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Preparatory year at the entrance to the School of Art

Choosing to study in the applied arts is not an insignificant act. It means committing to an artistic course whilst pursuing a professional objective: to joining the professions centred on creation and innovation.

Starting your artistic studies

During the foundation year, students are encouraged and guided to develop their curiosity, sense of analysis and creativity. This forms the basis of their choice of professional specialization.

Drawing is an essential skill required in the field of design.

The foundation year course reaches beyond a purely technical training, teaching the multi-faceted aspects of this discipline.

It helps the student refine their study plan and outline their professional future.

A dual objective

  • students prepare portfolios and entrance exams for top public schools (applied art, fine art, architecture)
  • students are introduced to Interior Design and Graphic Design modules and can specialize in one of these subjects at ESAM Design

A Pedagogical Programme based on four Axes

On entering the foundation year, the student leaves behind the school timetable to follow a series of interactive workshops that are divided into three main sections:

  • Drawing
  • Art History
  • Culture
  • Introduction to Graphics and Design

Throughout the course, the student works on developing a personal project and building up a portfolio.
The teaching staff on the foundation year course are all practising professionals.

Crédits ects Semestre 1 Crédits ects Semestre 2
Professional culture
Introduction to graphism 3 -
Creating a portfolio - 3
Workshops 1 1
Initiation à l’espace* 3 3
Culture Professionnelle
Art history 2 2
Semiologie 2 2
Drawing and speaking (English) 1 1
Participation à la vie de l’école - 1
Sémiologie de la couleur - 2
Atelier optionnel : gravure, photographie, modelage, vidéo, impression 3D ou observatoire des tendances 1 1
Modèle conceptuel - 1
Academic Drawing 2 2
Drawing from observation 3 2
Introduction to spatial constructs 3 2
Computer design 3 2
Dessin analytique 3 2
Recherche colorée 3 2
Totaux 30 29

Future Prospects

  • Students continue at the school in the student’s chosen subject in the applied arts: Interior Design or Graphic Design
  • Students enter one of the well-known public schools (ENSAD, EPSAA, HEAD Geneva, Public Schools of Fine Arts etc.)

Useful information

Enrollment with the Foundation year is outside the APB system

The academic year starts mid-september and finishes mid-june.

The course runs on a 4 day week, leaving the student time on the 5th day to visit exhibitions, work on projects or have a part-time job.

Foundation year classes are limited

Admissions procedure

For whom?
- Open to students preparing or having the International Baccalaureate or equivalent national school leaving or university entrance qualifications

How and when ?
Admission is based on an interview procedure that takes place each year from January through to July (also in September depending on available places).

To make an appointment for interview (the interview takes place at the school or via Skype): Telephone: +33 1 53 06 88 00 or complete the form

How much?
The cost of the application fees depends on the student’s nationality (or residency status)
Application fees :
Home or E.U students: 450 €.
International non-E.U. students: 450 € + 400 € administrative costs

Tuition fees:
6500 €

Please note:

  • Materials required during the school year are at the student’s own expense.
  • E.U. students are entitled to payment by instalments. International non-E.U. students must pay their tuition fees in full before the start of the academic year.


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