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Training/academic Courses FAQ

What is the difference between basic training (formation initiale) and ongoing training (formation continue)?

Basic training is for students who have not had a break from their studies since they entered the educational system
Ongoing training is for students who are returning to education:
1. employees who are on training leave or a company training programme
2. jobseekers
3. students returning to education

What is the difference between a licence professionnelle' and a licence générale'?

A licence générale' is designed with the aim of pursuing studies at a university or 'école de commerce', 'école d'ingénieurs' etc.

A licence professionnelle' generally requires a year of study after a BTS, DUT or an L2.
This licence professionnelle' is a professional qualification including a work placement as part of the course. It enables students to develop
a speciality and aims at access to the employment market.
Further study is possible but is the exception rather than the rule.

What is the difference between a 'master pro' and a master recherche'?

A masters course is organised over two years (M1 and M2). Students have a choice between the 'recherche' route or
the professionnel' route.
The master recherche' is a preparation for a doctoral degree (bac+8) [a PhD which is typically obtained after 8 years of post-secondary school study in France] The goal is to educate future university lecturers, tutors and professors and
future researchers.
The master professionnel'  is a preparation for a job on the external employment market

Where can I find information about the structure of educational systems in other countries?

At the SCUIO we have a section on studying and working abroad. You will find
files by country and in particular the European Education Systems, an English language
publication from ONISEP.
On the UPS website, Orientation & Integration >  Finding information > Going abroad, there is a selection of sites
which address this topic.
Cultural relations bodies and embassies are also full of resources.

What if I would like to follow a distance learning course?Who should I speak to?

If you cannot attend a higher education establishment to follow a course, you can
do distance learning.
Basic or ongoing training is offered in many subjects thanks to new IT
Below are a few useful links on distance learning:
1. Formasup, a catalogue of distance learning courses that includes 2451 infosheets describing higher education distance learning courses, across more than 300 fields
2. Fédération Interuniversitaire de l'Enseignement à Distance (F.I.E.D. - Inter-university distance learning federation): Federation of university around distance and online learning in different formats
3. The centre national d'enseignement à distance (C.N.E.D. - National distance learning centre): 3000 courses on offer: BTS, adult education, public competitive examinations.

Where should I look for a pan-national list of courses?

At the SCUIO you have access to the education atlas, a tool that locates courses across the country.
You can search by field, level of education, qualification or establishment.
The Onisep website provides information on the education system, orientation, establishments, qualifications and professions.

What is the difference between a BTS and a DUT?

These are technological qualifications that take two years to study for, with a primary aim of entering the employment market.
However, further studies are possible with a 'licence professionnelle' or 'licence générale' an   equivalence is granted.
One studies for a DUT at a university within an Institut Universitaire de Techologie (University Technological  Institute), while one studies for a BTS at a lycée (sixth-form college).
There are 24 DUT specialities and more than 100 BTS specialities.
The number of pupils per annual intake is  250  for a DUT and 30 per class for a BTS
65% of people starting a DUT have a general French baccalaureate, while 65% of BTS students have a technological baccalaureate
The courses are more specialised for a BTS
The DUT examination method is continuous assessment while there is a final examination for a BTS
2/3 of graduates continue their studies after a DUT. Those who have a BTS are less likely to pursue further studies

Can I obtain qualification based on my professional experience?

The VAE (Validation des Acquis de l'Expérience - Validation of Learning through Experience) is recognised under the French Labour Code and allows one to have one's experience recognised, in particular professional or trade union related experience, in order to obtain a qualification, title or
certificate of professional qualification.

Diplomas, titles and certificates can therefore be obtained based on experience (and not only via basic or ongoing training)
via other methods than examination.
To do a VAE, you must provide evidence of professional experience (paid or not, voluntary etc.) for more than 3 years, gained either consecutively or 
non-consecutively, that is relevant to the content of the qualification you are aiming for.

The SCUIO, as an Advisory Point of Contact, welcomes, informs and supports candidates through a VAE

Useful links:    
VAE portal
Comité interministériel pour le développement de la VAE (Inter-ministerial committee for the development of the VAE)
Ministère de l'éducation nationale (French Department for Education), about the validation of learning through experience, Vaesup Midi-Pyrenees
Mission Formation Continue (Ongoing training service)

Last updated April 4, 2012

Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - 118 route de Narbonne 31062 TOULOUSE CEDEX 9 téléphone +33 (0)5 61 55 66 11