French Education

French Education




Shwun Lai Than Thar

French Education System

France, the home of art and architecture, the country full of breath-taking places, as well as with a wonderful education. Most students, including me, desire the idea of attending top universities in a chic elegant city. Though the system seems slightly complicated, it in fact, consists of only three stages: primary education, secondary education and higher education.

Primary Education

Although daycare and kindergarten are not mandatory in France, all students must start their school at the age of 6. Similarly to US primary schools, their schools consist of 5 years of study, approximately from age 6-11.

Secondary Education

After primary school, students continue their two stages of Secondary school.

  1. The collège(middle school)- four years of study
  2. The lycée (high school)- final three years of study

Then, students take an exam to achieve the baccalauréat (bac) qualification (high school diploma) . Higher Education

This is where things start to get a little bit complicated. After high school, Students go for either Vocational diploma or an academic diploma.

Vocational diplomas are more practical and career-based. There are: the DUT and BTS, two-year technology-oriented degrees. BTS courses are offered by high schools, whereas DUTs are awarded by universities. You can find more information about them here:

Academic diploma is simple; higher education institutions such as Universities, Grandes écoles(public and private institutions), and specialised schools offer the LMD framework which stands for licence, master, doctorate:

The Licence (bachelor) : three-year course of study, equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.

The Master : two-year course of study equivalent to a master’s degree.

The Doctorate : Students with a master’s degree can continue an additional three years’ coursework to qualify for a doctorate (doctoral-degree equivalent).

For more information, you can visit

Note - The number of years spent studying full-time university education is symbolized by the French term of level of study, or "LMD."

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