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Academic Programme

Graduate Programme Smart Computing - Master level

Diplôme national de master contrôlé par l'État


The Graduate Programme Smart Computing (GP SMART) trains high-level engineers and researchers capable of working at the forefront of digital technology and pushing its boundaries. Read more

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General information

- Entry : September 2024
- Duration : 2 years
- Place : Nantes
- Language : English and French



The Graduate Programme Smart Computing  (GP SMART) trains high-level engineers and researchers capable of working at the forefront of digital technology and pushing its boundaries. The GP Smart Computing programme awards two degrees:

  • A Master's degree after 2 years of training (M1, M2), providing expertise in both digital engineering and research. The GP Smart Computing Master's programme enables graduates to become Research and Development Engineers in the field of digital technology.
  • A Ph.D. in computer science after 5 years of training (M1, M2, D1, D2, D3). The Ph.D. programme allows individuals to become researchers in the field of digital technology.

Students can integrate the GP smart computing in Master 1, Master 2 and D1. The GP SMART programme is one of the six programmes of the Master in Computer Science of Nantes-Université : GP Smart Computing, ALMA: Software engineering, ATAL: Natural Language Processing, ORO : Operational research, DS: Data Science, VICO: Visualisation. It is possible for students to switch to another programme of the Master at the end of M1. Compared to other programmes of the Master, the GP Smart Computing is research oriented and better prepared for the Ph.D.

Why Smart Computing ?

Smart computing is a multi-disciplinary area where advanced computational methods and technologies are combined with engineering approaches to create systems, applications and new services that meet the needs of society. Whatever we think about in real society, there are now its digital twins allowing better efficiency, personalisation, safety and sustainability. For example, Smart cities should enhance the quality of life for its residents while promoting sustainability, efficiency, and economic growth. Smart grids enhance the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of electrical power distribution and consumption. 

Working on the smart evolution of society requires not only high-level engineering skills but also new knowledge. The ability to build new knowledge and use it to address new society needs is the heart of the GP Smart Computing.

GP SMART Research Ecosystem

The student will be integrated into the LS2N research laboratory. The LS2N is the largest public research unit in Nantes and the Pays de la Loire region.

The LS2N has a staff of over 480 people, half of whom are permanent, distributed across 5 sites: Faculty of Science and Technology, Centrale Nantes, Polytech Nantes, IMT Atlantique, and IUT Nantes. Research at LS2N is conducted within 24 research teams, structured around 5 major scientific areas: Signals, Images, Ergonomics, and Languages; Data Science and Decision Making; Software Science and Distributed Systems; System Design and Operation and Robotics, Processes, and Computation. In addition to these 5 areas, there are 6 cross-cutting application themes: Future Enterprises, Energy Management and Environmental Impact Control, Life Sciences, Vehicles and Mobility, Creation, Digital Culture, and Society, and Digital Technology for Open Education.

The LS2N is connected to the local socio-economic sphere, to other research laboratories for conducting multidisciplinary research.

The objective of the research immersion is to let students progressively discover key topics and key people they like, define a research project in a domain area and start producing knowledge in that domain. The mentor researcher helps students to understand and navigate among the LS2N opportunities.

Other participating research units:

Mobility International

Please contact us for more information for all the options!


Entry requirement

Academic requirement

  • For joining the GP SC in master 1, the GP SC targets national and international  students with a diploma equivalent to a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science.
  • For joining in M2, you need to have a diploma equivalent to the M1 degree.
  • The profile of students should demonstrate excellent skills in computer science. The application should include a motivation letter in English and a recommendation letter from professors for following a research oriented programme.
Language requirement:
French requirement: The TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français) is mandatory for admission to Master 1, or Master 2 programmes. The minimum required scores are 14/20 in the written expression test and 400/699 in the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) section. In the absence of a TCF passing certificate or the absence of results in the optional written expression test, the application will not be reviewed by the academic committee of the discipline. Candidates holding a DALF (C1 or C2) or DELF B2 certificate (with a minimum score of 65/100) and nationals of certain countries where French is the exclusive official language are exempt from this test.
English requirement:
Applicants who will join from the first year of master or the second year of master, regarding the English language, to achieve one of the following conditions:
  • Minimum level B2 or equivalent
  • Graduated from a university of an English – speaking country.
Please note:
  • Students who cannot justify one of the English conditions above can also have a direct English interview (by visioconference) and commit to take the TOIEC test during the first year of Master (M1) to be able to enter the last year of Master (M2)


Application procedure

Submission period
For students who do not live in France and do not have French nationality:
  • Countries that are part of the Campus France procedure, please note that the inscription will be opened from 1st October to 31st December of the year before the entry year. (Ex: Inscription period from 01/10/2021 to 31/01/2023 for the entry date on 01/09/2023). For more information please access to these links: or Nantes Université – CEF procedure
  • Countries that do not use the Campus France procedure (including EU countries), please follow our VAEE procedure.
For students who have French nationality or resident in France, please follow the procedure guideline on our website

Basic documents are required
  • A CV written in English/French
  • A cover letter handwritten in English/French
  • A recommendation letter, except for Nantes University students
  • Transcripts
More information about your submission


Students can join the Programme either at the Master’s level or at the PhD’s level. After the first two years, students who have obtained the master’s degree can apply for PhD or pursue other career paths as research and innovation engineer.

How to become a Smart Computing Engineer?

Figure 1

The general principles of the GP Smart computer are resumed in Figure 1. The educational framework aims to progressively develop research skills by offering diverse learning situations. Research skills are represented in bold while learning situations are depicted in the center of the figure. The white square represents the principles attached to the GP: integration to the research ecosystem and in a cohort of students, tailored training and personalized support.

A smart computer engineer combines expertise in digital engineering and research. To acquire both expertises, the student follow the following program:

Master 1 (60 Ects): 

  • Attend the core curriculum of the Computer Science Master (30% of Ects) followed by all students registered in the Master. Grab knowledge in theoretical computer science, Artificial Intelligence, Systems, Applied science, Ethics and Soft skills.
  • Choose 4 courses available in the Computer Science Master catalog of courses and partners related to the skills you want to develop (20% of Ects). You will be mentored by professional researchers to assist you with these choices.
  • Start the immersion in research progressively with 3 learning situations (50% of Ects):
- “Research discovery” (First semester) : discover research actors, their tasks, their production. Attend thesis defenses, Interview research directors, lab directors. Observe and report research in action.
- “Engineering for research” (First and second semester): integrate a research team and develop research prototypes as a research engineer. Learn engineering skills, understand how new knowledge is validated.
- “Research in DUO” (Second semester) : Integrate a research team and develop a research proposal with a PhD student supervised by a research director.
  • Summer internship integrating at least one the following characteristics: International internship, multi-disciplinary learning situation, integration into the socio-economic sphere. 

Master 2 (60 Ects)

  •  2 courses common to all students of the GP SC (10% of Ects).
  • Choose 4 courses available in the Computer Science Master catalog and partners related to the skills you want to develop (20% of Ects)
  • Pre-immersion in research Solo : build  the research topic you want to work on and defend it (5% of ECTS) for validation with researchers.
  • First research in Solo (50% of Ects, second semester): realize your master thesis supervised by a recognized researcher in your scientific domain.

What's next?

Level of education obtained after completion

Bac+5 (Unknown label)

Competencies acquired

The GP SC targets engineering and research skills.

The Master in CS award delivers skills defined at the national level for a master in computer science along with a part of skills defined for research as defined in figure 2.

The expected skills for a master in computer science are:

  • Advanced and specialized use of digital tools,
  • Development and integration of highly specialized knowledge,
  • Specialized communication for knowledge transfer,
  • Support for transformation in a professional context.

These skills are acquired thanks to participation in the core courses of the GP master (50% of ECTS). Research learning also contributes actively to these skills in the professional context of research.

The expected skills in research are:

  1. Design and development of a research and development, study, and foresight approach
  2. Implementation of a research and development, study, and foresight approach
  3. Valorization and transfer of results from a research and development, study, and foresight approach
  4. International scientific and technological monitoring
  5. Training and dissemination of scientific and technical culture

Supervision of teams dedicated to research and development, study, and foresight activities

The learning situations of the GP Smart computing at the master level target skills 1, 2 and 4. The other skills are planned for the Ph.D level.

Career opportunities

Whether you hold a Master's or a PhD degree from the Graduate Programme in Smart Computing, your expertise aligns seamlessly with the needs of companies and laboratories engaged in advanced applications of digital technology. Your skills are particularly relevant in sectors closely tied to digital advancements, where companies manage intricate digital data that requires enhancement.

Examples of employment:
  • Software development engineer in SMEs, large corporations, and government agencies
  • Expert in computer systems
  • Academic career or employment in industrial R&D service (after obtaining a Ph.D.)
  • ......................
More than 90% of master's graduates secure employment in socio-economic sectors within two months of completing their studies. Their salaries are competitive and rank among the highest in university programs.

Further studies

After two years of masters you will have a choice between developing your own career or pursuing a research project in PhD’s level. With a PhD degree, more opportunities will be opened for you.
For more information about our PhD graduate Programme, please follow the link (available soon)
Mis à jour le 12 January 2024.