The project phase, which focuses heavily on initiating students into research, allows students to enrich and develop their creative thinking and art projects by developing their ability to think and work independently, foster commitment and develop a unique approach.
Students entering the second cycle should achieve three main goals:
- gradually improve their research skills and gain a better understanding of the theoretical aspects of visual art creations;
- understand the relevance of the historical, philosophical and social aspects of a project;
- produce artworks and demonstrate their conditions of visibility.
Fourth year – semesters 7 and 8
Entry into the fourth year is subject to obtaining the DNA and the favourable decision of a committee of teachers after an interview with the student to discuss their creative projects. In semesters 7 and 8, students will begin their artwork project and thesis which will be further developed in the fifth year. During their fourth year, students will also complete work placements or study at a foreign partner school as part of the ERASMUS and international mobility programme.
Upon returning from an internship or study trip, students will produce a written report on what they have learned. Up to 30 credits will be awarded for their report and their assessment of the host organisation. The programme comprises two blocks. One compulsory block with theory of the arts, preparation and development of the Master’s thesis which requires the choice of a thesis tutor from semester 6 (third year), language workshop and conferences. For the second block, students put together their own course combination from a choice of disciplinary or multidisciplinary research workshops or research and creation workshops. Students who have satisfied all the credit requirements at the end of the fourth year are awarded 60 credits as a single block (there is no catch-up session) and the CESAP qualification (Certificat d'études supérieures d'arts plastiques, a higher education arts qualification) issued by the French Ministry of Culture.
Fifth year – semesters 9 and 10
The fifth year focuses on the student’s individual projects and preparation for the final qualification exam (DNSEP) which is equivalent to a Master’s degree (level I). The student must define the fields of research explored in more depth, in a way that demonstrates the theoretical and applied aspects of their work. The teaching teams help students to prepare this research during semesters 9 and 10 with individual tutoring sessions. In semester 9, students complete their thesis under the supervision of the thesis tutor. The thesis is presented either at the beginning of semester 10 or when they defend their practical artwork project. It counts for five credits which are awarded at the end of semester 10. Students who have obtained all thirty credits at the end of semester 9 can present their practical artwork project (there is no catch-up session).
60 ECTS credits can be obtained in one year, and 48 credits are required to move on to the next year. A committee of fourth-year teachers may arrange a catch-up procedure for making up a shortfall of credits if needed.
In the fifth year, students who have obtained the 45 credits required for the DNSEP can sit the exam. Credits are awarded as a single block and there is no need for a catch-up session.
DNSEP – Master’s level
The DNSEP, or Diplôme national supérieur d’expression plastique (higher education degree in artistic expression) is a qualification which certifies the two years of postgraduate study that constitute the second cycle, or Master’s cycle. It is a higher education degree and has been graded as a Master’s equivalent since June 2012. To be eligible to sit the exams, students must have obtained 270 credits.
The DNSEP consists of two tests: a research thesis and a practical artwork project.
The thesis is defended before a jury made up of a TALM teacher and a qualified person. Members of the thesis defence jury are also on the jury of the DNSEP jury which takes place in June. One of the two jury members must have a doctorate. Successful completion of the test results in five credits being awarded during the practical artwork defence in June.
The practical artwork is defended at the end of semester 10 before a jury composed of five members: a TALM teacher, a qualified person recognised for their critical and theory work and who also sits on the thesis defence jury, an artist (teacher or not) and an industry professional. 25 credits are awarded for the successful completion of the practical artwork module.
The whole course represents 300 credits. Candidates cannot sit the exams more than twice. For a second attempt, the school’s director must approve a proposal put forward by a Teaching Committee.