Université Lille 1

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Being a student at Lille 1 University


Lille University was founded in 1562 by the Spanish and became French in 1667. Louis Pasteur was the first Dean of the Science Faculty in 1854. At that time, Lille University was situated in the town centre. In 1971, following the law reforming the university system (Edgar Faure Law) the Science Faculty became the Université Lille 1 and the different faculties in Lille moved to the new town of Villeneuve d’Ascq. Lille II University specialised in Law and Health, and Lille III (or Charles de Gaulle University) became the Human Sciences, Arts and Literature University.
From the legal point of view, Lille I University is a public institution managed by a President who is elected for 5 years by the different Boards of Trustees of the University:
- the Board of Directors
- the Board of Science and
- the Academic Board.

A few figures

The Université Lille 1 is a university specialising in Science and Technology, but it also includes Geography, Economic and Social Science, and Management.
There are:
- 20,000 students in first degree courses
- 15,000 adults in further education. This makes it the most dynamic French University in terms of lifelong learning
- 2,700 foreign students, with 18% from the European Community
- 1,400 professors working in 45 laboratories and 1,300 admistrative and technical staff
- 9,743 graduates completing or continuing their programme every year.

The disciplines

The disciplines cover 3 main sectors:

- Science and Technology: Mathematics, Computer Sciences, Chemistry, Electronics-Electrotechniques, Telecommunications, Industrial-Production, Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Materials, Mechanics, Physics and Applied Physics, Biology, Biochemistry, Agro-Science, Earth Science and Environmental Science

- Economic Science and Management: Economy, Management, Business, Communications, Human Resources

- Human and Social Sciences: Sociology/Ethnology, Human Resources, Geography, Environmental Planning, Education science


All the courses (from the 1st to the 3rd cycle) offered at the Université Lille 1 are backed up by the 45 research laboratoires recognised either by the French Ministry or by the CNRS (National Scientific Research Centre). All the institutions in the Université Lille 1 develop Centres of Excellence: Micro-Electronics, Automated Earth Transport, Mechanics and Automated Machines, New Materials, Structural/Functional Bio-Molecular Relations, Economy of Industrial Firms, Education and Engineering.


Teaching is carried out in the 8 UFR (Training and Research Units), the 3 Engineering Schools (EUDIL, IAAL, ENIC), the 3 Institutes (IUT, CUEEP and IAE) and a Marine Life Station in Wimereux which are all run as ‘Faculties’, the most common name in Europe. The Université Lille 1 offers 142 programmes given either in the form of first degree programmes to students or as further education courses for adults. The university awards over 160 national diplomas.

Most courses are based on experimental teaching. Lectures are given in amphitheatres with class sizes usually less than 120. These courses account for approximately half of the teaching provided by the university. Class lessons (TD) or practical work (TP) is carried out in small groups (between 32 and 36 students). For personal work, the students have access either to the central library, smaller decentralised documentation centres, Study and Research Units (UFR), and Multimedia Resource Centres for self-access learning. Lastly, professional work placements, (from 2 to 6 months), are currently being developed for many programmes.


Welcome to the university

Please contact the International Relations Department as soon as you arrive at the Université Lille 1. They will help you enrol and settle in at Lille I University.

You must first satisfy the admissions procedure:

- from 15 November to 15 January: pick up an application form from the French Cultural Service in your country
- before 1 February: send back your completed application to the service you got it from
- mid-February: you must sit for an exam to evaluate your level in the French language (except for citizens of countries where French is the official language, or if you have the DALF diploma).
If your application is accepted, you will receive authorisation to register at the university of your choice, together with details of the administrative steps to be completed.

When you have been awarded your diploma certifying the end of your secondary school studies and if your knowledge of French is permissable, you may register with a French university:

- An initial application for admission is mandatory for students with foreign high-school diplomas.
- You must obtain an application form from your university of choice or download one from the Internet
On the application form, you should state your first and second choice of university
- As all French universities work autonomously, each university reserves the right to accept or to refuse an application. The university is entirely free in its decision as to whether to accept previous academic qualifications or not. The test of language skills is compulsory but not sufficient to ensure entry to the university.

If the Université Lille 1 accepts your application, you must then enrol officially with the university.
The staff in charge of this service will:
- tell you exactly what you have to do,
- help you to integrate the courses.

People to contact in the International Relations Department:


Opening hours:
from Monday to Thursday: 09H00 to 11H30 and 13H30 to 17H30
Friday: 08H30 to 12H00


The Service Scolarité (registrar’s department)

- issues admission, course enrolment, validation, registration and transfer forms to students,
- deals with enrolments and student membership operations,
- issues the corresponding official documents (student cards, certificates, etc.),
- deals with changes in students’ situations,
- organises exams,
- awards diplomas,
- registers and formalises any dispensatory situations for students which may require further monitoring,
- ensures the university programmes adhere to legal requirements,
- takes part in elaborating, monitoring and assessing the academic programme within the university, and the integration of students,
- coordinates administrative help for students within the university, in partnership with the Academic Service and the University’s IT Resource Centre,
- ensures relations with the supervising authorities, external organisations, the RECTORAT, CROUS, CPAM, the French cultural services etc, concerning the different aspects of students’ situations.



All students must have:

• a photocopy of their passport or identity card,
• a photocopy of their student card from their home university
• a certificate of acceptance to the Socrates programme issued by the home university (the person in charge of the Socrates programme or the director of the Socrates programme, stating the course they wish to follow),
• 2 identity photos.

In the case of EU students:

• the E106, E111, E121 or E128 forms issued by the social security department in their country of origin
or a certificate of private medical insurance translated into French, and valid for the whole of the academic year without cost restrictions,
• registration with the Student Social Security is compulsory for students under 28 years old. Registration must be made as soon as you arrive at the Université Lille 1. The cost for one year was 189 € in 2006/2007.


Organisation of the French University system

The French university system offers numerous undergraduate and post-graduate courses, although they do not all have the same status nor take the same amount of time to complete. We will therefore look at some of the differences between the diplomas to help you choose your course more easily. We will then look at the parallels between the French and Anglo-Saxon diplomas.

The cycles

Diplomas following the baccalaureate are classified by cycles. The longest graduate courses continue through to the third cycle and above, while most of the more professional programmes generally end after the first cycle.

The new system: University programme built around the Licence (Bachelor’s), the Master and the Doctorat (Ph.D. )
The French university system is built around the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycle; the university study periods will soon be organised around the Licence (Bachelor’s) which is Bac +3, the Master which is Bac +5 and the Ph.D. which is Bac +8.

The Licence (Bachelor’s)

The Licence is considered mainly a professional degree. With the system of accumulated credits and the academic year being divided into semesters, the three year programme can be taken in modules or in a shorter time. This more flexible system will enable students to interrupt their study programme and to pick it up again without losing the value of the modules already acquired. Within the framework of the Bayrou reform, it is be possible to change direction completely after the 1st semester, if desired. Students may choose to study other disciplines in addition to the compulsory courses in a given speciality. The final year of the Licence comprises professional or general orientation. The specificity of STS and IUT institutions is retained by adding a 3rd year which would put strong emphasis on the company, through in-company sandwich training periods.

The Master

All students who have completed a Licence are eligible to follow with a Masters programme. This programme provides more in-depth study of a specialisation in a given discipline. Some Masters programmes will concentrate more on research (especially in the second year of the Master) while others will only be accessible after an initial professional experience. In the second year of a Masters degree, the programme could include a complementary subject, unrelated to the main specialisation. Engineering students, for example, could include an option in Management studies.

The Doctorate or Ph.D.

The decision to do a Doctorate should be made as soon as possible during the Masters programme. One semester could then be given over to a multidisciplinary subject and a second semester would focus on teaching more specialised disciplines. The last semester of the Masters programme would focus on beginning research work, once the subject of the thesis has been chosen. The three years of a Doctorate are entirely research and writing a thesis. Schools currently running Ph.D programmes will be able to give additional training or tutoring to Ph.D. students. The main difference with the current 3rd degree cycle is at the level of the Master where the student decides on the choice of research.

European University System (European Credit Transfer System): the level of studies is no longer expressed in years but in the number of ECTS credits which have been successfully completed.


European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

In order to foster transparency and comparability between the different European curricula, the ECTS system – European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System – is a means to promote understanding and recognition of the academic tracks currently in use in the various higher education institutional networks and academic systems of different countries.
The ECTS system is based on 5 basic elements: credits, student records, the learning contract, student transcript, and academic recognition.

ECTS = Credits

A credit system is a systematic way of describing an educational programme by attaching credits to its components. The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a student-centred system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a programme, objectives preferably specified in terms of learning outcomes and competences to be acquired.

ECTS is based on the convention that 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one academic year. The student workload of a full-time study programme in Europe amounts, in most cases, to 36/40 weeks per year and in those cases one credit stands for 25 to 30 working hours. Workload refers to the notional time an average learner might expect to need to complete the required learning outcomes.

Credit is also a way of quantifying the outcomes of learning. Learning outcomes are sets of competencies, expressing what the student will know, understand or be able to do after completion of a process of learning, whether short or long. Credits in ECTS can only be obtained after completion of the work required and appropriate assessment of the learning outcomes achieved.

The student workload in ECTS includes the time spent in attending lectures, seminars, independent study, preparation for, and taking of, examinations, etc. Credits are allocated to all educational components of a study programme (such as modules, courses, placements, dissertation work, etc.) and reflect the quantity of work each component requires in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full year of study in the specific programme.

The allocation of ECTS credits is based on the official length of a study programme cycle. The total workload necessary to obtain a first cycle degree in France – Bachelor – is expressed as 180 credits, to obtain a second cycle degree – Master – is expressed as 120 credits.

ECTS = Information brochure

The brochure of a given foreign university provides information on the courses on offer and the objectives of each programme (duration, level, content, language used for teaching etc.). You will choose your course according to this information.

ECTS = Learning contract required for study period abroad

In the case of a structured exchange programme with your university, you will prepare your departure based on information provided in the brochures or from the web sites of the host university. You will need to fill in the learning contract, which formalises the choice of course that you wish to follow abroad. Before leaving, your director of studies must validate your choice of course on the learning contract, which you then send to your host university together with your application forms.

When you arrive in the country of your choice, you may be able to modify your contract, and you have three weeks to get it signed once again. After this, the contract cannot be modified for a year.

ECTS= Student transcript

Evaluations enable students to be credited with the ECTS points obtained. Students taking part in an exchange programme follow the same courses and are subject to the same assessment criteria as the other students.
The host university will send your student transcript to your home university in accordance with the local marking system, together with the corresponding ECTS credits, as well as the grades obtained, based on the ECTS scale:

Comparative student ranking
10 %
25 %
30 %
25 %
10 %
FAIL- some more work required to pass
FAIL – considerable further work required

Nota Bene: Only those students who have passed their exams are eligible for the ECTS system.

It should be noted that the ECTS system gives more importance to a student’s assessment in relation to the grades obtained by student’s from the whole year. In parallel with the local grading system notation, the ECTS system completes this information and facilitates the transfer of grades without prejudice from one country to another.

ECTS= Academic recognition

At the end of your programme in the host university, your grades will be converted to your national system, which will take into account the marking scale of the ECTS system. Your grades will thus be integrated into your home system, thereby ensuring the academic recognition of the knowledge you acquired during your study period abroad. You may then continue your study programme as normal, as validation for your study period abroad will be fully recognised.

Not only will you have acquired a valuable multicultural experience, but your year of studies abroad will be validated in the same way as if you had stayed in your home university.


Organisation of the academic year

See Academic Calendar

Note:* At the end of the 1st semester there are exams called «partials». For 1st year students of the 1st cycle, this is the moment to think about which direction they want to follow and if they want to change their studies.


University Library

The Université Lille 1 university library is the central building on the campus. Its documentary base comprises 160,000 books, 60,000 theses and 660 subscriptions to various scientific journals.
Enrolment at the Université Lille 1 allows you complete access to the library and its resources. Lending conditions enable you to borrow up to 5 documents for two weeks. If you make an appointment, you can work in the IT room and do your research on the internet. Many of the scientific journals are numbered and available on-line via the central library server. You can also do any photocopies necessary for your work (payable), as well as bibliographical research using the international databases. An inter-library lending service is also available for the books not found in the Université Lille 1’s central library. Each UFR department of the Université Lille 1 also has its own decentralised library.


Municipal lending libraries

You can also find less specialised books in the county libraries of Lille or Villeneuve d’Ascq. To access these libraries, you must live in Lille for the Lille library or Villeneuve d’Ascq for the Villeneuve d’Ascq library. You have to provide proof of domicile (a bill, rent receipt, etc). If you just want to join the library, it is free. The library in Lille has a video lending service and a record lending service while the Villeneuve d’Ascq library does not have videos or films. Subscription to the record lending library is payable in Lille and in Villeneuve d’Ascq. The annual subscription fee is around 23€ in Lille and 30€ in Villeneuve d’Ascq.

Address of the Lille library: 32-34 rue Edouard Delasalle, Lille, Tel:
Address of the Villeneuve d’Ascq library: 96 Chaussée de la Mairie, Villeneuve d’Ascq, Tel:


Sports on campus

Lille 1 University promotes competition and encourages every student to play a sport. Each student at Lille 1 has, at their disposal, a large sports centre.

To participate in a sport, students have three options:

• join a course as part of the university programme from the 2nd semester onwards, depending on availability,
• join practice sessions organised by a sports association: a high standard is generally required,
• or use the free sports facilities. For collective sports, you must reserve the sports ground 4 to 5 days before the match. Access to the tennis courts is free from October to April (reservations compulsory from May to September).

All the students at the university can participate in any activity free of charge, simply by presenting their student card (apart from the swimming pool). A collective insurance at the sports centre ensures you are covered in case of an incident.

An information brochure is available providing the list of physical education teachers and the activity schedule for the year.

• The activities available include:
- collective sports: football, rugby, basketball, volleyball, handball, grass hockey.
- other sports: athletics, cross-country running, body-building, yoga, tennis, table-tennis, badminton, dancing, golf, archery, martial arts, swimming
- you can play golf on the Brigode golf course or in Lille
- you can go riding at the horse-riding centre in Ronchin

• The sports facilities
- indoor facilities :
Halle Vallin (4 tennis courts)
Halle Grémeaux (archery, tennis)
Collective sports : (basketball, handball, football)
   collective sports room (basketball, handball, volleyball)
   dance and yoga room
   body-building rooms
   martial arts and combat room

- open air facilities :
. 1 athletics track
. 7 tennis courts
. 1 rugby field
. 7 football fields

- Triolo Municipal swimming pool:
This swimming pool does not belong to the campus. It is located 800m from the campus in Rue de la Tradition in the Triolo district of Villeneuve d'Ascq -
It has a 25m pool with 1 or 2 lanes reserved for the university.

You can contact the COSEC sports office by phoning:


Student societies at the Université Lille 1 (LIVEUniversité Lille 1 etc.)

There are over 60 clubs and societies on the university campus. Thanks to these associations, you can have contact with and strengthen ties with other French students. Ask for the directory of clubs and societies (annuaire des associations) when you arrive at the Université Lille 1. The Students International Network Association (ERIUniversité Lille 1) is made up of students at the Université Lille 1 who have already taken part in an Erasmus exchange programme. These students know the problems new arrivals are likely to meet. The association helps foreign students integrate into their new environment both on campus and in the Lille area. It organises parties, sports, activities, outings in the region and trips to Paris, London, Strasbourg and other places of interest.

Adress of LIVE Université Lille 1: Bâtiment SH3 - 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex

Web Site: www.ifrance.com/assoERI - E-mail : eri2002Université Lille 1@hotmail.com




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