In French universities, courses are taught in two formats
Lectures take place in amphitheatres that can hold up to several hundred people. A university teacher presents his or her lecture orally, while the students take notes.
Tutorial and practical work
Tutorials and practical work are courses in small groups of about 30 students. They provide a practical approach to the theoretical knowledge presented during the lectures.
In France, the academic year begins in September/October and ends in May/June according to the calendar of the Faculty Training and Research Units (UFR), schools or institutes where the courses are followed.
The year is divided into two semesters, separated by two weeks of holidays over Christmas and New Year (end of December-beginning of January).
A further three weeks of holidays are spread throughout the academic year.
Each academic year is separated by the summer holidays, lasting about two months (July-August).
Crédits ECTS – ECTS Credits
Since 2002, the French university system has been based on the Licence-Master-Doctorat (LMD) system. This system facilitates the equivalence of diplomas in Europe, thanks to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
The Degree System (Bachelor’s ,Master’s, Doctorate)
3 university degrees certify the stages of a student's education :
The Bachelor’s degree, also known as the undergraduate degree, prepared in 6 semesters (3 years)
The Master's degree, prepared in 4 semesters (2 years)
The Doctorate, for those who want to do research after their Master’s (3 years)
Each year of university studies is organised into 2 semesters, each worth 30 credits.
The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is a grading system developed by the European Union. It certifies the level of higher education of students and facilitates the recognition of qualifications within the European area.
One year of full-time study corresponds to 60 credits (30 credits per semester)
Bachelor's degrees are worth 180 credits (3 years)
Master's programmes are worth 120 credits (2 years)
Doctoral studies do not accrue ECTS credits
The LMD system means :
Courses that are better targeted towards employment opportunities
Diplomas recognised at European level
Increased potential for mobility
Decompartmentalisation of disciplines
Easier to resume studies at any time in one's life, wherever one may be