Organisation of studies

The academic year is divided up into three terms:

  • The first begins in mid-September.
  • The second begins in early February.
  • The third begins in early July. It includes the summer holiday and the second examination session.

The exams are organised at the end of each term: in January for the first term and late May / early June for the second term. Students have the opportunity to resit the examinations for which they have not achieved a satisfactory result (a mark of at least 10 out of 20) during a second examination session, which runs from mid-August to early September.

Pass criteria: To pass an academic year, students must obtain an average of 10/20 or more for all exams they sit and have no grade lower than 10/20. If the grade is lower than 10/20, the jury may decide to still award the credits associated with the course if the deficit is estimated acceptable considering all the results.



The ECTS credits

Each teaching module within a curriculum is counted as an ECTS credit. A credit in Wallonia-Brussels corresponds to a flat rate of 30 hours of learning activities (lectures, practical work, individual work, group work, projects, documentary research, internships, etc.) at the end of which time the student must have acquired knowledge, specific skills and abilities.

The credits in Wallonia-Brussels are compatible with the European ECTS system, thus ensuring the recognition of credits earned by the student during stints at partner higher education institutions in Europe.

A year of study generally corresponds to 60 ECTS credits. Once an exam has been passed (with a grade of at least 10/20), the credits for this course are acquired permanently, regardless of the overall average.



Language of instruction

In Wallonia-Brussels, the language of instruction and assessment of higher education studies is French, which is why a good command of the language is required in most fields of study. During 1st and 2nd cycle studies (Bachelor and Master), some courses may however be dispensed and assessed in another language, usually English.

In addition, some courses can be taught and assessed entirely in English or another foreign language (German, Dutch, Spanish): this is particularly true of Advanced Bachelors and Advanced Masters but also some other courses that meet specific criteria. Knowledge of French is therefore not required to enrol in these programmes.

The list of courses taught fully or partially in English in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation is available on our website via the search engine "courses".

Similarly, students who have not had the opportunity to learn French but who speak English without difficulty can easily study for a doctorate. Once in the region, they can learn rudimentary French. See: Learning French

When enrolling for a programme of study taught in French or English, you must provide proof of a sufficient knowledge of the French or English language. It may be necessary to pass a language proficiency examination to enrol with certain programmes of study.
Sufficient knowledge = Competent user (for example: IELTS: 6, TOEFL: 60-78, FLE: B1-B2).
All information can be obtained from the enrolment services of the higher education institutions.