Year 1

semesters 1 & 2

The first year proposes core practical and theoretical studies with a generalist art orientation.
A successful first year leads to the different short and long curricula offered by the ensemble of higher schools of art (DNAT, DNAP and DNSEP).
These practical and theoretical studies aim to give students the broadest possible access to the different available domains of creation and the foundations of a solid and autonomous, artistic and cultural education, accompanied by a familiarisation with the appropriate tools.


A first year is above all a moment of passage from, either high-school or preparatory school, or an experience of working life, the beginning of a University curriculum (or other) towards a significant and tangible engagement in the field of creation. This period requires a desire for risk taking, curiosity and an exploration of the most varied plastic experiences possible, the acuity of a relationship with the world, the beginning of a real autonomy along with solid investments of work and energy.

To put all of these elements into place, the first year, common to all students, is divided into two semesters, both complementary and distinct in their objectives.

Semester 1 : Beginning of October to mid-February.
An opening through work, introductions to tools and techniques in different sections, short, precisely informed exercises and a contribution of general culture. The beginning of the importance of the relationship between doing, seeing and perceiving.

Semester 2 : end of February to end of June.
Students must show more autonomy in their approach.

A sensitivity to the different options present in the school is established through the presence of intensive workshops. Then, through personal research students must build the beginning of a critical analysis applied to their plastic experiences and progressively find the tenor of their future orientation and the axes of their engagement.
During the exam at the end of semester 2, students, in their t
heoretical approach and work, must display a certain motivation, enthusiasm and the capacity to commit over a longer term.


Student presence is mandatory in first year. In the case of significant and unjustified absences, the end of year exam panel may evaluate that the absences have compromised the acquisition of the knowledge necessary for the completion of year 1.

Justification of absences are to be communicated to the General Studies department (to Amélie Blanck). The coordinator must also be informed orally.
Students are required to respect the rules and regulations of the establishment that are communicated on the first day of the first semester.


Development of the capacity for personal work and research.
This objective is attained within each class through exercises that call upon methodology and individual creations that confirm its acquisition.

Formulation of the capacity for analysis
The capacity for analysis is one of the acquisitions necessary in the continuation of one's studies, and is an integral element of practical lessons. General culture courses are de facto dedicated to this approach.

Imagining a relationship with the world
Practical exercises target, in addition to the basic techniques and familiarisation with various tools, the development of a project and the independence of the student.

The organisation of visits to important spaces for creation along with information on current issues and happenings supplied by invited contemporary cultural actors within the context of weekly conferences in the school, also participate to this objective.

Acquisition of basic techniques and conceptual tools necessary for the continuation one's studies.
The acquisition of the basics is dealt with in all of the practical and theoretical classes but is not a goal in itself. Individual development of knowledge adapted to each student's personal path is privileged.


Evaluation of student work occurs at the junction of two complementary modes of operation:
- on one hand, a continuous evaluation specific to each teacher during classes, test and assignments;
- on the other, a collective evaluation of the work and progress of the student, done by the ensemble of the teachers during term assessments. These evaluations are organised in accordance with the criteria for the 4 teaching credits that form the structure of the ensemble of the programmes and courses in the Ensba Lyon.

UE 1 . History / culture / theory
UE 2 . Theme / plastic methodology
UE 3 . Practice / experimentation / creation
UE 4 . Contextualisation / mediation

A specific number of ECTS credits corresponds to each Teaching Unit. The ECTS credits can only be obtained after having completed the totality of the work required. The credits are attributed after the collegial evaluation of the term assessment where grades are awarded.
For a grade between 10 and 20, the ECTS credits is awarded. For a grade between 0 and 9 the credits are not awarded.
Credits can not be fractioned (a class with 2 credits can not be evaluated on the base of one credit).

30 ECTS credits are to be obtained in semester 1
30 ECTS credits are to be obtained in semester 2

Students who have obtained between 24 and 29 ECTS credits in semester 1 must recover the missing credits through supplementary work done in the conditions set by the teaching team at the beginning of the semester.
This work is evaluated during the 2nd semester assessment in the context of the end of year exam.

Students who have obtained at least 23 ECTS are informed that their entry into 2nd year is already problematic. A (signed) contract is established with each student, specifying the extra work to be done, at the beginning of the 2nd semester.

This is evaluated at the moment of the 2nd semester exam, at the beginning of the interview.
If the contract is not fulfilled, the evaluation ends; the work of the 2nd semester is targeted but not validated. No credit is awarded for the 2nd semester. 60 credits are necessary to enter semester 3 (year 2).

Students who do not obtain the full 60 ECTS credits necessary for entry into semester 3 (year 2) are not allowed to repeat the year in the Ensba Lyon, excepting the particular cases described below.
The student must organise their situation ahead of time (upon reception of the results of the 1st semester assessment) with regards to other higher schools of art, with a view to registering for a new 1st year.

Clarification: for medical reasons or in the case of force majeure that justifies their inability to follow classes, a request to repeat the year may be made to the direction and a copy of the request sent to the teaching-coordinator of their option
1. This request must be accompanied by the necessary documents and will be examined by an ad hoc commission.

Evaluations during assessments

Assessments are important pedagogical moments. Spatial preparation and presentation of the work are required. Assessments may only be attended by students registered in the school.

1st Semester assessment

This consists of an evaluation by the college of teachers, and takes the form of an oral interview based on the installation of work, grades, production done during weeks of initiation and research done during the semester.
This allows teachers to evaluate the path taken by the student at the mid-point of the year, to analyse and update missed objectives and successes. This assessment also has the value of a test as to the student's engagement in the field of artistic creation. At the end of the assessment, the student is informed of the evaluation that has been made of their work.

A written appreciation accompanied by the grades and the number of credits obtained is communicated to the student by the college of teachers.
This is mailed to the student after validation by the General Studies department and the direction. The coordinator then speaks with students who need to increase their motivation during the 2nd semester and informs them of the conditions for recovering the missing ECTS credits.

Exam at the end of year 1

The exam at the end of year 1 (or analysis and synthesis of research) is integrated into the 2nd semester assessment.
The jury is composed of the college of professors and, in specific cases, a participant form outside of the year 1 teaching team (teacher from the option or an invited professional).

The exam consists of :
• an oral interview where the jury examines the work and questions the student on the progression of their school year
• A document (or “project dissertation”) developing a theme through which the student's artistic and cultural references and the basis of their personal engagement in the field of creation are displayed. This document is assessed on the quality of the writing and presentation in addition to the importance and pertinence of the iconographic research.
Success in this exam is determined by the evaluation of the ensemble of the acquired practical and theoretical knowledge and skills.

Having obtained the necessary 60 ECTS credits, the student may enter the 2nd year of the Ensba Lyon.

This is required to continue studying in any of the higher schools of art in France. The decision to allow students to enter second year (semester 3) is taken by the Director upon the recommendations of the admissions panel. The decisions are sovereign and are officially posted in the school.
Notification of acquisition of grades and ECTS credits is sent by the General Studies department by post.
Reminder: repeating 1st year is not permitted in the Ensba Lyon, apart from the exceptions in the conditions described above, for medical reasons or in the case of Force Majeure that justifies an inability to follow classes.

Classes in General Culture

Culture in general and art history and theory in particular, are essential tools for the development of projects and work, and are equally important along with plastic research during the end of year exam. They have an essential role during the end of year exam. The idea is to try to give each student the desire to weave their own web based on their reading, work and questions.

Instead of considering knowledge as an established body, closed in upon itself, elitist and foreign, students discover the essentially open and problematic nature of knowledge and it becomes their natural and daily nourishment.
In general teachers engage in the transmission of a methodology of work that allows both a pacing and stimulation of thinking, in addition to a deepening of knowledge.
Furthermore, it is essential to understand that the domain of knowledge, like that of art, is an open and eminently conflictual field, wherein positions and opinions compete. It is desirable that the creativity invested in the intellectual work is perceived, right from the first year.

Courses in plastic practices

Plastic practice is the place where materials, mediums, techniques, everything contributed by classes, conferences, exhibition visits and the students own experiences are blended and gathered via the form. It is a place of continuous movement without hierarchy, between practice and the emergence of a vision, tools and the beginning of the articulation of a relationship with the world sensitivity and construction of an analytical capacity.
Experiences and experimentation are essential, knowledge of codes is necessary but the apprenticeship of distance, of alterity vis-a-vis the selfsame codes is also desirable.
The discovery of the student's plastic singularity is made through a “material formulation”.

Two studios, along with rooms for drawing and hangings are dedicated to these classes; they are collective spaces where simple rules of savoir-vivre and the conditions for concentration are necessary. The spaces are modular, transformable and a flexibility of use is necessary. Students are asked to respect these work spaces.


Initiations consist of practical implementation around specific media or techniques. The initiations take place in the studios and workshops. Regular approaches are proposed:
computing, film and digital photography, publishing, sculpture.
A presentation of the content is proposed so as to show the link between practice and theory and the associated historical issues. Practical studio work is guided by one or more teachers. Specific notes and a plastic production is asked of the student during these studios. Apprenticeship of processes, knowledge of different sections and the construction of a basis for experimentation are the objectives of these four weeks of initiations.

Publishing section
Coordinator : Nicolas Romarie
Assistants and Technicians : Sarah Bréassier, Cécile Mazoyer-Pouzache, Denis Lecoq.

Images-movement section
Coordinators : Marie Voignier and Olivier Zabat
Technicians : Francis Ehrhardt, Dominique Giguet, Jean-Marc Guillot.

Photography section
Coordinator : Guillaume Janot
Assistants and Technicians : Gérard Dufour, Christian Gallais et Julien Guinand.

Volume section
Coordinator : David Renaud
Technicians : Éric Bonaventure, Francis Desjeunes, Olivier Neden, Jean-Charles Paumier.

Exhibition Visits

Study trips to major regional and international centres for creation are important in the context of one's studies, allowing students to discover venues and platforms for contemporary art.
Regular and independent visits to these spaces are essential to the study of art. Transport by coach and part of the price of admission is paid for by the school. Certain fees are paid for by students.
In function of the destinations, official identity papers or residence permits must be up do date and valid.

Safety rules and regulations in different museums must be followed to the letter.

course content