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The master’s programmes
LEST organises or contributes to the teaching for several master’s programmes (5th year of higher education). These master’s programmes, teaching for which is conducted exclusively in French, are open to foreign students wishing to spend a full year in France in order to obtain a degree from a French university. Each master’s comprises a fixed volume of teaching and students also have to submit a dissertation.
Admission is selective and applicants are required to supply proof that they have completed 4 years of higher education in a foreign university. Another possibility is to complete only a part of the course under the terms of a draft agreement with the student’s university.
The master’s programmes in question are :
‘The Sociology of Contemporary Change : Institutions, Spaces, and Cultures’, a research-based master’s intended as preparation for students wishing to continue on to a PhD ;
‘Organisational Dynamics, Work and Human Resources’, a research-based, vocational master’s designed as training for future researchers, managers and consultants in the fields of labour economics, human resource management and organisational change. It is one of the few master’s programmes that combine economics and management sciences at this level.
‘The Social Economy’, a vocational master’s that aims to contribute to the production of skills in the following areas :
use of aids to decision-making in cooperative and participatory management, human resource and skills management in organisations in the social economy, organisational diagnosis and the management of change in organisations in the social economy, development of action strategies through leadership of networks, project management and evaluation from the perspective of regional cohesion and job sustainability ;
‘Management of Skills and Human Resources’, a vocational master’s 2 intended as training for designers and developers of systems for human resource, employment and organisational development project management ;
‘Sociological Expertise in Public Action in the Euro-Mediterranean Area’ is designed to meet the demand for sociological expertise in the implementation of public policy measures by providing training for specialists in the management of public action in the following areas :
prevention and management of social risks, social polarisation (or specialisation) in urban areas, linking regional development and solidarity, experimenting with new approaches to containing risks and optimising the chances of developing mobility (migration, intra and extra-community, etc.).
The doctoral programme
Some 40 students, in various disciplines, are studying for their PhDs at LEST, supervised by career researchers or university lecturer/researchers. Students can study for PhDs in sociology, management and economics. Most PhDs involve at least two of these disciplines. Some ten foreign students are studying for their PhDs at LEST, either staying for the whole of the programme or spending some time at LEST as part of a joint supervision arrangement with their universities. The topic of each PhD is discussed and then drawn up with the member of staff who will supervise it. It must fall within the scope of the Institute’s academic agenda. Each PhD should be completed within 3 years, 4 at most. The language is generally French, but theses can also be written and submitted in English (or in another language if the PhD is being jointly supervised and submitted in a foreign student’s own university). An overview of existing partnership arrangements and details of some of the PhDs currently in progress or recently completed can be viewed in the ‘International Partnerships’ section.
LEST attaches great importance to its doctoral students and allocates considerable resources to them. Apart from the Institute’s facilities (offices, library and documentation, IT support and access to data bases, assistance to attend conferences), the doctoral programme makes use of two tools to monitor and support students.
The supervisory committees : in a PhD student’s first year, his or her supervisor, in agreement with the student, sets up a supervisory committee consisting of two experts in the relevant area, who may be members of LEST but may also come from outside the Institute and the two doctoral schools concerned. This committee meets at least once a year. It discusses the progress of the PhD and offers advice on completing the research, finishing the thesis ‘on time’ and post-PhD career plans.
The doctoral seminar series : these seminars are conceived as a tool for providing training in research by encouraging exchanges between PhD students and established researchers. Once a month, a researcher from outside LEST is invited to present a paper that has not yet, or only recently, been published. At the same time, the doctoral students (two per session in theory) distribute a paper presenting a stage in their PhDs. Before an audience of LEST researchers, the guest speaker presents his or her work, which is commented on by the two doctoral students. They then present their papers, which are discussed by the guest speakers and another doctoral student.
To prepare an application : get in touch by e-mail with the member of the Institute’s staff who seems to you best suited to supervising your planned thesis (discipline, topic), attaching a detailed CV and a draft outline of the topic you are considering for your PhD.