ENS Graduate degree
The ENS graduate degree is in line with the European general scheme of the “Bologna process” Bachelor – Master – Doctorate and stands for a master’s degree since 27 July 2015 by the order of the French Ministry of Higher education and Research.
The ENS graduate degree consists of a master’s degree and a complementary training at the ENS. Normaliens validate a national research-oriented master’s degree. This master’s discipline and speciality field define the “main speciality” mentioned on the diploma, representing at least 180 ECTS.
In parallel, normaliens undertake a complementary training representing 72 ECTS. These courses are dispensed or recognised by the ENS and are distributed during the academic career of students, which lasts 3 to 4 years according to the students’ status.
The ENS graduate degree (called DENS) is in line with the ENS project of training through research, which is customised and supervised and stands each year within the framework of the study programme.
Through the scientific activity of the ENS and its research teams, training provided in this institution truly consists in training through research, regardless of the career paths students will choose afterwards. Teaching, introductory courses or research seminars are handled by several teacher-researchers who present and include students in their achievements.
The richness, diversity and organisation of the training fields, gathered in departments for training and research in Sciences and Humanities, allow students to explore the boundaries of their disciplines and to develop intellectual approaches with a strong interdisciplinarity, whether in the perspective of the diploma or of cultural opening. Hence, in addition to the classic double curricula (mathematics-computer sciences, mathematics-physics, physics-chemistry, chemistry-biology, etc.), links with literary departments also exist.
With 4 years of academic career at the ENS and, in most cases, 3 more years of doctoral studies, 1st year students in Sciences benefit from 7 training years in order to construct their own scientific career, while interacting with their tutors and being in contact with laboratories and researchers. Within this framework of training through research, the normaliens are led to improve their knowledge in their main discipline. Moreover, multidisciplinarity are strongly promoted, as well as mixed paths, international experiences with research internships and teaching experiences, language learning, openings towards society (high schools, administrations, companies, NGO, etc.), “outside the walls” experiences with civic actions, involvement in student life.
The heart of the ENS graduate degree in Humanities lies in training through research. ENS teachers and researchers teach courses at the forefront of the research they conduct and research in general, in each field or discipline and at all levels, from introductory courses to doctorate, by way of seminars which can be validated within the framework of a master’s degree or courses for preparing the agrégation.
Courses held at the ENS do not correspond only to the master’s degrees’ disciplines. Departments offer indeed courses gathering teachers from various disciplines, such as courses involving the department of philosophy and the department of history ant theory of arts, courses crossing music and poetry in the Germanic world, or courses at the intersection of literature and social sciences, held by several ENS teachers working together.
Not all the students who assist to the ENS courses are specialists in these fields. However, they can gradually develop their own research field, at the intersection of several fields. Some students, who specialise in the course’s discipline, are invited, mostly by their tutors, to go in depth into the course’s subject.
Most of the time, teachers incite students to speak in public as well as write or talk collectively, so as to initiate them to teaching and research.
Original careers can also come out as academic paths within the framework of the ENS graduate degree. Hence, diplomacy, public administration, Far Eastern studies or Arab studies take into account courses chosen within several departments during the academic career of the normaliens: social sciences, geography, ECLA (Language department), history, philosophy.
During the academic career, specific training can be offered, in the form of medium to long-term internships: dramaturgy/scenography (with, in most cases, courses held over several days) script-writing/training to literary translation. These courses, held in partnership with professionals of every concerned field, represent both opening courses and a decisive introduction for the future professional career of some students.
The ENS graduate degree reflects the academic career of each student. Training in one discipline (in most cases, it is the discipline of the master’s degree) represents the main discipline indicated on the diploma, while training specific to the ENS is also taken into account. Hence, students preparing at the university a master’s degree in English can, for example, receive their ENS graduate degree in literature of the Anglophone world, or in American literature and civilisation. The title of the diploma qualifies and clarifies the title of the master’s degree. This dimension is more present in classics, with students obtaining the ENS graduate degree in Grecian history and civilisation, or in linguistics of the Indo-European worlds, or even in archaeology if most of the courses and internships undertaken during the students’ career at the ENS have dealt with this field.
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