Master's degree, 2nd year - Aging and handicap: motion and adaptation

Professional Master's degree - Science of motricity

         Specialty: Aging and Handicap: Motion and Adaptation (VHMA)                                      


Society is faced with three challenges today:

  • Aging of the population and prevention of dependence,
  • Respect of people with reduced mobility and preservation of social integration,
  • Musculoskeletal disorders and workstation improvement

This professional master's degree wants to give a pragmatic answer to these challenges by professionalizing the interface between the world of  human motricity disorders and that of solutions likely to limit their consequences.

The course objective  is to develop competences on human motion as taught in the STAPS, physiotherapy, ergotherapy, psychomotricity  or ergonomics classes.

The professional objective is to train healthcare engineers able to  make a diagnosis and offer relevant solutions to support, maintain and/or restore the conditions of mobility and social or professional integration.

This course also meets the needs of those already committed professionals or volunteers who wish to boost their practice by way of continuing education.

1st year master's degree (M1):

Jointly operated by UFRSTAPS Lacretelle (Paris-5 University) and Orsay (Paris-11 University):

Course director at Paris 5: Marie-Martine Ramanantsoa  marie-martine.ramanantsoa @

Secretary: Sylvie Bordeau  sylvie.bordeau @

Course director at Paris 11: Alexandra Perrot  alexandra.perrot @

Secretary : Caroline Bois  caroline.bois @ 

2nd year master's degree (M2)

The second year is operated by the medical UFR at Paris-Sud 11

Course director: Olivier Gagey   olivier.gagey @

Research director: Jean Bertsch jean.bertsch @

Secretary: Myriam Pinson   myriam.pinson @


                                                     Preventing, preserving, compensating

The spectacular lengthening of the lifespan and the need to preserve its quality has generated a new economic, social or medical approach.  Compelling conditions, rather strong at times, related to the urban environment and public transport system are now omnipresent.. Not far from the medical field, the prevention of dependence has become a major stake.

This professional master's degree originates in the conviction that the prevention of dependence is closely related to the safeguarding of people's mobility. New technological tools were created to reach the objective of  improved adapted physical and cognitive activities, and environmental and living conditions. New professional fields are now opening.

The ambition of the VHMA  master's degree is to develop professional skills at the interface of two worlds, i.e. the world of people whose mobility is reduced or threatened and the professionals who, one way or another, deal with it; and the world of creators and trouble shooters. Connections between these two worlds are many but hardly structured . Our specific objective is thus to contribute to establish a “functional diagnosis” in a given environment and to offer practical solutions in terms of relevant individual or collective assistance or  surroundings improvement.

To reach this goal, a high level professional training is necessary. It must have two complementary objectives. A thorough study of motion, its physiology and disorders, will help students assess mobility disorders related to age or handicap in a given environment.

Knowing existing tools and technologies  will make it possible to propose and contribute to implement relevant technical solutions that will prevent decompensation, preserve mobility or compensate for the functional consequences of these disorders.

Target subjects

Three types of individuals will benefit from the skills learned in this master's degree: seniors, people with disabilities, workers whose aptitude for work is threatened by developing musculoskeletal degenerative disorders.

Target students

This master's degree is primarily open to graduates in STAPS, physiotherapy and ergonomics who share the same interest for motion management. For the same reason, psychomotricians, ergotherapists or ergonomists are welcome.

During the first year, students acquire an in-depth knowledge of motion science and explore functional disorders due to age or handicap.. Environmental factors are thoroughly studied. Second year students will assess situations of motor handicap, the mechanisms of loss of autonomy as well as the relevant techniques and strategies to cure it.

Returning students interested in continuing education will be able to improve their professional skills.


Insertion in a professional environment is a crucial step . A 4 to 6 month Internship  is done during the second year, it helps students put their knowledge to the test of  facts and helps them make relevant final decisions.

Partners and on-site instructors may be:

  • companies actively involved in recruiting, or being involved with, people with reduced mobility (contact: director of human resources)
  • companies and corporate unions implementing specific technologies of assistances to people with reduced or threatened mobility.
  • life care institutions for elderly and/or handicapped people (contact: head nurse, institution director, head physiotherapist)
  • parapublic or private homecare institutions (contact: homecare manager)
  • local government agencies (contact: social worker)

This list is only indicative.

The student's final dissertation should prove his / her ability to analyze a specific problem and offer solutions, in accordance with his / her own professional career plan.

A window on the professional world

This course will prove relevant only if it is largely open onto the professional world.. A  significant number of instructors come from institutions, associations and corporations.

Application form to be submitted prior to September 15, 2009 at UFRSTAPS- Orsay.