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Credit points

You gain credit points each time you successfully complete a module. You need to build a certain number of credits in order to gain an award. For example, you will need to accumulate 360 credits for an honours degree (BA/BSc/LLB) or 120 points for a Certificate of Higher Education.

You can also put these credits towards study in other higher education institutions. Credit points are recognised by the Open University and the University of East London, among other UK universities. Please see below for the procedure for transferring your credits to another institution.

If you want to use the credits from your Certificate programme towards a degree at another university, you should talk to the admissions office of the university you wish to enter (as there may be additional special subject or module requirements for the degree you want to study).

Awards offering credit points

We currently offer the following standard awards at Certificate level, with the following standard values in credit points (some subject areas offer Certificates that require a different amount of credit):

  • Certificate of Higher Education = 120 credits
  • Certificates of Continuing Education = 60 credits

You will be awarded 30 credits per completed full module. It is also possible on some programmes to take half-modules, allowing you even more flexibility. You will be awarded 15 credits for each completed half-module.

We also offer stand-alone short courses that are not assessed and that do not form part of award-bearing programmes. These are called 'non-credit bearing courses' and carry no credit points.

What do these points equate to?

Most of our Certificates of Higher Education start at the same academic level (Level 4), which is at the same level as a first-year undergraduate degree. As you continue your studies with Birkbeck, the level of difficulty will increase and become more challenging. With each level you complete, you will gain a further 120 credit points, which can build up to a full degree (360 credit points) over time.

  • Level 4 (certificate): equivalent to first year of an undergraduate degree
  • Level 5 (intermediate): equivalent to second year of an undergraduate degree
  • Level 6 (honours): equivalent to third year of an undergraduate degree
  • Level 7 (master’s): level of study during a master’s degree

More detail on these levels are available on the UK Government's information website.

Transferring credits to another institution

In most instances you will need to provide a transcript of the results you have obtained here at Birkbeck to the institution you are applying to. You can find the full transcript request procedure here. Please note that there is a charge for this service.

The Open University will usually provide you with forms to forward to us to request the transcript. We require the payment to be made before we can start processing your request and we treat these requests the same as all other transcript requests.

The transcript will be returned directly to the Open University Credit Transfer Centre unless you clearly specify otherwise.