The introduction of the credit system became compulsory in every Hungarian university, including the University of Debrecen by September, 2003. The aim of the credit system is to ensure that the students' achievements can be properly and objectively evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively.
A credit is a relative index of cumulative work invested in a compulsory, a required elective or a freely chosen subject listed in the curriculum. The credit value of a course is based upon the number of lectures, seminars and practical classes of the given subject that should be attended or participated in (so called "contact hours"), and upon the amount of work required for studying and preparing for the examination(s). Together with the credit(s) assigned to a particular subject (quantitative index), students are given grades (qualitative index) on passing an exam/course/class. The credit system that has been introduced in Hungary meets the standards of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The introduction of the ECTS promotes student mobility, facilitates more effective organization of students' exchange programs aimed at further education in foreign institutions, and allows recognition of the students' work, studies and achievements completed in various foreign departments by the mother institution. Credit-based training is flexible. It provides a wider range of choice, enables the students to make progress at an individual pace, and it also offers students a chance to study the compulsory or required subjects at a different university, even abroad. Owing to the flexible credit accumulation system, the term "repetition of a year" does not make sense any longer. It should be noted, however, that students do not enjoy perfect freedom in the credit system either, as the system does not allow students to randomly include subjects in their curriculum or mix modules. Since knowledge is based on previous studies, it is imperative that the departments clearly and thoroughly lay down the requirements to be met before students start studying a subject.
The general principles of the credit system are the following:
|1.||Students can be given their degree if, having met other criteria as well, they have collected 120 credits during their studies. Considering the recommended curriculum, this can be achieved in two years (four semesters).|
|2.||According to the credit regulations, students should obtain an average of 30 credits in each semester.|
|3.||The criterion of obtaining 1 credit is to spend 30 hours (including both contact and non-contact hours) studying the given subject.|
|4.||Credit(s) can only be obtained if students pass the exam of the given subject.|
|5.||Students accumulate the required amount of credits by passing exams on compulsory, required elective and freely chosen subjects. Completion of every single compulsory credit course is one of the essential prerequisites of getting a degree. Courses belonging to the required elective courses are closely related to the basic subjects, but the information provided here is more detailed, and 37 CHAPTER 8 includes material not dealt with in the frame of the compulsory courses. Students do not need to take all required elective courses, but they should select some of them wisely to accumulate the predetermined amount of credits from this pool. Finally, a certain amount of credits should be obtained by selecting from the freely chosen courses, which are usually not related to the basic (and thus mandatory) subjects, but they offer a different type of knowledge.|
|6.||58 compulsary, 19 required elective, 7 module-specific freely choosen, 6 freely choosen and 30 thesis credits of the total of 120 credits should be accumulated by completing the compulsory, differentiated professional, oriented elective and freely chosen courses, respectively. The curriculum in English program corresponds with the curriculum in Hungarian program.|
|7.||The students qualified in molecular biology are required to know the principles of biology, to have general knowledge in the fields of natural sciences and to be familiar with the methods of scientific thinking and problem-solving approach. The competency is based on the content of basic modules and the process of preparation of diploma thesis. Since the target can be reached mainly by collection and evaluation of knowledge, the lectures and seminars are important forms of education. Besides the acquirement of knowledge, the professionals in molecular biology have to be able to recognize the problems, to elaborate the way of solution, to evaluate and interpret the results. From this respect, the practicals and the laboratory work during the making of diploma thesis offer good possibilities. Nowadays there is an ever increasing demand for the skills regarding innovative activity, abilities for self-improvement of practical utilization of own results, and organization of individual activity. It can require some type of non-professional (legal, economical, management) knowledge, which can be achieved also by optional courses. The students graduated in molecular biology master program know the most important results of molecular biology and the possibilities for their application, the approach and methodological tools of molecular biology, the structure and function of the human body to an extent necessary for acquirement of professional knowledge, the bases of genomics, medical immunology and microbiology, and have general knowledge in pharmacology. The differentiated professional subjects assure the acquirement of professional competencies. These subjects are offered in obligatory or oriented elective form. The topics are processed in lectures and practicals, which guarantee the acquirement of competencies. Considering the institutional characteristics and possibilities, it is warranted that in the given fields the highly qualified staff takes part in the education.|
|8.||The pilot curricula show the recommended pacing of compulsory courses. If these courses are carefully supplemented with credits obtained from the necessary number of required elective and freely chosen courses, students can successfully accumulate the credits required for their degree within 4 semesters.|
|9.||The diploma work is worth 30 credits. The Degree thesis (dissertation) is a paper written about the individual scientific investigations in the field of molecular biology, which proves the profound knowledge of the student. It has to demonstrate, that the student became familiar with the basis of library and literature use as well as is able to formulate and document own opinion in adequate form, and defend the thesis in a debate taken before a professional committee.|
|10.||Regulations concerning the training of students in the credit system prescribe a minimum amount of credits for certain periods as outlined in the Rules and Regulations for English Program 38 CREDIT SYSTEM Students.|
|11.||Although Physical Education is not recognized by credits, it have to be completed to get the final degree (see the rules outlined in the Information section about the conditions).|
|12.||Evaluation of the students' achievements needed for grants or applications is described in Rules and Regulations for English Program Students.|
|13.||Further information is available in the Rules and Regulations for English Program Students. We very much hope that the system of training will contribute to the successful completion of your studies.|
We wish you good luck with your university studies.