LMD system and equivalences

Licence Master Doctorat
Pays concerné(s)

French higher education has applied the LMD (Licence Master Doctorate) system. You gain ECTS credits once you pass your exams.

Degrees are recognised by many countries in the European Union and around the world.

Standardisation of Degrees

The three-level organisation of post-secondary education is shared by most countries in the European Union.

In France, LMD stands for licence-master-doctorat (Bachelor - Master - Doctorate).

This system offers recognition of the degrees in different countries.


LMD degrees are obtained by successfully completing a certain number of semesters. Each semester awards up to 30 ECTS (European Credits Transfer System) credits that are valid in, and can be transferred to other countries.

An undergraduate programme requires successful completion of six semesters, resulting in 180 ECTS credits. An additional four semesters are required to obtain a Master degree, with an additional 120 ECTS credits. A Doctorate - PhD is awarded after successful completion of sixteen semesters and awards a total of 480 ECTS credits in a minimum of eight years of studies starting from the first year of the Bachelor's programme.

How asking equivalences between French and Irish degrees?

Each establishment defines its own admission criteria, according to the student background and the programme requirements. Only the host establishment is authorised to accept or refuse an applicant. Mutual agreements to recognise degrees may nonetheless make requests for equivalence easier.

The ENIC-NARIC centre may provide an attestation certifying to the French value of a degree obtained from a foreign educational system. This attestation does not constitute an equivalence in and of itself, but some institutes of higher education require it. The procedure costs 70 Euros per request.

The ENIC-NARIC European network also lets you certify the value for your country of the years you spent studying in France.

In Ireland, the accredited organisation is the Quality and Qualifications Ireland.