FOCUSING ON TRANSITION
Since 2012, Sciences Po Rennes has also had a site in Caen. The goal of this site in Normandy is to further strengthen the capabilities of the Rennes-based school by offering a wider range of courses, benefiting from two regional campuses, and seeking to reinforce our social diversity policy.
The school’s premises are at 10 Rue Pasteur, in a purpose-renovated building with an inner courtyard. As in Rennes, the premises are located in the city centre, a very short distance from Place Saint-Sauveur and the Abbaye aux Hommes. This location allows students to make the most of the city’s charm and participate in events such as the Les Boréales festival, student carnival, and book fair.
The Caen campus offers a course focusing on sustainable development, with an approach based on a transitioning world. Practically speaking, this specialist subject looks at consultation, dialogue, forward planning, and renewable energy. It takes a project management approach, with a special focus on the local government level.
The syllabus anticipates the issues of the future in terms of jobs, professional outcomes, research, inter-regional cooperation, and public policy, and does so by using the multidisciplinary approach that is one of the key strengths of the Sciences Po model.
A locus for development
As a recent installation, the Caen site is committed to several areas of development, seeking to establish itself at the intersection of several different networks:
- Looking towards Brittany:
The Bretagne region being the school’s region of origin, the Caen campus naturally looks towards Brittany to provide synergies and ensure the two Sciences Po Rennes sites are complementary in terms of partnerships and projects.
- Looking towards Normandy:
Sciences Po Rennes aims to become established as part of the Caen and Normandy scene through a range of actions. It is seeking to develop academic partnerships with other educational establishments in Caen, as is currently the case with ENSICAEN, the Master’s in Sociology at Caen University, and the city’s Human Sciences Research Centre. The Caen site is also involved in local organisations, bringing new ideas to the table and taking part in projects relating to specialist courses (IRD2, etc.).
- Looking towards Scandinavia:
Establishing international partnerships adds to the site’s attractiveness and encourages student exchanges. Building on the historic links between Normandy and Scandinavia, Sciences Po Rennes is aiming to develop a Scandinavian centre. The first steps in this long-term project involve classes focusing on the geographical area in question, the annual organisation of ‘Franco-Nordic Days’, talks, and trips, and participation in the Les Boréales festival.
The educational philosophy of Sciences Po Rennes involves gradual specialisation. In the second year, specialisation accounts for some 30% of the teaching content, structured around classes on human and social sciences that address issues relating to sustainable development, this track being available only on the Caen campus.
After a mandatory third year abroad (at a university or on an internship), students choose between two courses on offer on the Caen campus. The Master’s in ‘Consultation and territories in transition’ and the Master’s in ’Innovative territories and Scandinavia: anticipating transitions (On Site)’.
The two pillars of this course are consultation and forward planning, seen as providing vital and complementary decision support resources for all private and public-private sector stakeholders in sustainable development with responsibility for project design and implementation. This second-year master’s course is a sandwich course. The academic year runs from September to September, with one week of classes on the Caen site each month, and three weeks at work.
Urban territory strategies are considered at several levels (from neighbourhoods to rural outskirts and from the urban region to European city networks), and examined against the backdrop of systemic crisis and the resulting need to prepare for change. As part of a France-Northern Europe programme, the On Site Master’s seeks to draw inspiration from the adaptability and high levels of innovation in Scandinavian and Baltic states, training future policymakers and officers in the ability to handle short-term considerations whilst anticipating new models in the long term.
In the fourth year, students follow a seminar on planning the urban regions of the future (comprising three introductory classes to town planning and development, plus workshops, themed sessions, town planning workshops, and field trips), a series of lectures on Scandinavian cities organised in partnership with the University of Caen, a lecture on methodology (with an introduction to GIS and R-CRAN software), an intercultural workshop on sustainable development concepts, and introductory Swedish language lessons.
The fifth year is a sandwich year with an apprenticeship or professionalisation contract, with students spending three weeks at work and one week in classes.
A friendly-sized school cultivating alternative teaching methods
From the outset, the size of the school has been a factor that encourages a close working relationship between teachers and students. Participatory approaches are both taught and used during the course, empowering students to contribute to the development of the campus, take initiatives, and enrich the educational programme.
The Master’s sandwich course is an undeniable asset when it comes to finding a job. Graduates can apply for positions to run complex projects, jobs as project officers in consultation with major local, national, and international organisations, or, more generally, jobs involving any project with a ‘sustainable development’ aspect requiring dialogue between multiple stakeholders. These functions may be exercised within a company, local government body, or any other organisation.
Second-year ‘Sustainable Development’ track entrance requirements:
- Completion of a first year at Sciences Po Rennes,
- Or passing the competitive examination for admission to the second year having completed one of the approved CPGE graduate school preparation courses.
A city-centre campus
By studying in Caen, you join a long academic tradition established by one of the historic French universities, founded by King Henry VI of England in 1432. As well as benefiting from all the advantages of Normandy – the coast, being relatively close to Paris – you can enjoy the hidden assets of a city constantly undergoing development – as can be seen in the development of the peninsula area and the new tram line.
The city has an outward-looking, international ethos, and has ties to the UK and Scandinavia resulting in events such as the Beauregard, Les Boréales and Nördik Impakt festivals. The World Peace Forum was first held alongside the 70th anniversary of D-Day celebrations: an opportunity for the public to attend talks bringing together international leaders, experts, and other leading figures from all around the world.
Like Sciences Po Rennes, the architectural heritage of the Caen campus is a major component of the school’s renown. The school’s premises are at 10 Rue Pasteur, in a purpose-renovated building with an inner courtyard. As in Rennes, the premises are located in the city centre, a very short distance from Place Saint-Sauveur and the Abbaye aux Hommes. This location allows students to make the most of the city’s charm and participate in the many events on offer.
The city of Caen is home to some 33,000 students and has a total population of approximately 110,000. During the course of the academic year there are a large number of events, including the largest student carnival in France, co-organised with the city of Caen.
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