Biology Courses and Universities in France

Know the Available Biology Courses in France for Science stream students....

Standyou Team
Standyou Team

Jan 10, 2024 12:12:02

Biology Universities in France for International Students

1. Sorbonne University (Université Sorbonne)

  • Programs Offered: Undergraduate and postgraduate programs in various fields of biology, including molecular biology, ecology, and bioinformatics.

  • Fees: For EU/EEA students, fees are typically around €170-€600 per year. For non-EU students, fees can be higher, approximately €2,770-€3,770 per year.

  • Intake: The main intake is in September, with application deadlines typically early in the year.

  • Ranking: Sorbonne University is highly ranked, particularly in life sciences.

2. University of Paris (Université de Paris)

  • Programs Offered: Offers a range of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in biology, including specializations in genetics, microbiology, and plant sciences.

  • Fees: Similar to Sorbonne University, with a distinction between EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students.

  • Intake: Primary intake in September, with the application period in the preceding spring.

  • Ranking: Known for its strong research output in the sciences.

3. Aix-Marseille University

  • Programs Offered: Comprehensive biology programs at bachelor's, master's, and PhD levels with research and practical focus.

  • Fees: Standard public university fees in France apply, with a distinction between EU and non-EU students.

  • Intake: Main intake in September, with some programs offering a spring intake.

  • Ranking: Renowned for its research in various scientific fields.

4. University of Bordeaux

  • Programs Offered: Offers programs in biological sciences, including cell biology, ecology, and neuroscience.

  • Fees: Fees for public universities in France are typically lower for EU students. Non-EU student fees may be higher.

  • Intake: Mainly in the fall, with application deadlines usually in the spring.

  • Ranking: Well-regarded for its science programs.

5. École Normale Supérieure (ENS)

  • Programs Offered: Known for its highly selective programs in biological sciences at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

  • Fees: While ENS has relatively low tuition fees, it’s known for being highly competitive.

  • Intake: Primary intake in September.

  • Ranking: ENS consistently ranks high, particularly in natural sciences.

General Information:

  • Language: Most undergraduate programs are in French, requiring B2 level proficiency. English-taught programs are more common at the master’s and PhD levels.

  • Application Process: For international students, it’s crucial to check language requirements and whether your prior qualifications are recognized. Applications for most programs are done through the respective university's website or Campus France.

  • Scholarships and Financial Aid: scholarships and financial aid options are available for international students, both from the French government and individual universities. 

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Biology Courses in France for Indian Students

Undergraduate Courses (Bachelor’s Degree)

1. Duration: Typically 3 years.

2. Structure: Courses cover fundamental aspects of biology, including cell biology, genetics, physiology, and ecology.

3. Language: Most undergraduate courses are in French, so proficiency in French (often B2 level) is required. However, some programs might be available in English.

4. Application: Usually through the French higher education admission portal or directly to the university. Indian students might need to go through Campus France.

Master’s Degree Courses

1. Duration: Usually 1-2 years.

2. Specializations: Options in areas like molecular biology, environmental biology, neuroscience, and more.

3. Language: Greater availability of English-taught programs at the Master’s level.

4. Admission Requirements: A relevant Bachelor's degree, language proficiency, and sometimes specific coursework or research experience.

PhD Programs

1. Duration: Generally 3-4 years.

2. Focus: Strong emphasis on research, leading to a dissertation.

3. Admission: Requires a Master’s degree in a relevant field, a research proposal, and often a supervisor’s agreement before application.

Language Requirements

  • French-taught Courses: French proficiency is essential. Students often need to pass a French language test.

  • English-taught Courses: Require proficiency in English, evidenced by tests like TOEFL or IELTS.

Application Process for Indian Students

1. Undergraduate: Validate your secondary school certificate, pass a French language test if necessary, and apply either through the university or Campus France.

2. Postgraduate: Direct application to the university with your academic records, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and proof of language proficiency.

Tuition Fees

  • Public Universities: Generally more affordable, with fees ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand euros per year.

  • Private Institutions: Can be significantly more expensive.


  • Scholarships are available from the French government, French embassies in India, and some specific universities. These can cover tuition, living expenses, or both.

Living in France

  • Accommodation, health insurance, and living expenses are additional considerations.

  • France offers a rich cultural experience and a vibrant student life.

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Bachelors of Biology in France

1. Program Structure

  • Duration: Typically 3 years (Licence in the French system).

  • Curriculum: Includes foundational topics in biology such as genetics, cell biology, ecology, biochemistry, and physiology. May also cover related areas like chemistry and physics.

2. Language of Instruction

  • Primarily in French: Most Bachelor's programs in biology are taught in French.

  • French Language Proficiency: Non-native French speakers usually need to demonstrate proficiency through a standardized test like DELF or DALF.

  • English-Taught Programs: Some universities might offer programs in English, but they are less common.

3. Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma: Equivalent to the French Baccalauréat.

  • Language Proficiency: Proof of French proficiency for French-taught programs, or English proficiency for English-taught programs (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS).

  • Application: Generally includes transcripts, a personal statement, and sometimes letters of recommendation.

4. Application Process

  • Direct Application: To the university for some specific programs.

  • Via French Admission Portals: Such as Parcoursup, which is the primary platform used by French high school students.

5. Tuition Fees

  • Public Universities: Generally more affordable, with annual fees ranging from about €170 to €600 for EU/EEA students. For non-EU students, fees are typically higher, around €2,770 to €3,770 per year.

  • Private Institutions: Can be significantly more expensive.

6. Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Options are available for international students from various organizations, including the French government, private institutions, and international bodies.

7. Accommodation and Living Expenses

  • Living in France can vary in cost depending on the city. Paris, for example, is notably more expensive than smaller cities or towns.

8. Work and Study Opportunities

  • France allows international students to work part-time during their studies. This can be a good way to gain experience and manage living expenses.

9. Post-Graduation Opportunities

  • A Bachelor’s in Biology can lead to further study (Master’s, PhD) or entry into various scientific fields, including research, environmental management, healthcare, and biotechnology.

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Masters of Biology in France

Program Structure

  • Duration: Typically 2 years (divided into M1 and M2 years in the French system).

  • Content: Advanced study in specialized areas such as molecular biology, ecology, biomedical sciences, genetics, neurobiology, or environmental biology.

  • Research Focus: Emphasis on lab work, research projects, and a final dissertation or thesis.

Language of Instruction

  • French-Taught Programs: Most Master's programs in biology are conducted in French, requiring good proficiency in the language.

  • English-Taught Programs: There are also programs offered in English, particularly appealing to international students.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree: In biology or a closely related field.

  • Language Proficiency: For French-taught programs, a B2 level in French is often required. For English-taught programs, standard English language tests like TOEFL or IELTS are necessary.

  • Academic Transcripts: Showing strong performance in relevant undergraduate courses.

  • Letters of Recommendation: Usually from academic faculty.

  • Statement of Purpose: Outlining your research interests and career goals.

Application Process

  • Direct Application to Universities: Some universities allow direct application for their Master’s programs.

  • Through Centralized Platforms: Such as "FindAMasters" or similar portals.

  • Deadlines: Vary by university, typically falling between December and April for the following academic year.

Tuition Fees

  • Public Universities: Fees for EU/EEA students are generally lower than for non-EU/EEA students. They range from approximately €243 to €600 per year.

  • Private Institutions: Can have significantly higher fees.

Scholarships and Funding

  • Many universities and external organizations offer scholarships and funding opportunities, particularly for research-oriented studies.

  • Scholarships may cover tuition fees, living expenses, or both.

Opportunities After Graduation

  • France’s focus on research and development in sciences provides ample opportunities for graduates in research institutions, academia, biotechnology companies, and various other sectors.

  • A Master’s degree can also lead to further academic pursuit in PhD programs.

Living in France

  • Consider the cost of living, which varies significantly between cities.

  • France offers a rich cultural experience and a strong academic environment.

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PhD in Biology from France

1. Program Structure and Duration

  • Duration: Typically 3 to 4 years.

  • Focus: Emphasis is on conducting original research, culminating in a dissertation or thesis.

  • Coursework: Limited coursework, with the main focus on research.

2. Language of Instruction

  • French and English: While a good command of French is advantageous, many PhD programs, especially in the sciences, are available in English.

  • Language Proficiency: Non-native speakers will need to demonstrate proficiency in the language of the program.

3. Admission Requirements

  • Master's Degree: In biology or a related field.

  • Research Proposal: A comprehensive proposal outlining your intended research area.

  • Letters of Recommendation: Usually required from academic mentors or professors.

  • CV/Resume: Highlighting academic achievements, research experience, and any publications.

4. Finding a Supervisor and Research Topic

  • Critical Step: You should identify and possibly contact potential supervisors whose research interests align with yours before applying.

  • Research Topic: Your research topic should be viable and contribute new knowledge or understanding to the field of biology.

5. Funding and Scholarships

  • Funded PhD Positions: Many PhD positions in France are funded, which means you get paid a salary to conduct your research.

  • Scholarships and Grants: organizations and institutions offer scholarships and grants. These can cover living expenses and research costs.

6. Application Process

  • Direct Application to Institutions: Some universities accept direct applications for their PhD programs.

  • Online Portals: Websites like EURAXESS France provide listings of available PhD positions.

7. Tuition Fees

  • Public Institutions: Generally have low tuition fees, even for international students.

  • Private Institutions: May have higher fees.

8. Post-PhD Opportunities

  • Academia and Research: Opportunities in universities, research institutes, and private sector research.

  • Industry Positions: Biotech, pharmaceuticals, environmental management, and more.

9. Living in France

  • Cultural Experience: Rich cultural heritage and vibrant research community.

  • Cost of Living: with Paris being more expensive.

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Education System in France

Eligibility Criteria for Biology Course Program in France

Bachelor’s Degree in Biology

  1. Educational Background:

    • Completion of secondary education equivalent to the French Baccalauréat, such as the Indian Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) or British A-levels.

    • A strong foundation in science, especially in subjects like biology, chemistry, and physics.

  2. Language Proficiency:

    • For French-taught programs: B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is often required. DELF or DALF exams are standard tests.

    • For English-taught programs: IELTS, TOEFL, or equivalent tests.

  3. Application Materials:

    • High school transcripts.

    • Personal statement or motivation letter.

    • Letters of recommendation (in some cases).

Master’s Degree in Biology

  1. Educational Background:

    • A bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field.

    • Some programs may have specific prerequisites or preferred background knowledge.

  2. Work Experience:

    • Not typically required, but relevant research experience or internships can strengthen your application.

  3. Language Proficiency:

    • Similar requirements as for the bachelor’s degree, applicable to the program's language of instruction.

  4. Application Materials:

    • Bachelor's degree transcripts.

    • CV or resume.

    • Statement of purpose.

    • Letters of recommendation.

    • Research proposal (for research-focused programs).

PhD in Biology

  1. Educational Background:

    • A master’s degree in biology or a related field.

  2. Research Proposal:

    • A comprehensive research proposal indicating your area of interest and potential contribution to the field.

  3. Language Proficiency:

    • Depending on the program’s language, proficiency in French or English.

  4. Application Materials:

    • Transcripts from previous degrees.

    • Detailed CV.

    • Letters of recommendation.

    • Publications or previous research work (if applicable).

General Notes:

  • Visa Requirements: International students need to apply for a student visa and meet all the associated requirements.

  • Financial Proof: Proof of financial means to support the study and stay in France.

  • Cultural Fit: Familiarity with French culture and the education system can be beneficial, especially for integration and adaptation.

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Intakes & Application Deadlines for Biology Course in France

Bachelor’s Degree in Biology

  1. Intakes:

    • The primary intake for bachelor's programs in France is in the Fall, starting in September or October.

    • A Spring intake is less common and not widely available for biology courses.

  2. Application Deadlines:

    • For the Fall intake, applications usually open in the preceding winter or early spring, with deadlines often around March or April.

    • For programs with a Spring intake, application deadlines might be around September or October of the previous year.

Master’s Degree in Biology

  1. Intakes:

    • Like bachelor's programs, the main intake for Master's in biology is in the Fall.

    • Some universities might offer a Spring intake, but this is less common.

  2. Application Deadlines:

    • Deadlines for the Fall intake can vary but often range from early spring to early summer (March to June).

    • For Spring intake programs, deadlines might be in the late fall (around October or November).

PhD in Biology

  1. Intakes:

    • PhD programs usually have more flexibility in terms of start dates. The most common intake is still in the Fall, but many programs accept students throughout the year.

  2. Application Deadlines:

    • Deadlines for PhD programs can vary widely and are often based on the specific project and funding availability.

    • It's common to see rolling deadlines or multiple cut-off dates throughout the year.

Private Universities in France

Study in France for Free

Fees for Biology Courses in France

Public Universities

Public universities in France are subsidized by the government, making them more affordable.

  1. EU/EEA Citizens:

    • Bachelor's Programs: Fees are typically around €170 to €600 per year.

    • Master's Programs: Approximately €243 to €600 per year.

    • PhD Programs: Fees are generally around €380 per year, but they can vary.

  2. Non-EU/EEA Citizens:

    • Bachelor's Programs: Fees are approximately €2,770 per year.

    • Master's Programs: Around €3,770 per year.

    • PhD Programs: Fees for non-EU students at the PhD level are often similar to those for EU students.

Private Institutions

Private institutions set their own fees, which can be significantly higher than those at public universities.

  • Both EU/EEA and Non-EU/EEA Citizens:

    • Fees can range widely, from about €3,000 to over €10,000 per year, depending on the institution and program.

Additional Costs

  • Living Expenses: Living costs in France vary, with cities like Paris being more expensive. Budget around €600 to €1,200 per month for accommodation, food, transportation, and personal expenses.

  • Health Insurance: Mandatory for all students. EU students can use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), while non-EU students might need to purchase health insurance, which can cost around €300 per year.

  • Administrative and Miscellaneous Fees: Some universities may have additional fees for services like library, sports facilities, etc.

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