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MDes International Design Strategy / Africa Studio

  • // Initial Education
  • // Program taught in French
  • // Cotonou, Benin

Discover the Beninese culture through a two-year MDes program, and obtain a French certified degree

This MDes program leads to the master’s level degree (Diplôme de design) certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education.

Benin is undergoing rapid development of its territory and the digital transition of its companies, placing urban planning and societal design at the heart of the Africa Studio’s challenges.

In this programme, taught in French, students will work in multicultural teams on projects focusing on societal, ecological and environmental issues and will try to answer the question of how to put design at the service of the population and its surroundings.

In partnership with the Africa Design School, the first design school in West Africa based in Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin.


The MDes programs, established over two years, are organized in four semesters validated by 30 ECTS each. A consequent and increasing personal working time is expected for each module.

Semester 1
Students spend this semester abroad in an internship as a junior designer (13 weeks minimum).

The goal of this semester for students is to highlight and expand professional knowledge in the context of another culture.

Semester 2
During this semester, students learn how to manage complex design projects, deepen their knowledge of the economic, social and cultural aspects of the field covered in their program, build and apply a methodology and support their end-of-term project. studies, the subject of which they themselves define.

Teaching, delivered in the form of projects in partnership with industry, workshops, lectures, conferences and professional meetings includes the following compulsory credits:
• Design and complexity project
• Workshop to define the end of studies project
• Prospective design project
• Seminar methodologies
• Innovation seminar
• Intellectual property
• Seminar specific to the theme of the program
• Introduction to research workshop
• Professionalisation / lab
• Contests
• TOEIC preparation
• Preparation for the end of studies project, complementary seminar
• Memory preparation workshop

Semester 3
Continuation and finalization of the end-of-studies project summarizing all the professional skills acquired. It can be conducted in collaboration with a company and / or research laboratory of a partner university. This personal end-of-studies project must be related to the program in which students are enrolled.
Supervision is ensured in the form of workshops under the direction of a referent designer, to which punctual speakers are associated. Writing a thesis in the theme of the project.

• Initiation to law
• introduction to management
• End of studies project workshop
• Memory Workshop
• Professionalization & lab
• Competitions

Semester 4
The study program ends with a minimum of sixteen weeks (and a maximum of six months) internship within a company, in France or abroad.
Trainees work as junior designers and support all or part of a project.
The student must demonstrate his ability to integrate into a team, manage a project and develop all the sequences of the project for its smooth running. It allows the student to articulate all of his studies with what will be his first professional experience.
Depending on the professional project of the student, this internship can also take place within a company that the student will create, or even within a research laboratory.

Admission requirements

> Academic requirements

This program is open to all applicants who either:

• hold a Bachelor’s Degree in design or equivalent, or

• have completed at least three years of undergraduate studies in design or equivalent, equating to at least 180 ECTS credits

You may apply before actually receiving the degree or having completed your undergraduate studies. However, admission will only take effect once the degree is obtained or the undergraduate credits have been validated.
Applicants whose level we assess to be insufficient may be recommended to follow a semester or a full year in our 3rd year of DN MADE / International Class before entering the master’s program.

> Language requirements

If you are not a native English speaker, we ask that you provide proof of your English proficiency (minimum level of 600 points at the TOEIC test or equivalent).

Not mandatory for the programs taught in English

> How to apply?

How? Application can only be done online on our application website

When? Applications are open from November 8, 2021 to June 30, 2022 for the academic year 2022-2023.

They are organized in 7 sessions:

December session: until December 15, 2021

January session: from December 16, 2021 to January 31, 2022

February session: from February 1 to February 28, 2022

March session: from March 1 to March 31, 2022

April session: from April 1 to April 30, 2022

May session: from May 1 to May 31, 2022

June session: from June 1 to June 30, 2022

How much does it cost? Once you have filled out your personal data, you will be required to pay a non-refundable inscription fee of 50€ to cover the administrative costs of your admission process. This payment is only possible by credit card or Paypal and is fully secured.

Selection process

1. Online application and payment of the application fees (€50);

2. Uploading all the required documents for application;

3. Application file review and interview if your application file is accepted;

4. Publication of the admissions results at the end of each admission session;

More information about the selection process

We are committed to welcome students within the Brazil Studio but we remain subject to Brazilian legislation and to the health situation.

> Tuition fees 2022

French students and European Union students : €7,700 per year.
Non-European Union students : €9,000 per year.

+ CVEC (Student and campus life contribution): €92

> Scholarships

Teaching staff

Deputy Executive Director
Stéphane Gouret

Africa Studio program coordinator
Tymélia Zanifé

Job prospects and further education

> International career prospects

This program trains students to become global players who can understand Benin context better, and most of all, improve the ability to design for clients and employers from other cultures. It is a living experience that will change its participants, often opening up unexpected, exciting international career opportunities.

> Master’s degree in design

As all our master programs, the MDes International Design Strategy / Africa Studio leads to the Master’s level degree in design, certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and registered in the Registre National des Certifications Professionnelles (the French directory for vocational qualifications or RNCP) as a Level 7 Master’s degree.

To know more about "Le Diplôme de design bac +5", please check out Our degrees’ page.

> Further education

The Master’s level degree confers the "Grade de master", and you can pursue your education at a PhD level.


Africa Design School: a design school that is getting things moving in Africa

// 05/05/2021

A meeting with Aïda Ahouanmenou, deputy director of the Africa Design School. Founded two years ago in Benin, the school has about 50 students. Projects, ambitions and teaching methods at the Africa ...

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