Understanding the French System

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University-level studies in France have recently been re-organized to reflect the LMD system, a three-tier system that most European countries have adopted in an effort to promote coherence in higher education across borders.

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ECTS and the LMD System

In France and within the European Union, university-level studies are separated into three basic levels, each corresponding to a certain number of ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits. The credit system, created in 1989 within the ERASMUS program, allows students to transfer the credits earned for courses completed and objectives attained during the course of a study program. International students may then receive credit at their home university for the work completed while studying in another country.

Under this system, one academic-year of full-time study corresponds to the equivalent of 60 ECTS.

 

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The three types of university degrees in France are:
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  • LicenceSimilar to a Bachelor's Degree, a License requires 180 ECTS (or three years of study). 
  • Master: Can be obtained after an additional 2 years of study (or 120 ECTS)
  • DoctorateRequires a total of 8 years of study and research (an additional 3 years after completing one's Master's)

 

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LMD system
Légende

Campus France illustration of the LMD system