MDes Sustainable Cities / Mutations of the Built Environment

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

A postgraduate program in two years specialized in Mutaions of the Built Environment, a single master’s degree in design

Aurélien Ballandras / Loire river overflight / Peculiar footbridge and housing to rediscover the Loire river

The MDes Mutations of the Built Environment explores the concept of accessibility and co-design to create sustainable and innovative spaces, products and services, in all areas of application. It is based on a human-centered and participatory approach, within a universal design (Design for all).

Main themes

  • Sustainable projects management
  • Conception technics focused on the user
  • Architecture
  • Public space
  • Spatial design for event management
  • Furniture

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The program includes courses like project management (territorial contexts and issues, social issues related to the sustainable city, identity...) and design techniques focusing on the user (civic participation, representations, user-centered design / design for all, regulations, eco-design...).

One group taught in English
One group taught in French

Admission requirements

> Academic requirement

These programs are 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 600 points at the TOEIC test or equivalent for programs taught in French).

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. You will have to provide any certificate of French language you may already have or you can indicate your current level of French using the CEFR self assessment grid.

A minimum level of CEFR B2 in French is however highly recommended for non-native speakers who wish to apply for a MDes taught in French language.

> How to apply ?

How ? Application can only be done online.
When ? Applications are open from October 13, 2017 to June 24, 2018
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 2018 : 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 the partner institutions is taught in French. A minimum level of CEFR B2 is recommended to be able to follow the courses.

Teaching staff

Head of program
Florent Orsoni, Director of the Sustainable Cities Design Lab

Educational Coordinator
Christine Vignaud

Job prospects and further education

> Areas of application

  • Working space
  • Housing environment
  • Public space
  • Spatial design for event management
  • Furniture
  • Signage
  • Scenography
  • New urban services

> 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.

To know more about this diplome, check out the Our degrees page.



Banque Populaire Atlantique, COGEDIM, Groupe Bouygues Immobilier, La Poste, Nantes Métropole Habitat, Normall, Sigma Informatique, Tarkett.

Educational institutions

INNOVATHEQUE (center of innovative design material research)
Institute for Human Centered Design

Public institutions

Ministry of Culture and Communication, Department of Loire-Atlantique, City of Nantes, Nantes Metropole, DREAL Pays de la Loire (Pays de la Loire Regional Directorate for the Environment, Development and Housing), Pays de la Loire Region , SAMOA (the company for the redevelopment of the western Atlantic urban area), Ecology, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Transport & Accomodation, AURAN (Nantes Metropole Urban Planning Agency), City of Saint Nazaire, CARENE-Saint Nazaire Agglomération


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