Nanoscale Engineering, M.Sc.


The Nanoscale Engineering program at Université de Lyon offers you the opportunity to explore this challenging field in a stimulating scientific and cultural environment. The program is dedicated to a multidisciplinary and international approach and it is suited equally well for students planning an academic or an industrial career. The two-year curriculum provides both the theoretical basis and the practical expertise in all fields related to the fabrication, the characterization and the design of nanoscale structures and systems.


The Nanoscale Engineering program is dedicated to a multidisciplinary and international approach and it is suited equally well for students planning an academic or an industrial career. The two-year curriculum provides both the theoretical basis and the practical expertise in all fields related to the fabrication, the characterization and the design of nanoscale structures and systems.

The program benefits from support by the technological platforms of three key laboratories in Lyon, as well as by major corporations in the Rhone-Alpes region. Courses start in September each year and the application deadline is the 15th of May for non-EEA citizens and the 15th of June for EEA citizen.

Academic Consortium

The Master of Nanoscale Engineering is conducted under the aegis of the University of Lyon by a consortium of three renowned institutions: the École Centrale de Lyon, the INSA de Lyon, and the Université Claude Bernard - Lyon 1.

All lectures, laboratory practicals, internships and thesis projects are carried out in close collaboration with research laboratories in Lyon and they often involve international partners. This strong link between research and education ensures a continuous improvement of the program to reflect the progress of science and technology in this innovative and rapidly-evolving field.


The program is accredited by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

Programme Structure

Course content

The Nanoscale Engineering master is a two-year program corresponding to 120 ECTS credits. Students receive a universal and profound training in physics, materials science and electronics at the nanoscale, but also in nanobiotechnology.

Elective courses can be followed by the students in their desired area of specialization and/or to broaden their horizons. The entire curriculum is taught in English.

A key educational concept of the program is that each student is immersed in a high-quality research environment for at least half of the time in the curriculum. Throughout the academic year, lab practicals and projects are carried out in research institutions that participate in the program, and thesis projects are undertaken in research laboratories or in nanotechnology companies.

In addition to the scientific and technological aspects, ethical issues and the societal impact of nanotechnology, as well as business considerations, are addressed in specialized seminars and courses.

Structure of the Curriculum

First Year

The major part of semester 1 is dedicated to lectures: The students follow 7 courses from the core modules and 2 elective modules. Laboratory practicals and mini-projects ensure a smooth transition into semester 2 with its four-month internship in a research group. This internship is prepared in semester 1 already with a dedicated literature survey. Seminars of speakers from both academia and industry complement the educational program throughout the entire first year.

Second Year

Semester 3 is again dedicated to lectures, featuring 5 slots for core modules and 3 for electives, as well as some ancillary courses. The entirety of semester 4 is taken up by the six-month Master thesis project, which can be conducted in a research laboratory or in a company, in France or abroad. As in the first year, seminars of speakers from both academia and industry complement the educational program.

Modules and Courses

Core Modules

These courses impart the fundamental knowledge in the nanotechnology field applied to physics, electronics, optics, materials science and biotechnology. Students are required to follow at least twelve core module courses during the two-year program.

Core modules in the first year There are four obligatory core modules in the first year:

  • Introduction to Nanoscale Engineering
  • Micro- and Nanofabrication, part 1
  • Characterization Tools for Nanostructures
  • Quantum Engineering

Furthermore, there is a remedial physics course to which students are assigned based on the results of a physics test at the beginning of semester 1:

  • Basics of Physics

Finally, students have to select a minimum of three courses from the following list for their first year:

  • Solid State Physics at the Nanoscale
  • Continuum Mechanics
  • Physics of Semiconductors, part 1
  • Physical Chemistry and Molecular Interactions
  • Biomolecules, Cells, and Biomimetic Systems

Core modules in the second year Students have to choose at least four courses from the following selection for their second year:

  • Nano-Optics and Biophotonics
  • Surface-Analysis Techniques
  • Physics of Semiconductors, part 2
  • Micro- and Nanofluidics
  • Micro- and Nanofabrication, part 2
  • Biosensors and Biochips
  • Computer Modeling of Nanoscale Systems

Elective Modules

These courses cover a wide range of nanotechnology-related disciplines and thus allow the students to specialize according to their preferences as well as to broaden their expertise. Elective modules in the first year Three courses from the following list have to be chosen for the first year:

  • Nanomechanics
  • MEMS and NEMS
  • Introduction to System Design
  • Drug-Delivery Systems

Elective modules in the second year Students follow a minimum of three courses from the following selection in the second year:

  • Multi-Domain System Integration
  • Solar Cells and Photovoltaics
  • Nanomagnetism and Spintronics
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Tissue and Cell Engineering

Experimental Modules

Students conduct lab practicals that are integrated into the various courses, during which they familiarize themselves hands-on with all standard techniques for fabrication and characterization of nanostructures. They furthermore have the opportunity to work more independently on individual or group projects.

Ancillary Courses and Seminars

This module deals with complementary know-how, relevant both for academia and in an industrial environment. Students follow a course on intellectual-property issues. Ethical aspects and the societal impact of nanotechnology are covered in specialized seminars, which also allow for networking with national and international nanotechnology companies and research laboratories. Communication skills are likewise developed through written and oral presentations of all experimental work that is carried out during the Master program.


In the second semester, students conduct two-month internships in two of the research laboratories participating in the program. The students choose their projects and come into contact with their host laboratories earlier in the academic year already, by spending some time in these laboratories to carry out an extensive literature survey and to prepare their research projects under the guidance of their supervisors.

Master Thesis Project

The final six-month period of the program is devoted to the master project, which can be carried out either in an academic research laboratory or in an industrial environment. Students have the option to conduct their thesis project anywhere in France or abroad.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

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Academic Requirements

Entry requirements

A Bachelor degree in the field of science or engineering, for example Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Electrical Engineering, or Material Science, is required to be eligible for the Master of Nanoscale Engineering. The minimum number of associated credits is 180, which normally corresponds to having completed a three-year Bachelor program. Furthermore, a reasonable command of the English language (spoken and in written form) is necessary. However, students have the right to receive French versions of all exams if they prefer.

Note that it is possible to apply directly for the second year of the program if you have already completed - or if you are in the process of completing - a nanotechnology-related Master year at another university.

The selection committee will evaluate prospective students based on their academic background and their motivation letter. Proof of additional qualifications such as language certificates and recommendation letters will be taken into account as well, if such items are included in the application documents.

Application File : Any student who is interested in being a Nanoscale Engineering' Master student is asked to complete an electronic application form! (see our website)

You can already prepare:

- A one-page curriculum vitae
- A motivation letter, explaining your interest in Aerospace Engineering and your motivation to join our master program
- Scans of your transcripts of the current academic year and of the previous one (in English or  French; for other languages, English/French translations have to be provided)
- Scans of English/French language certificates
- Up to 2 recommendation letters from your professors or job supervisors (in English or French)
- A scan of your passport or identity card
- Your photo (passport-quality ID picture)
- A scan of your last University enrollment proof


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