Rennes 2 Doctoral Schools

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Our University is home to a number of new doctoral schools. Three of the doctoral schools available to students are directed by Rennes 2 University.

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Doctoral Programs at Rennes 2 University

A doctorate degree is prepared in an accredited doctoral school (ED), which is the French equivalent of a graduate school but exclusively at the PhD level.  Undertaken within a recognized research unit following a national evaluation, under the responsibility of a thesis supervisor attached to that school, or two supervisors (especially for co-tutelles). Doctoral enrollment is pronounced by the head of the university on the proposal of the director of the school, director of the research unit and ED Council.

Doctoral Schools (EDs)

The French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation has approved a bi-regional system in Brittany and Pays de la Loire, which means that Rennes 2 University can deliver the doctoral degree in three EDs in which the majority of its PhD students are enrolled. 

Rennes 2 University heads the Doctoral School for Arts, Literature and Languages ​​(ALL); and co-heads the Schools of Societies, Time, Territories (STT) and Education, Language, Interactions, Cognition, Clinic (ELICC). A list of doctoral specializations is available at the bottom of this page. 

  • Arts, Humanities, Languages (ALL)

The Arts, Humanities and Languages (ALL) doctoral school is the only one directly supported and managed by Rennes 2 University out of the 11 doctoral schools coordinated by the Rennes Doctoral Centre and the doctoral school for Brittany and Pays de la Loire. It has 400 PhD students – nearly 200 of whom are registered in our institution –, and is backed, for Rennes 2, by 7 research teams from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Communication and the Faculty of Languages. The ALL school is also associated with the National School of Architecture (ENSAB) in Brittany, and the Higher School of Art and Design, Tours –  Angers – Le Mans (TALM). Highly multidisciplinary, it comes under the field that is traditionally referred to as the “humanities”. The building blocks of its identity and unity are the training courses, seminars and doctoral days in which all partner universities participate (Rennes 2, University of Western Brittany, University of Southern Brittany, Universities of Nantes, Angers, Le Mans). Identity and unity are also values made visible by the PhD student journal: TransversALL. Available in print and digital format, its first two issues came out in February and September 2019 (

Director: Pierre-Henry Frangne (Rennes 2 University)


  • ED Education, Language, Interactions, Cognition, Clinical (ELICC)

ELICC is a multi-campus (Angers, Brest, Le Mans, Nantes, Rennes, Vannes) and inter-regional doctoral school whose head office is located in Nantes. Since 1  September 2017, it has been coordinating and providing training for PhD students (on average 350) in 9 different specializations. It is supported by 12 research units in the fields of philosophy, educational sciences, psychology, Science and Technology of Physical Sports Activities (STAPS) and didactics. There are 130 staff with research supervision accreditation (HDR), and an average of sixty theses defended each year.

This school was the result of a restructuring that provided the opportunity to unify themes and research issues around cognition, language, didactics and education. ELICC’s narrow thematic scope enables it to project a strong identity and visibility in its missions.

Assistant Director: Élisabeth Richard (Rennes 2 University)


  • Societies, Time, Territories (STT)

The Societies, Times, Territories doctoral school brings together 23 social sciences specializations and hosts 570 PhD students (190 of whom are in Rennes) in 13 Research Units (8 of which are located in Rennes). STT’s diversity is enhanced by a genuine collective dynamic that accompanies PhD students in their institutional path, provides them with interdisciplinary training, and encourages and organizes meetings between them, particularly during the annual residential seminar days. This residential seminar allows for real exchanges between PhD students and supervisors from different disciplines around issues that they sometimes have in common.

Director: Patrice Marcilloux (University of Angers)

Assistant Director: Philip Milburn (Rennes 2 University)


Three other doctoral schools also host PhD students from our university:

  • Law and Political Science (DSP)
  • Mathematics, Information and Communication Sciences and Technologies (MATHSTIC)
  • Biology, Health (BS)


PhD student research centres

  • ALEF (Arts, literatures, exchanges, borders) is a research centre (often referred to as "laboratoires" in French) for PhD students and young researchers that was created in 2011. ALEF is supported by four research units: CELLAM (Centre for the Study of Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures), APP (Arts: Practices and Poetics), PTAC (Practices and Theories of Contemporary Art), HCA (Art History and Criticism), and by the ALL (Arts, Humanities, Languages) doctoral school. The objective of the laboratory is to carry out interdisciplinary research by comparing different methodologies and bibliographical sources. Starting from a common notion, the aim is to observe the methodological and theoretical overlaps between the various disciplines so that the notion can be considered from a transversal perspective.
  • LaRASH (Laboratory for Associated Research in the Social Sciences) was created in September 2017 and brings together all PhD students and recent postdocs (in the first two years after their thesis defence) from the Research Units LP3C (general and cognitive psychology), RPpsy (psychopathology) and CREAD (educational sciences). Its aim is to promote transdisciplinary exchange between the PhD students of these three laboratories, in particular by intersecting epistemological approaches. LaRASH organizes scientific events and promotes training by, for, and towards human sciences research. larash [at] 


Doctoral specializations


Archaeology • Architecture • Applied Arts • Performing Arts (cinema, theatre, dance) • Visual Arts • Aesthetics and Art Philosophy • Art History (ancient, medieval, modern, contemporary, current) • Breton Languages, Literature and Culture • French Languages and Literature, French-language Literature • Ancient Languages and Literature • Applied Foreign Languages (LEA) • English Languages, Literatures and Civilizations, Irish Studies, American Studies, Cultural Studies • Arabic Languages, Literatures and Civilizations, Chinese Languages, Literatures and Civilizations • Germanic Languages, Literatures and Civilizations • Romance Languages, Literatures and Civilizations (Spanish Italian, Portuguese) • Slavic Languages, Literatures and Civilizations • Comparative Literatures • European and International Literatures and Cultures • Musicology • Art Sciences • Language Sciences and Language Teaching



Teaching (of languages, physical sports activities) • Ergonomics • Information and Communication • Computer Science • Philosophy • Psychology • Learning Sciences • Language Sciences • Science and Technology of Physical Sports Activities (STAPS)



Spatial Development and Urban Planning • Discourse Analysis • Anthropology • Archaeology• Archaeological Sciences • Architecture • Archivistics • Demography • Economics and Society • Environment • Epistemology and History of Sciences and Technology • Ethnology European and International Studies • Geography • Geomatics• History • Art History• Heritage• Information and Communication Sciences • Science and Technology of Physical Sports Activities (STAPS) • Socio-linguistics • Sociology • Tourism