L’École de design Nantes Atlantique offers several types of degree program, depending on the level of studies and the course chosen.
Le Diplôme de design bac+5 : a truly recognized master’s degree in design
L’École de design Nantes Atlantique is one of the very few design school(s) to have obtained certification from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research for its Master’s degree in design. The certification was renewed in 2010 and 2016. This degree is also registered in the Registre National des Certifications Professionnelles (the French directory for vocational qualifications or RNCP) as a Level I Master’s degree.
All degrees certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research are guaranteed by the State. They are awarded by the schools on behalf of the State and, in return, the training programs are subject to additional monitoring and assessment.
A certified degree is equivalent to a university master’s programs in France or abroad. It also allows students to receive equivalency credentials for foreign qualifications. In the international sphere, this quality certification gives a school the credibility needed to conclude cooperation agreements with top international universities.
The authorization to issue a certified degree is granted by the ministry, for a period of up to 6 years following the assessment of the training progams. Schools must resubmit their application periodically. The school’s MDes degree was assessed again in 2016 by the Haut Conseil pour l’Evaluation de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement supérieur (the French evaluation agency for research and higher education, or HCERES), and received the highest grade possible.
The Bachelor’s degree in design
The full design degree is based on a 5-year period of study, with no intermediate status. However, after 3 years of study, the school issues a certificate stating the number of European credits (ECTS) acquired, which allows students to obtain equivalency of their 3 years of study in other establishments.
3-year vocational diploma
Vocational training in design will be based from 2019 onwards on a new 3-year curriculum leading to a national diploma in arts & crafts and design (DN MADE). This new curriculum in Interior Design, Product Design and Digital Design is organised partly in apprenticeship.
2-year vocational diplomas
The BTS (Brevet de technicien supérieur) is a national diploma of French higher education and takes 2 years after the baccalauréat or high school certificate. The diploma is awarded subject to a national examination. They are organized exclusively in French and as a vocational training program in the school’s Vocational Training Center dedicated to creation and innovation (CFA). BTS diplomas will be replaced by a new diploma in 2019, DN MADE.
1-year vocational degree
This is also a national diploma of French higher education. This diploma takes 1 year after a 2-year vocational diploma. Although this diploma may in certain circumstances give access to a Vocational Master’s program, its purpose is primarily to prepare the student to enter the work market directly.
Master’s degree in design or BTS? The differences between short-term and long-term studies
Short-term studies allow students to acquire a strong creative and technical grounding, particularly in apprenticeship programs where skills are put into practice in the course of real projects. These diplomas lead to positions such as qualified technician, assistant designer or assistant interior designer. However, a large proportion of graduates from these courses choose to continue their studies.
Long-term studies offer other opportunities and open doors to positions of responsibility in companies or in research. These courses also offer a valuable experience working or studying abroad, and the recognition of degrees offers interesting prospects for short and medium-term career development.