International mobility > Reception of the foreign students

Presentation of the training

The main curriculum is organized over 5 years divided into 10 semesters, with the aim of obtaining a Bachelors Degree in 3 years and a Masters Degree in 5 years. Students are encouraged to do an internship in an architect firm and to spend a year or a semester abroad. In 2014 ENSA Nantes had 50 agreements with schools and universities mainly in Europe but also in South America, Asia and Canada. Currently we are trying to establish new partnerships since many students are interested in discovering other countries and cultures.

ENSA Nantes also proposes four post-graduate degrees in town planning and technical skills, scenography skills, ship construction and a specific curriculum with an Engineering School to obtain a dual architecture/engineering degree. One research laboratory can also receive students following a doctoral degree. ENSA Nantes is one of the founder members of Alliance, an academic partnership between the École Centrale de Nantes (engineering school) and Audencia Nantes (management school).

Bachelors degree curriculum

During the first 3 years the curriculum is highly structured and intensive:

Students are intended to develop basic conceptual skills in design, visual representation and to initiate and strengthen their scientific culture related to architecture (study of structural concepts and systems, computer skills) but also their knowledge of the history and theory of architecture, and cultural and social analysis.

During 4 semesters they have to participate in art workshops to develop their creativity.

The design studio proposes different scales of program from the house to the apartment building and small public buildings (library, social center etc.). Some studios focus on projects involving public spaces and landscape. Half of the teaching time is taken up by the design studio. The other part of the curriculum focuses on theoretical and technical courses (history and culture, building technology, arts) and the related workshops.

  • Year 1 - fall semester: architecture studio: initiation / scientific culture and technical bases 1 / history of architecture 1 / drawing, initiation to model making and computer assisted design
  • Year 1 - spring semester: architecture studio: house projects with reference to houses of the masters of modern architecture, study trip to Paris / scientific culture and technical skills 2 / history of architecture 2, initiation to social sciences / art workshop 1
  • Year 2 - fall semester: architecture studio: inventive structures or in specific contexts / Structural systems / history of architecture 3, urban history 1, case study in urban planning / art workshop 2
  • Year 2 - spring semester: architecture studio: project on collective housing / ambient environment sciences / history of architecture 4, urban history 2, study trip to Rome / art workshop 3
  • Year 3 - fall semester: architecture studio: urban studies and public spaces, study trip to a European city / sustainable construction 1/ social housing history and sociology / art workshop 4
  • Year 3 - spring semester: architecture studio: choice between 4 studios on landscape or small public facilities, sustainable project / sustainable construction 2/ legislation and studies in urban planning

The students going abroad in Masters year 1 have successfully completed this basic, structured curriculum; they also have a diploma in a foreign language.

Masters Degree curriculum

During the Masters, each student has to organize his/her unique learning program through the choice of the design studios, the theoretical lectures and the master thesis seminar on a specific theme. Masters 1 and Masters 2 students work together in the studios.

The ENSA Nantes curriculum is organized into four ‘study departments’ with studios, lectures and seminars. These study departments focus on different subjects: urban analysis and architecture projects, structures and morphology, art and architecture, computer assisted representation, etc.

During each semester (fall and spring) students can choose between 8 studios and 5 or 6 elective courses or workshops in Masters.

The following list in French with the English translation aims to clarify the different propositions of the DE Domaine d’Etudes (Study Field)

  • DE1 la condition métropolitaine (metropolitan situations) architecture / urban analysis and project / social sciences and history [fall semester a studio in English]
  • DE2 cultures constructives et stratégies de projet (building dynamics and architecture strategies) architecture / heritage / building skills
  • DE3 projeter: du savoir-faire au penser le faire (art and project methodology) art / architecture / town planning
  • DE4 figures forms fictions (architecture / morphology / ephemeral projects)

Incoming students can choose theoretical or technical subjects or art workshops from the entire program curriculum. For the design studio, they work at their own level, Bachelors year 3 or Masters.

A more precise idea of the teaching program can been seen through the link to the Student Booklet ("livret de l’étudiant”)