calendar?

    An academic year is a period of one year. The academic year starts between 1 September at the earliest  and 1 October at the latest, and ends on the day before the beginning of the next academic year. At Hasselt University, the academic year usually starts on the third Monday of September. The academic calendar ( shows the yearly planning: the successive teaching periods, the exam periods, the free days and holidays, the dates of deliberation.
  • What is a study pathway?

    A study pathway shows the way in which a programme is organised. A study pathway shows the way in which a programme is organised. When you first enrol for a bachelor's programme, you will follow the standard study programme of roughly 60 ECTS credits.
    On subsequent registrations, in principle it will be possible to choose your own study pathway, which is known as an individualised study pathway. An individualised pathway offers the possibility to deviate from te standard pathway. The annual programme proposed by a student who wants fo follow an individualised study pathway must be approved by the Eximination Board. One important condition is that the correct sequence must be followed, as certain programme components can only be followed in a certain order. The condition for taking Mathematics 2, for instance, is that you have first passed Mathematics 1. An individualised study pathway can be allowed to students who have fallen behind within a standard study programme, students with exemptions, students with functional impairments, working students and recognised top athletes (conditions can be found on the website).
  • What is a study contract?

    On registering at Hasselt University, students conclude an entry agreement. Students can choose between three contract types: a degree contract, a credit contract or an exam contract.
    In general, students who register for a bachelor's programme for the first time will conclude a degree contract. This is the case because most students intend to obtain a degree. If you only register to obtain a credit certificate for one or more programme components, a credit contract will apply. Lastly, it is also possible to conclude an exam contract, in order to just take exams, in which case you are not entitled to also attend educational activities.
  • What is my student file?

    When you come to sign your entry agreement on registering as a new student, you will receive login data. You can then log in on "My Student File" is your personal file. This file is used and supplemented by the educational administrations and possibly by other offices of Hasselt University. Your student file allows you to view and modify your personal data, to register and to view your registration data.
    "My Tuition Fees" shows an overview of your invoices and payments of tuition fees.
    You can also view your study contract, your study pathway and your exam results. You can download the forms needed to de-register for a certain programme component or programme, or to request a modification of your study contract.
    In addition, you can register for September courses. Other practical features are your personal programme agenda and exam schedule.
    You can also view a list of manuals and courses of the programme components your study pathway is comprised of.
    All the forms needed to apply for grants, can be found under "Student Facilities". You can also order a laptop via your student file, and it provides the initial password to login on the electronic study environment "Blackboard".
  • What is a specialisation?

    In both the bachelor's and the master's programmes, you can choose a specialisation. This means you can choose a domain to specialise in. A specialisation has a value of at least 30 ECTS credits. 
  • What is a study guide?

    In the study guide, you'll find information about the programmes and programme components. The study guide is available exclusively online:
    A search per programme will show the following information: the study load in ECTS credits, possible specialisations, the language of instruction, a description of the programme, the admission requirements and the course programme (standard programme pathways).
    A search per programme component will show information about the study load in ECTS credits, the language of instruction, the prerequisites and learning outcomes, the evaluation methods, etc.
  • What is a master's thesis?

    A master's thesis is a paper or project you hand in at the end of your master's programme. In the past, this was called a thesis or final dissertation.
    With your master's dissertation, you prove your analytical and synthetic skills in solving problems independently at an academic level. You demonstrate that you have a critical reflective attitude and the skills required for research.
  • What is the deliberation package of a programme?

    Hasselt University sees the first bachelor year as a transitional year. The student's study pathway in the bachelor's programme therefor leads to two deliberation packages. The first deliberation package is comprised of the programme components of the first bachelor year of the full-time standard study programme. The second deliberation package is comprised of the relevant programme components of the second and third bachelor year. Together, these two deliberation packages make up the full study programme of the bachelor's programme (at least 180 ECTS credits).
    The master's programme comprises one deliberation package (60 or 120 ECTS credits). The Examination Board decides whether or not you have passed a deliberation package. The conditions for accepting an 'unsatisfactory' grade for a programme component can be found back in the education and examination regulations (
    If you have not passed the first deliberation package, you will have to register to obtain the missing credits. You can then also register for programme components of the next deliberation package.
  • When have you passed the first deliberation package of a bachelor's programme?

    You have passed the first deliberation package of the bachelor's programme if you have received an examination grade for each programme component belonging to this package (not including exemptions) and you have either obtained a credit for each programme component or you have no more than two 'unsatisfactory' grades 8 and / or 9, and the sum of the ECTS credits related to these tolerated unsatisfactory grades is no more than 12. Additionally, you need to have scored at least 54% (in case of one unsatisfactory grade) or 58% (in case of two unsatisfactory grades).
  • When have you passed the second deliberation package of a bachelor's programme?

    You have passed the second deliberation package of the bachelor's programme if you have received an examination grade for each programme component belonging to this package (not including exemptions) and you have either obtained a credit for each programme component or you have no more than two unsatisfactory grades 8 and / or 9, and the sum of the ECTS credits related to these tolerated unsatisfactory grades is no more than 12. Additionally, you need to have scored at least 50%.
  • When have you passed a bachelor's programme?

    You have passed the bachelor's programme if you have passed both the first and second deliberation packages of the bachelor's programme.
  • What is a binding condition?

    If you have registered as a student with a degree contract and have failed to obtain at least 50% of the credits after one academic year, the Examination Board may impose binding conditions. If, for instance, you have registered for 60 credits with a degree or exam contract with the goal of obtaining a degree but you have obtained less than 30 credits, binding conditions can and will be imposed when you register for the following academic year. Binding study advice.
    This means that binding conditions are imposed when you register for the following academic year. If you fail to satisfy the conditions, a further registration may be refused. 
  • What is a degree of distinction?

    When students pass a programme, they are awarded a degree of distinction, according to the following rules:
    - distinction: a weighted percentage of 68% or more
    - great distinction: a weighted percentage of 77% or more
    - greatest distinction: a weighted percentage of 85% or more.
  • What is a learning account?

    The learning account was introduced in 2008 - 2009. It means that at the beginning of each student's first registration, the student receives 140 ECTS credits.
    Credits are used to register for programmes, and earned back at the end of the year for programme components which they have successfully completed.
    Get more information on the website of the Flemish government.