Art & Design

ENSA Dijon

Studies organisation

[pdf] Studies at ENSA Dijon 2023-2024


Art schools are committed to the process of European harmonisation in higher education leading to the organisation of studies at 3 levels (Bachelor, Master and PhD) and to the advancement and the homogeneity of curricula within the framework of the European Credits Transfer System (ECTS).

These credits correspond to a required amount of student work (class attendance, personal work, preparation for final evaluations and diplomas, internships). One credit corresponds to around 25-30 hours of work. Studies are organised into semesters, each representing 30 credits.

DNA (National Diploma of Art), for those specialised in Art or Design, corresponds to 180 credits (level BAC +3).

DNSEP (Higher National Diploma of Artistic Expression), specialised in Art or Design, takes place over 5 years and corresponds to 300 credits (level of BAC +5 and confers Master 2).


School Attendance

Class attendance is compulsory. Any absence must be reported to the co-ordinator and justifications given to the Pedagogical Secretary in charge of Student Administration. Attendance at classes, ARCs, workshops, follow-up workshops, talks etc is one of the conditions required to validate ECTS credits.

Any absence must be reported to the teacher concerned and the co-ordinator. Justification should be provided to the Pedagogical Secretary in charge of Student Administration. Repeated absences must be reported to the person responsible for Student Administration and the co-ordinator. Non-justified absence may invalidate the semester.

First year students should sign in at Reception every morning. In accordance with national guidelines, grant recipients who are not present in class risk losing their funding.


Study contracts

At the beginning of the year, students complete a study contract stipulating all courses they are enrolling in for in that year. This contract forms the basis of their individual evaluation sheets. Any changes should be communicated to the Secretary of Pedagogy upon the agreement of the coordinator and teachers concerned.

Each student personalizes their study plan by putting into place a project for art research: by choosing project workshops, ARCs, workshops, individual appointments with teachers and talks. The study plan is made formal through a study contract that the student completes at the beginning of each semester. This document specifies all compulsory and optional classes, the ARC chosen and committed to attend. It should be deposited at the beginning of each semester at the pedagogical centre. This study contact can specify personal objectives, especially when a year is repeated.

Changes to semester classes are possible with the agreement of the teacher in question and the co-ordinator, as well as the Director of Studies and International Relations. The new contact should then be deposited at the pedagogical centre. Individual evaluation sheets are based on the study contract for each student.



Individual evaluation sheets

Each teaching module is attributed with a number of credits corresponding to the workload that a student must undertake to attain the required skills. Teachers complete an individual evaluation sheet for each student in which they receive a mark between 0-20. When the mark is 10 higher than a credit is granted. When the mark is under 10 the credits are withheld and the student must sit a make-up test, on the condition that they do not have more than 6 missing credits. These credits are granted at the final evaluation.


Evaluations & resit credits

Each semester is validated by an evaluation. A jury is made up of the co-ordinator for that year and members of the teaching staff. Any student that does not show up for their evaluation will be given the credits from courses attended, according to the assessments of their teachers, but will not receive any credits from the jury. Missing credits are made up according to the conditions set by the jury based on the justification of the student.

When a student does not obtain credits from classwork, he / she should make up the missing credits according to the criteria set out by the teachers concerned, within a period of 2 months following the final evaluation (admittance to semesters 2, 4, 8) or in the month of November (for admittance to semesters 5 or 9) on condition that the student is not missing more than 6 credits.


Conditions of admission

Admittance to Second Semester: all credits must be granted to begin semester 6 (second semester of the third year) and semester 10 (final semester of the fifth year). For all other semesters, a minimum of 24 credits is required.

Admission to the next year: all credits must be received for admittance into semester 3 (first semester of the second year), for all the others, a minimum of 24 credits are required.


Failure of the first semester

The student is permitted to attend classes in the second semester and is encouraged to do a professional internship. Authorisation to repeat a year is subject to management, based on advice from the co-ordinator and teaching staff.


Repeating a year

A student is only allowed to repeat a year once during his/her degree programme (either Bachelor or Master) except in exceptional circumstances authorised by management. In this case the credits received will be carried over to the next year. However the student is under obligation to be present at sessions with their co-ordinator, for their personal research project, for hanging artworks or critical evaluations, individual appointments, theoretical classes and foreign language classes.

Students who have not validated first year do not have the right to re-enroll (except by exemption of management). Only one opportunity to repeat a year is allowed (unless management permits an exceptional case). In the case of a repeat year, acquired credits are carried over to the following year. Nonetheless the student repeating a year is obliged to:

  • Be present at research project follow-up sessions, to hangings or critical evaluations, individual appointments, theory classes, language classes and at all classes for which credits are lacking.
  • Be present at the end of semester evaluations.


Degree examination prodedure


The final evaluation for the DNA takes place at the end of the 3rd year.

Duration: 30 minutes

The final degree examination involves the presentation of an art project, accompanied by a selection of works and the presentation of a written work chosen out of a selection composed during semesters 5 and 6. In order to present yourself for the DNA, the candidate should have received 165 ECTS credits and be duly enrolled (matriculation fees paid).


The Jury

Nominated by the school director, the jury is composed of 3 people:

  • Two external qualified professionals, of whom one will be jury president;
  • An ENSA teacher. One of the jury members will have a social sciences background.



The DNSEP is made up of two examinations:

  • The defence of a dissertation lasting 20 minutes and taking place in semester 10, at a time chosen by the pedagogical team. At the outcome, the jury drafts a written report to be transmitted to the DNSEP jury members.
  • The defence of an artwork lasting 40 minutes and taking place in semester 10. At the outcome, the jury deliberates on awarding the diploma taking into account the report of the dissertation jury. It awards 25 credits for the artwork and 5 credits for the dissertation.

The 5-member DNSEP jury is nominated by the school director: 1 representative from amongst the school staff and 4 external qualified people of whom one will be from the dissertation jury. The school director names one of the 5 jury members as president. 

The jury for the defence of the dissertation is composed of one representative from the school and one DNSEP jury member. It is presided over by someone holding a doctorate (who could be a representative from the school).

In order to present yourself for the DNSEP, the candidate should have received 270 ECTS credits and be duly enrolled (matriculation fees paid).


First year

The first year, during which all students follow the same curriculum, is based on a wide range of initiations into practices and theories as well as artistic experimentation. It allows students to build up a broad visual culture and leads the student to develop research methods and to acquire his / her first tools in analytical approach.

The timetable is organised around: 

  • Introductory courses (drawing, painting, volume, graphic design, photography and video), as well as regular writing practice,
  • General Culture courses (history of art, aesthetics, photography, video, plus installation and political economics) and foreign languages,

These are combined with, in no particular order, lectures, workshops, trips and visits to exhibitions and time devoted to the personal project of art research.

At the outcome of semester 1, an assessment allows us to measure the student’s progress and to communicate the number of credits this student will receive. Admission to semester 2 depends on obtaining a minimum of 24 of the required 30 credits, on condition that any missing credits will be made up within a 2-month period after the end-of-semester evaluation. At the outcome of semester 2, 60 credits are required to enter semester 3. Students who failed the 1st year are not permitted to enrol again (except for medical reasons authorised by the management).

Second year Art & Design

In the second year, the teaching syllabus and the specialisations allow the student to choose a specialisation, resulting in the DNA Art Diploma (level BAC +3).

The timetable is divided between:

  • Practical and technical classes (drawing, volume and installation, photography, video, colour, sound, casting) as well as regular writing practice.
  • General Culture courses (history of art, the history and theory of colour and photography, philosophy) and foreign language classes
  • Personal Research Project
  • ARC workshops

The above are combined with, in no particular order, the start-of-year workshops, public talks, workshops, trips, visits to exhibitions and time spent on the personal project of art research (personal work, sessions with co-ordinator and individual appointments).

A professional internship is compulsory. Lasting 15 days to 1 month, it should be carried out in semesters 3 or 4 (2 credits are granted in the final semester). For those in semester 3, admittance to semester 4 is based on a minimum of 24 credits. 

Making up missing credits must take place within 2 months of the end-of-semester evaluation. 

For those in semester 4, admittance to semester 5 likewise requires a minimum of 24 credits. Missing credits should be made up between semesters 1 and 5 before November. Admission from semester 4 to semester 5 is conditional upon receiving 24 out of the 30 required credits. Making up missing credits should be completed during semester 5, before mid-November.

Third year Art & Design

From semester 5, the student must choose 4 practical and technical courses from amongst various options: painting, sculpture, multiples, photography, writing workshop, sound, video, art and “cinéma du reel”, serigraphy and digital printing.

Semester 6 is essentially devoted to preparation for the final diploma examination.

All theoretical courses remain compulsory during both semesters (history and theory of art) as well as the start-of-year workshops, foreign languages and ARC workshops.

The Personal Project of Art Research of the student is built around personal work, project follow-up and individual appointments with teaching staff.

The student should assemble a portfolio in semester 5 to be presented when passing before the following committees:

  • Mobility Committee that validates internships abroad or semesters in the Erasmus+ programme of 4th year.
  • Admissions Committee for the Masters programme.

Admission to semester 6 is only possible when you have received 150 credits from the previous semesters. 

The DNA sanctions the end of undergraduate studies and the acquisition of 180 credits.

Admission to the 4th year is conditional upon:

  • Receiving a DNA
  • Favourable recommendation of the Admissions Jury for Graduate Studies. This jury examines results obtained during Bachelor studies, the student’s personal research project, the areas of research undertaken by the student in the context of writing a graduate thesis, formal progress for the mobility project (semester of study abroad or internship in France), portfolio, statement of intent outlining the student’s motivation to carry out these studies at ENSA Dijon. Based on the above, the jury will evaluate the student’s suitability to complete their graduate studies at ENSA Dijon.

Fourth year Art & Design

Both semesters in the 4th year are devoted to:

  • The development of the Personal Project of Art Research.
  • A professional internship or semester abroad
  • Preparation for the final dissertation.

The dissertation should propose an original and challenging idea, taking the personal research of the student into a wider theoretical, aesthetic, literary or poetic field. The progress of this work relies on a well-structured and methodological input. It will be defined around regular appointments with resident teachers. Particular attention is rightfully paid to the artistic relevance of the dissertation.

At the end of semester 8, students choose a supervisor from amongst the teaching staff, academics and artists. The defence takes place in semester 10.

Obtaining credits while studying abroad

The student who takes part in a semester of study as part of the Erasmus+ programme must validate their ECTS credits at the host institute. On returning, he / she should hand in a document proving the ECTS credits to the Secretary of Pedagogy to have their semester recognised.

Admission to semester 8 is subject to a minimum of 24 credits. Missing credits have to be made up within two months after the assessment. 

Making up credits must take place between semesters 1 and 5 before November. After 4 years of study, a student having 240 credits receives the CESAP (Certificate of Higher Study in Arts).

Fifth year Art & Design

During semester 9, students continue to develop their personal project of art research and finalise the draft of their dissertation.

Semester 10 is devoted to preparation for sitting the final diploma evaluation.

The dissertation is submitted to a defence during this semester. The assessment of the DNSEP takes place in June.

Admittance to semester 10 is only possible once 270 credits have been accumulated. 

The 30 credits of semester 10 are granted once the final diploma evaluation has been successfully passed (defence of dissertation and evaluation of art work).