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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What is the duration of the "International Master's Programme on Circular Economy"?
A: The duration is usually four semesters including the obligatory mobility period/s, the master's thesis and all examinations.
Q: What is the workload per semester?
A: The average workload per semester is defined as 30 ECTS credits which is equivalent from 30 to 36 hours per week, calculated for 25 weeks.
Q: Can I apply for other EMJMDs beside CIRCLE?
A: Yes, you can apply for maximal three different EMJMDs, thus, you could submit your application for CIRCLE and for two other EMJMDs.

Q: What is the meaning of the abbreviation EMJMD?
A: EMJMD means "Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree", thus it means an Erasmus Mundus funded master programme with more than one degree awarded, like the CIRCLE programme.

Q: What is ECTS?
A: The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union (EU) and other collaborating European countries. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS credits that are equivalent to 1,500 - 1,800 hours of study in all countries irrespective of standard or qualification type and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the EU.
Q: What is the added value of a Joint Degree Programme?
A: After successful completion of the full programme, students will receive a double degree certificate according to the regulations in Annex II of the cooperation agreement depending on the student’s study path, and will also receive a diploma supplement.

Q: Which Bachelor Degree is required to be admitted?
A: Admission to this Master's Programme is  granted to persons holding an academic degree of at least 180 ECTS credits (bachelor’s degree or equivalent programme of at least 180 ECTS) in engineering, natural sciences, environmental sciences, economics or social sciences, including courses in mathematics/statistics and courses in environmental and systems sciences. For the bachelor's degree a minimum overall/average grade of B according to the ECTS grading system is necessary. 

Q: How do you select the CIRCLE students?
A: The CIRCLE admission committee will do a ranking by looking at the following criteria: GPA (grade Point average) of your BSc study; quality of your motivation letter; quality of your reference letters; English Language skills (TOEFL/IELTS score; Cambridge grade); any publications/posters and/or any work experience and/or any other completed BSc/MSc/Diploma Courses.

The following four criteria are used, with their maximum scores mentioned in brackets. For the first two criteria the grading system "very good" (three points); "good" (two points); "satisfying" (one point) and "not satisfying" (none points) will be applied. For the criterion "Recommendation Letters" the grading system "satisfying" (one point) and "non satisfying" (none points) will be applied. For the last criterion the grading systems "good" (two points); "satisfying" (one point) and "non satisfying" (none points) will be applied:

  • Grade of your Bachelor study (0-3)
  • Motivation letter (0-3)
  • Recommendation letters (0-1)
  • Additional information, such as relevant research or work experience (0-2)

As a result, the maximum score for an applicant is nine (9) points from each member in the CIRCLE Admission Committee. There are four such members. The CIRCLE applicant with the highest score will be ranked as first, the one with the second highest score as second etc. 

However, the requirements by the EU have to be considered, cf. the question below "Are there any regulations for the number of eligible students?".

Q: What is the ECTS grading system?
A: The ECTS grading system framework has been defined by the European Commission. Since many different grading systems co-exist in Europe and the world, and considering that interpretation of grades varies considerably from one country to another, if not from one institution to another, the ECTS grading scale has been developed in order to provide a common currency and facilitate the transfer of students and their grades. The ECTS grade is not meant to replace the local grades, but to be used optionally and additionally in order to effectively "translate" and "transcript" a grade from one institution to another. The ECTS grade is indicated alongside the mark awarded by the host institution. Furhter information can be found on the following website:
Q: Are the courses held in English?
A: Yes. You have to prove your knowledge of English language, please check the section "Requirements" at our website.
Q: Is it necessary to have language knowledge other than English?
It is not necessary to know other languages and all courses will be taught in English. However, we advise you to attend basic courses of the languages of the countries of the respective consortium members, where you intend to study.
Q: Can I start the programme only in the winter term?
A: Yes. The master programme always starts in the winter term.
Q: Are there any regulations for the number of eligible students?
A: Yes, the CIRCLE programme will select maximal 16 students per intake. Please note, that according to the Erasmus Mundus regulations, maximal three students per country (i.e. with the same nationality/citizenship) can be selected.
Q: Can I apply although I'm (fully) employed?
A: You can also apply for CIRCLE if you are employed. Please consider, however, that the programme involves four consecutive semesters of full-time study.
Q: Do you charge tuition fees?
A: Yes, we do. Please find the relevant information on our website.
Q: Is international experience relevant for the selection of the applicants?
A: Programme relevant international experience will be given consideration during the selection process.
Q: In which language do I have to hand in the required documents for my application?
A: All documents for the application procedure must be submitted in English.
Q: What is the abstract of bachelor's thesis?
A: The abstract of bachelor's thesis is a summary of the contents of your bachelor's thesis.
Q: For my bachelor's degree no bachelor's thesis was required; do I have to provide an abstract of bachelor's thesis?
A: No. However, you should upload a statement that no bachelor's thesis was required in order to get awarded the bachelor's degree.
Q: I don't have my Diploma yet, can I still apply for the programme?
A: You can apply for the programme. However, you should state in your application when you expect to get your degree. If you are selected by the committee, you need to have finished your degree by the time you register at your host university 1 for the CIRCLE programme.
Q: How do I have to prove my English proficiency?
A: Students must demonstrate a very high level of competence in English through the provision of either a completed bachelor or master’s programme studied in the following English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA or of one of the following language certificates: TOEFL 575 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based) or 95 (iBT); IELTS grade 7.0; Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (at least grade C), Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (score of at least 180). Please also take into consideration the specific requirements for Chalmers University of Technology.

Q: I will receive my language certificate after the application deadline. Can I hand it in after the deadline has closed?
A: As English proficiency is one of the requirements, thus, a selection criterion, the proof of English knowledge has to be provided before the selection meeting takes place in mid-February. If you are unable to obtain the language certificate by the application deadline, upload the confirmation that you are registered for an English exam or a statement on when you will provide the certificate. The language certificate must be sent to emcircle(at) once the deadline for submission has closed. The last deadline to submit the language certificate is February 15.

Q: My language certificate is older than two years. Do I have to hand in a new certificate?
A: Yes. The provided language certificates must not be older than 2 years wherefore the 2 years will be counted back from the start date of the application.
Q: What is a letter of recommendation?
A: The letter of recommendation evaluates the skills, work habits, and achievements of the student.
Q: Is there a template for the letters of recommendation?
A: No, there is no special template for the letters of recommendation. Your referee(s) may use their own letter template. Please note that a letter of recommendation must be written on official stationary, it must be signed and it must contain a date.
Q: If I wish to apply for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship do I have to submit an additional application?
A: No, you do not have to submit an additional application. With your application for the Erasmus Mundus Master "CIRCLE" you automatically apply for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship.
Q: When are the results of selections presented?
A: Please see our Application Timeline.
Q: What about my personal data and data protection issues?
A: Information relating to CIRCLE applicants (personal data) is collected and used in accordance with Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on "the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data". The CIRCLE applicant is informed that if he/she is selected (proposed for a scholarship, put on the reserve list, or enrolled on a self paying basis) his/her data may be used for the purposes of evaluating the Erasmus Mundus Programme and will be made available to the Agency, the EM National Structures, the EU Delegations and the Erasmus Mundus Student and Alumni Association, acting as stakeholders of the programme.

Q: I already have finished a Master's degree. Can I still apply?
A: Yes. Please upload the diploma and transcript of your BA programme. In addition you can also upload the documents of your MA programme.

Q: I have already completed a Master's degree within another Erasmus Mundus programme.
A: No.
Q: Do I have to provide my CV in Europass format?
A: We recommend it, but it is not a must. This is only a suggestion from our side.
Q: Do I have to apply separately to my preferred universities?
A: No, if your application is selected, you will receive further information for the admission process.
Q: What are the requirements for the letter of recommenadation?
A: We have no special requirements for the letters of recommendation, except that they have to be signed, must contain a date and must be on an official letterhead.
Q: My University does not use ECTS. How shoudl I transfer my credits to the ECTS system?
A: If your university does not use ECTS, you could state contact hours or your own credits. Please explain the system used in short comment field (e.g. how many credits/hours/courses are necessary to complete a full load semester). Some universities also have their conversion tables. For credit transfer from certain Asian countries, you could also use this website for reference (Credit conversion - Asian Universities - Asia Exchange).

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