Implemented from the beginning of the academic year 2003 at University Lumière (Lyon 2), Bachelor's degrees are in line with the European Higher Education System (Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, PhD).
'L' for Licence (Bachelor's degree), 'M' for Master (Master's degree) and 'D' for Doctorat (PhD).
It is a European-scale reform which is specified for each specific country, based on a new architecture of higher education degree courses.
The academic year is divided into two semesters - at Lyon 2, September-January and February-June. A Bachelor's degree ending in a diploma comprises 6 semesters. With the 'LMD' reform, qualifying for the following year does not mean completing the academic year: it means completing semesters.
Diplomas are obtained based on European credits (ECTS - European Credit Transfer System). Bachelor's degrees require 180 European credits (6 semesters), Master's require 300 credits (+2 semesters) and PhD's require 480 credits (+3 years).
Semesters are divided into Education Units (UE), each UE being equivalent to a subject field and a value defined in European credits. The amount of credits is defined according to the total workload required by the students. Besides the numbers of hours of lessons, this workload also includes personal work, work placements, projects and various personal activities. Students may complete their courses in foreign universities.
This new system was initiated by the joint statement of the European Ministers of Education on 19th June 1999 (Bologna process). All the different structures of higher education in Europe (universities, schools) are thus gradually implementing this LMD' reform. The Lumière University (Lyon 2) set up Bachelor's degrees (semesters 1 - 6) at the beginning of the academic year 2003-2004 and Master's degrees during the academic year 2004-2005.
An essential concept, degree courses must enable students to define their training and professional projects. Bachelor's degrees include disciplinary UE's which are equivalent to the chosen subject (languages, communication languages, IT, methodology, expression, cross discipline units UE). A course may include an exchange programme.
For each education unit they complete, students accumulate European credits. Students who wish to change to a different course and study elsewhere or stop their studies keep all previously accumulated credit.
During the course of their studies, students may validate courses attended in other universities. A Bachelor's degree is equivalent to 180 European credits, so it is possible to achieve 120 credits at Lyon 2 and 60 credits in another French or foreign university. Students may obtain regional grants or scholarships for exchange programmes.