IME Credit System, GPA and Assessments

Credits System

Credit System refers to a system of assessing the course load, homework load and the course weight and provides a way to compare courses.

Different institutes around the world use different credit systems to suit their needs.

IME Credit system is a simple system that complies with the currently accepted world standards.

The Concept
The system of Contact Hours, Credits and the GPA (Grade Point Average) provides a way to asses the student workload and the heaviness of courses. It also allows comparison of courses, provided the courses in comparison adhere to same standards.
Researchers who have studied human brain and how the knowledge is retained, have concluded that there is an optimum amount of information a brain of a normal person can hold during a specific period of time.
While this time and amount depends on multiple factors, the amount of information that should be given within a Contact Hour should be within the amount an average brain can tolerate during that period of time.
This means a ‘Credit’ is an acceptable way of measuring coursework and can be used to assess the heaviness or the workload and therefore the strength and validity of course. For example the Diploma course we currently provide in photography is a 30 Credit Diploma with the IME Credit standing at 16 hours or 56 National Study Hours.
The allocated amount of Credits measure the course load of module. During the exams we use a weighted marking system where marks scored on heavier and longer modules carry more weight towards the final result.
Contact Hour

Equals to

  • One clock hour of direct teaching by a Lecturer with a minimum of 50 min of active teaching
  • Two clock hours of lab, studio or field work under supervision
  • Three clock hours of thesis or dissertation preparation and writing or literature review preparation under the guidance of a Supervisor
IME Credit

One IME Credit Equals to

  • 16 (Sixteen) Contact Hours

This differs from currently accepted Sri Lankan university guideline of 15 hours.

Conversion of IME Credits to T-VEC Credits

One IME Credit is equal to 56 national study hours.

Conversion to T-VEC credits (1 Credit = 25 national study hours)

IME Diploma in Photography = 30 IME Credits x 56 = 1680 national study hours

IME Diploma in Photography = 67.2 T-VEC Credits at the higher diploma level


Homework Hours

We use the currently accepted worldwide standards for Homework hours.

To get the desired outcome and to achieve the objectives set at the beginning of any course, we expect our students to optimally spend 2.5 hours (minimum of 2 active clock hours) for each contact hour spent in class, lab, field, studio or writing literature reviews, thesis, dissertations or completing assignments.

Student Workload

For every contact hour spent in class,  a student is expected to spend 2-2.5 hours on homework. Considering minimum number of clock hours per credit is 16, for direct teaching a student is expected to spend 48-56 clock hours per one credit.

Same is expected for lab, studio or field work making the minimum expected workloads in clock hours 64 per credit.

These expectations need to be met to achieve the expected level of mastery required to face the IME examinations and assessments.

GPA Scores

IME uses 4-point GPA system and a weighted GPA score to assess the final GPA score.

One idea of the GPA is to eliminate minor variation is scoring and to group results in meaningful cohorts in which students’ performance can be more objectively understood.

Weighted GPA allows us to accurately weigh and reward the efforts in more important areas.

Score Groups
100% - 94% A+ 4.0
93% - 86% A 3.7
85% - 80% B+ 3.3
79% - 74% B 3.0
73% - 66% C+ 2.7
65% - 60% C 2.3
59% - 54% D+ (Pass) 2.0
53% - 46% D (Fail) 1.7
45% - 40% E (Bad Failure) 1.3
Weighted Grade Points

Idea of the weighted GPA is to reward the effort based on degree of difficulty as well as the workload.


Let’s say there’s hypothetical photography course consisting of 8 credits

Lighting Module - 4 Credits

Capture Module – 2 Credit

Processing Module = 1 Credit

Presentation Module = 1 Credit


A student scores following marks for each of the modules :

Lighting - C (2.7)

Capture – A- (3.7)

Processing - A (4)

Presentation – B (3.3)


Calculation of the Weighted Grade Points is done by multiplying the Grade Point Score by the number of credits in each of the modules.

Lighting = 2.7 x 4 = 10.8

Capture = 3.7 x 2 = 7.4

Processing = 4 x 1 = 4.0

Presentation= 3.3 x 1 = 3.3

Total = 10.8 + 7.4 + 4.0 + 3.3 = 25.5

Final GPA and the interpretation of performance

To calculate the final GPA score the total weighted GPA score is divided by number of total Credits

25.5/8 = 3.18

Final GPA Score = 3.18

The student has scored an overall B for the entire course despite having an A+, A and a B+ because of the poor performance in the heaviest and therefore the most important module.