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LMD Glossary


European Credits: By validating course semesters, students are awarded transferrable credits which correspond to courses, internships, tutorials or personal work. Each semester represents 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). The students can pass these credits over (ECTS) to other institutions within the European higher education system, whether in France or all over Europe.

Bachelor’s degree: The first higher education degree after the French baccalaureate covers 3 years (L1, L2, L3 general degree or L3 professional degree), i.e 6 semesters of 30 credits ECTS each, amounting to 180 credits. It is awarded for the course cluster studied.

Master’s degree (M1, M2): a 5-year higher training course/education after the baccalaureate in 4 semesters granting 120 credits after a bachelor’s degree. The second year of the Master’s degree is either work-oriented or research-oriented. The master’s degree is awarded for the track studied.

Doctorate: Baccalaureate + 8 years of studies, for holders of a research Master’s degree, awarded for original research work carried out within a research unit and which attests to the student’s competence in conducting high quality research work.

Top-down approach of degree organization in France:

Field (Domaine): cluster of disciplines. Training fields are determined by each university depending on their specificities and clusters of excellence, but are subject to the approval by the Ministry of Higher Education. The UT Capitole training offer concerns the fields of Law – Economics – Management.

Track (Parcours):  A progressive and coherent range of courses organized in semesters, expected to enable each student to build up his/her own training program and career project.

Course cluster (Mention): Subdivision of a field. The diploma awarded to the student mentions in written the specificities of the course. The Universities are free to offer and organize their course clusters as they wish, provided they have been authorized and certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education. 

Major (Spécialité): Subdivision of the course cluster. Course clusters are organized in majors to enable students to gain more specific competences. There is a choice of majors for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

VAE is the French acronym for the Validation of Learning from acquired skills and experience. This scheme entitles anyone to apply for a training program or to get all or part of a certification as listed on the National Register of Vocational Certifications (degree, certificate) based on his/her professional and personal experience.