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Useful Definitions

At UMONS, the following definitions are to be taken into account:
  • Decree of 31st March 2004 (Bologna): Decree of the French Community of Belgium defining higher education, promoting its integration into the European Higher Education Area and refinancing universities.
  • Decree of 7th November 2013 ("Paysage"): Decree of the French Community of Belgium of 7th November 2013 defining the higher education landscape and the academic organisation of studies.
  • Admission: the process verifying whether a student fulfils the requirements to undertake a particular course of study. Admission is made official upon completion of registration.
  • Academic year: the 12-month period commencing on 14th September and ending on 13th September the following year; the activities, decisions and actions associated with these missions are in relation to an academic year, but may be extended beyond this period.
  • Term: organisational division of the teaching activities of an academic year covering approximately 4 months; the academic year is divided into 3 terms.
  • (Study) Cycle: level of studies leading to the awarding of an academic degree. A distinction is made between first cycle (undergraduate – Bachelor), second cycle (graduate – Master) and third cycle (PhD). A Bachelor's degree, a Master's degree and a Doctoral degree (PhD) are conferred on completion of first, second and third cycle studies, respectively.
  • Curriculum: A coherent set of one or more study cycles forming specific basic training.
  • Credit (ECTS): ECTS credits express the volume of learning based on the defined learning outcomes and their associated workload. 60 ECTS credits are allocated to the learning outcomes and associated workload of a full-time academic year or its equivalent, which normally comprises a number of educational components to which credits (on the basis of the learning outcomes and workload) are allocated. ECTS credits are generally expressed in whole numbers; in accordance with Article 62; awarded to the student by the Board.
  • Degree programme: a coherent series of one or more study cycles forming a specific first degree; within a curriculum, academic degrees can be “transitional”, so if the student is prepared accordingly, the degree is ultimately considered “professional”.
  • Bachelor’s degree: the level 6 academic qualification conferred on completion of undergraduate (first-cycle) studies comprising at least 180 credits.
  • Master’s degree: the level 7 academic qualification conferred on completion of graduate (second-cycle) studies comprising at least 60 credits and, in the case of a specific specialisation, at least 120 credits.
  • Specialised Master's degree: the level 7 academic qualification conferred on completion of specific graduate (second-cycle) studies comprising at least 60 credits, supplementing an earlier Master's programme.
  • Advanced Master’s degree: a level 7 postgraduate degree programme corresponding to a particular professional qualification, awarded upon completion of at least 60 credits obtained after completion of an initial degree programme of at least 300 credits at Master-level.
  • Doctorate (PhD): a level 8 academic qualification conferred on completion of doctoral (third cycle) studies (PhD) and defence of a thesis.
  • Study Programme: all teaching activities in a cycle, grouped into programme components, some of which are compulsory while others are selected by the student, consistent with the competency framework of a study cycle; the programme specifies the corresponding credits and time organisation as well as the pre-requisites and/or co-requisites of the various programme components.
  • Student’s annual programme: as approved by the Board, a coherent group of programme components of a study programme on which a student is duly registered for an academic year, during which they attend classes, sit the corresponding exams and are assessed by the Board.
  • Block: The division of a study programme into “sets” of educational components amounting to 60 credits. Bachelor programmes are divided into 3 blocks of 60 credits; Master programmes are divided into 2 blocks of 60 credits.
  • Educational Component (UE): teaching activity or set of teaching activities that are grouped together because they have common objectives and constitute a training package at the level of the expected learning outcomes (max. 30 credits).
  • Teaching Activities (AA): These include: 1. courses organised by the institution, including lectures, supervised exercises, practical work, laboratory work, seminars, building exercises and research workshops, excursions, visits and work placements ; 2. individual or group activities, including preparation work, projects, information search, end-of-studies projects, professional integration projects and activities; 3. study activities, self-study and personal enrichment.
  • Learning Outcomes (AAP): Statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process. The achievement of learning outcomes has to be assessed through procedures based on clear and transparent criteria. Learning outcomes are attributed to individual educational components and to programmes at a whole. They are also used in European and national qualifications frameworks to describe the level of the individual qualification.
  • Option: a coherent set of educational components of a study programme accounting for 15 to 30 credits.
  • Pre-requisite: all other educational components in a study programme, of which the learning outcomes  must be certified and the corresponding credits awarded by the Board before registration onto this particular programme component, unless dispensation is granted by the aforementioned Board.
  • Board: The academic body primarily responsible for considering admissions, validation of students’ annual programmes, tracking students’ progress, assessing and certifying learning outcomes, and organising the corresponding examinations.
  • Certificate: a document that, without conferring academic degrees or granting credits, attests to the participation of a course and, where applicable, the corresponding assessment.
  • Degree certificate: a document evidencing successful completion of studies in accordance with the provisions of the Decree in force at UMONS and the title or academic degree conferred at the end of the corresponding study cycle.
  • Academic authorities: the University bodies authorised to exercise the powers of education providers vested in them by the legislation and regulations applicable within the University.
  • Equivalency: the process of assimilating a student’s competence and knowledge, certified by one or more titles, certificates, degrees (including foreign degrees) to those required at the end of a degree programme organised or funded by the French Community of Belgium.
  • Special needs student: a student with a disability, a proven deficiency, a specific learning disability or a disabling illness whose interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in their academic life on the basis of equality with others.
  • Gateway: the academic process confirming a student's admission onto studies in another curriculum.