Minimum educational hours at university: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

  • I would like to know if there is any minimum specification of educational hours that a University must provide for a student undertaking a degree course.
  • Is there a basic minimum number of hours that must be provided by a University course for it to fulfil the requirements to confer a degree?


The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) specifies the number of credits that an individual must achieve in order to obtain a qualification. The SCQF credit system works on the basis that one credit represents the amount of learning achieved through a notional 10 hours of learning time, including scheduled classes, practical time, independent learning and assessment. How this time is split across the range of learning activity will vary depending on the mode of delivery, level of study, discipline and other relevant contextual factors.

Universities in Scotland are expected to follow the SCQF when designing and reviewing programmes, but there is no minimum expectation set at a sector level on how many hours of timetabled classes will be delivered across a degree. This is managed at a programme level in a manner that is appropriate for the specific discipline, level of study and mode of delivery.

Further information on the SCQF credit system, and how it applies to Scottish university qualifications and awards, can be found on the SCQF and Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) websites:

Students who are not satisfied with the provision offered for their course should make this known to their university in the first instance. Each institution will also have its own complaints procedure. If a student is not happy with the outcome of any complaint, their concerns can be raised with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO), whose remit includes the further and higher education sectors:

About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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