Study in France

Study In France ECAM Rennes


Before entering higher education, a student has to get through three educational cycles: kindergarten, for 3-to-5-year-old children (optional); primary school, for 6-to-10-year-old children (mandatory); secondary school, divided into junior high schools (11 to 15 years old) and senior high schools (16 to 18 years old) (mandatory). The completion of this education is satisfied by a series of exams leading to a diploma (Baccalauréat or A-levels), ideally obtained at the age of 18 (if no classes were repeated).


General characteristics of Engineering Education in France


A competitive system where the scientific baccalauréat is prevalent

Competition and selection are strongly connected to any engineering education. Selection occurs: either by the competitive examinations at the end of preparatory classes (leading to most prestigious engineering schools), - or immediately after the A-level, based on students' grades and interviews, - or after a few years at university, or after receiving one's Higher National Diploma.


An Engineer degree A-levels + 5 years of study

All engineering programmes which are accredited by the CTI (Commission des Titres d'Ingénieurs) lead to the Engineer Degree after a curriculum corresponding to a level of 5 years of higher education, after the A-level. Within these five years, the first two years aim at giving the students basic scientific training, and a work methodology (preparatory classes, first years of five-year engineering schools, or Higher National Diploma).

  • Preparatory classes : competitive examinations for entering engineering schools are prepared within preparatory classes of lycées («classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles scientifiques»). Preparation lasts two years after the A-level or three years if the student decides to repeat the second year (the year called «mathématiques spéciales»). Studies in preparatory classes are particularly difficult, because of the intense effort required and instill character to those students who were able to sustain such efforts.
  • Engineering training then follows for three years. (about 3000 hours) and includes :
    • scientific training, with many different subjects
    • technical training, more or less bound to a large application sector (chemistry, mechanics, electronics...),
    • diversified training (about 20 to 30 % of the allotted time), in foreign languages, economics (economic computations useful for engineers), liberal arts
    • practical training, very important, with short or long internships within companies (with usually at least one personal project at the end of studies, more or less similar to an actual industrial case study).


Schools  continually update their program of studies in order to best meet current job market/company needs related to education/training.