Master in France: features, areas of study and admission


Today we will tell you about one more popular direction in education abroad - master's program in France . Why is this country so popular among international students? What features in the educational system await you? How to enter a French university? About all this in our article. Recall that before that we wrote about the magistracy in Germany , Holland and England .

The higher education system of France is characterized by a wide variety of universities and disciplines offered. The master's program usually lasts 2 years, unlike, for example, the master's program in England, which is designed for 12 months without summer holidays. Graduate studies are divided into “scientific” and “professional”, as in many other universities in Europe.

Higher education in France is only available with a bachelor.

Unlike Russian higher education, which allows graduates of Russian universities some freedom of choice in subsequent employment, the French higher education system provides an initial idea of ​​what an applicant or student wants to do in the future.

Almost 300 thousand foreign students study in France. This country is one of the most popular for education abroad. France is also distinguished by the fact that in state universities the cost of tuition is the same for the French and for foreign citizens. In addition, foreigners can enjoy all kinds of student benefits - scholarships and grants, residence in a dormitory and social protection.

Master's programs in France are a great chance to improve your level of knowledge of the French language.

Higher education institutions

High Schools

High Schools (Grandes Ecoles) - are one of the features of the French higher education system. They are in fact opposed to the state system of higher university education in France and with great difficulty lend themselves to comparative classification at the international level. Education in higher schools is considered to be much more prestigious in France than in universities (which bear some imprint of a second-rate system, since they do not imply any selection on admission and operate on the principle of free entry and free education).

Higher schools exist in parallel with universities and are very different from them:

  • enrollment in higher education occurs only on the basis of entrance examinations;
  • higher schools - small educational institutions, the annual enrollment may be about 30-50 people, the list of specialties for which you can get education is less in higher schools than in universities;
  • they have very close ties with enterprises (some of them are essentially departmental universities);
  • higher education is paid.

Careful selection of candidates ensures a high level of professional training, graduates of these schools head large enterprises and are included in the managerial elite of France and other countries.

There are several types of higher schools: engineering, commercial, school of management, teacher, veterinary and so on.
Ecoles Superieures de Commerce or ESC are enrolled in higher education and management schools as TAGE-MAGE (in French) or GMAT (in English) as a result of entrance examinations .

Despite the fact that the state finances some higher schools, education in them is paid (with some exceptions). The cost of training is from 500 to 20,000 euros per year and above.


There are about 85 state universities in France. Thanks to state support, education in France is very affordable (almost free).

The structure of French universities is similar to the structure of Russian universities: training is conducted in faculties called UFR (Unité de Formation et de Recherches), in almost any field:

  • philology and languages,
  • exact sciences and technologies (physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science),
  • economic and social sciences (economics, management, law),
  • humanities and social sciences (history, sociology, art, etc.),
  • sports and physical activities,
  • the medicine,
  • theology and others

Some specializations can also be taught at specialized institutes opened at universities as faculties, for example:

  • at the IAE (Instituts d'Administration des Entreprises),
  • at the IUT (Instituts universitaires de technologie),
  • at IUP (Instituts Universitaires Professionnalisés) - training for industry and services (training for two or three years),
  • in IUFM (Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maitres) - only citizens of the European Union can enter these institutions.

For admission to French universities, entrance exams are not required, although this may be required for admission to a specialty at a specialized institute at the university.

Undoubtedly, the best universities in France, known throughout the world, are Ecole Normale Supérieure and Ecole Polytechnique .

France is one of the world leaders in the field of science and technological innovation, especially in such fields as aerospace sciences, transport, electronics, telecommunications, chemistry, biotechnology, health.

Technical science

In France, there are about 240 engineering schools offering master's programs confirming high competence in this field. The total duration of training for an engineering degree is 3 years. If a foreign student already has a university degree in engineering received at home, he can apply for admission to the 2nd year of three. To receive a French engineer diploma, a foreign student must study at an engineering school for at least two years.

Business and Management

According to the Financial Times ranking for 2014, 6 of the top 20 graduate programs in management are offered by French business schools such as HEC , INSEAD , EDHEC and EMLYON. All are aimed at applying the best management practices in a changing world. Many offer internships at international companies.


Master's program in France

The main requirement, as elsewhere in Europe, is a diploma of the first higher education. However, each university is free to establish additional rules for admission. In many state universities, competition for one or another master's program can be very high. In such cases, it rarely does without an invitation to an interview.

One of the mandatory requirements for entering French universities in French-language programs is a good knowledge of the French language. To do this, you must pass tests , for example, DELF or DALF .

The minimum required level at the time of submitting documents to the university is B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference .

Some French universities may accept candidates with a level of French knowledge lower than B2. In any case, information on the requirements for knowledge of the French language should be clarified on the websites of your chosen universities.

For training in master's programs in English, basic French knowledge is sufficient. However, it is necessary to confirm the level of knowledge of the English language (in case it is not native to you) by passing the TOEFL or IELTS test .

Continuing education in France

To continue your education in France, you do not need to go through a third-party procedure for confirming your diploma received in Russia: you must provide a French university of your choice with a notarized translation of your diplomas or statements about your academic performance (if you have not received a diploma yet).

Based on the documents submitted, the university itself decides to what level of French education the education you received in Russia corresponds to, i.e. what level of education in France you can claim.

We hope that the article was interesting and useful. The next time we continue the theme of education in France - will talk about tuition fees, grants and scholarships, residence and employment.

The author of the article is Davidenko Vyacheslav, the founder of the companyMBA Consult

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