In France, higher education is organised in accordance with the LMD system (Licence-Master-Doctorat). This system is common to university education in all European countries part of the Bologna process, including France. Every Licence and Master's is defined according to a field of study, a specialisation and a path.
The studies are organised into 3 levels (or grades):
Bachelor’s degree (Licence with 3 years of study): corresponding to 6 semesters and 180 ECTS credits
Master’s degree (2 years of study after the Bachelor’s degree): corresponding to 4 semesters and 120 ECTS credits
Doctorate (Ph.D.): 3 years of study after the Master’s degree
The professional Bachelor’s degree (Licence Professionnelle): students who have already two validated years of higher education. It allows students to have a professionalisation in order to get ready for a job.
There are two types of Master's: research Master's, which enable students to progress to a doctorate, and vocational Master's which prepare students for the world of work.
The Engineering Degree (diplôme d’ingénieur) is a national one. The national institute for engineering qualifications provides engineering schools with accreditation, thus enabling them to award these degrees.
The European Credit Transfer and accumulation System (ECTS) is used all over the European Union. Each course is worth a certain number of credits. The ECTS facilitates the recognition of international exchanges.
- a semester corresponds to 30 ECTS credits
- a French Licence degree (3 years, or 6 semesters) is equivalent to 180 ECTS credits