Care / MDes Social Design

  • // Initial Education
  • // Program taught in English
  • // Nantes (France)

A postgraduate program in two years, taught in English, specialized in Social Design, a single master’s degree in design

Program specially tailored for students from all over the world who want to integrate our MDes

This program aims to explore the social issues through a participatory and co-constructed design approach. Its purpose, through Social innovation actions, is to improve quality of life, well-being, and health, focusing on the most vulnerable populations. Besides field research work, the educational program develops participatory methodologies adapted to the studied systems and co-constructing solutions rooted in reality.

Main themes

  • Economic patterns : companies’ long-term success and sustainability, design as a strategic tool in the business;
  • Global design : keeping in mind the social and environmental responsibility of design;
  • The concept of « second project »: the devices are conceived to leave a margin of negotiation and harmonization between users and their ecosystem.

Apply to the MDes programs


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
This first semester is dedicated to adapting to the French cultural environment and to teaching methods specific to the school in a multidisciplinary approach.

• Design and complexity project
• Prospective design project
• Methodology seminar
• Innovation seminar
• Intellectual property
• Seminar specific to the chosen program
• Introduction to research workshop
• Preparation for the end of studies project,
• Thesis preparation workshop
• TOEIC preparation

Semester 2
Students spend this semester abroad, either in academic exchange or internship as a junior designer (13 weeks minimum).

The objective of this semester for students studying at a partner school is to discover other teaching methods, other tools and approaches of the design project.
For students in internship, the goal is to highlight and expand professional knowledge in the context of another culture.

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
• Following the thesis
• 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.



Program taught in English

> The Care Design Lab

The research topics of the Design Lab are as follows:
• health: prevention and care path;
• the social: inclusion, precariousness, service ...;
• Social and environmental responsibility: social, environmental and economic development.

The projects address three approaches to environmental, health, social and societal research themes:
• Protection for better risk management,
• Optimization for innovation through efficiency,
• Narration to make sense.

The Design Lab is a multidisciplinary incubator of innovative projects. He crosses the methods and the answers provided by the various fields of design (graphic, interactivity, scenography, space, product, service, etc.) in order to propose efficient devices.
Each project is co-constructed with the users, thanks to immersions in the contexts where our partners act to reveal the problems. These actors in the field provide access to the first sources of knowledge and give great relevance to projects in design.

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 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 700 points at the TOEIC test or equivalent for programs taught in English).

While not mandatory for the programs taught in English, a certain command of French language is recommended for daily life in France and integration purposes.

> How to apply ?

How ? Application can only be done online.

When ? From October 12, 2018 to June 2, 2019
Session 1: Online applications from October 12, to December 2, 2018
Session 2: Online applications from December 3 2018 to February 3, 2019
Session 3: Online applications from Februart 4 to March 17, 2019
Session 4: Online applications from March 18 to April 28, 2019
Session 5: Online applications from April 29 to June 2, 2019
Session 6: Online applications from June 3 et June 30, 2019

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
The selection process is organized as follow:
1. online application and payment of the application fees,
2. sending all the required documents for application,
3. application file review,
4. if your application is accepted and if necessary, a face-to-face or skype interview will be organized.
> Tuition fees

Tuition fees 2019 : 7 700 € per year.

Scholarships: We recommend you contact the French embassy in your country, your local CampusFrance agency.

Apply to the MDes programs

Double degree

During their fifth year students can prepare a double degree to improve certain skills.

Master’s Degree in Business Administration, delivered by the Business Administration Institute of the University of Nantes. Open to all the MDes programs taught in France (except the MDes UX Design option Design & Virtual Reality).

This program taught by a partner institution is in French. A minimum level of CEFR B2 is recommended to be able to follow the courses.

Teaching staff

Head of program
Clémence Montagne, director of the Care Design Lab

Educational Coordinator
Simon Boussard

Job prospects and further education

> Continuing your studies

Depending on their command of French, in 2nd year of MDes, students have the possibility to pursue in 2nd year of postgraduate studies:

  • in the Social Design program taught in English
  • in the Health & Social Innovation program taught in French

> Master’s degree in design

As all our master programs, this one leads you to the Master’s 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 I Master’s degree.


Armor Group, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, Décathlon (Artengo), Del Piscines, Gémo, Linak, Système U

Competitiveness clusters & Public Institutions
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Maine et Loire, Pays de la Loire Region, Unis-Cités, Loire-Atlantique Departement, Nantes Métropole


Portrait of Han Xiao

// 01/04/2018

Han Xiao, a 2nd year MDes Health & Social Innovation student tells us about her experience at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique.

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