grenoble, france, study, postgraduate, graduate, programs, courses

Study in Grenoble, France

Population: 158,552

City Overview

Sitting at the foot of the French Alps and known as the ‘Capital of the Alps’, Grenoble is a city in southwestern France.

It is the most populated city of this mountain region and is perfect to combine your postgraduate study with both city and mountain living.

Mountain sports are an important attraction in both summer and winter with 20 large and small ski resorts surrounding the city.

The city is also one of the leading European centres in terms of high-tech industries, especially nanotechnology and biotechnology with many world-renowned companies such as Hewlett Packard and Caterpillar having made a home there.

Education profile

There are strong options to study a graduate program in Grenoble. The University of Grenoble is located in the nortwestern part of the city known as the Polygone Scientifique ("Scientific Polygon").

The university is made up of five separate institutions that share the same campus grounds and laboratories:
The city is also home to a campus of the École nationale de l'aviation civile (French civil aviation university). Combined the city’s institutions have more than 60,000 students with 16% coming from overseas.

The city is known as a scientific centre especially in the fields of physics, computer science, and applied mathematics.

Graduate programs in France fall into three main categories:
  • Taught Masters (MAs/MScs/MEng)
  • Research Masters (MRes/ MA by Research)
  • Doctorates and PhDs
Taught Masters are postgraduate courses that follow a similar pattern to undergraduate study, with lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will be expected to research topics yourself and take and independent approach to studying.

Research Masters are often seen as pre-cursor to a PhD. You will research a particular topic independently and focus on improving your research skills to produce a dissertation or final projects.

Masters programs in France generally last between 1-2 years, with PhDs taking up to four years to complete. 

Immigration and visas

If you are looking to study for a postgraduate degree in Grenoble and are an EU citizen you will be accepted onto a graduate program provided you fulfil the following:
  • Are studying in Grenoble for more than three months.
  • Are enrolled at an accredited university or institution.
  • Have proof of sufficient funds to cover your graduate program in France for its duration.
  • Have health insurance cover.
Non-EU students will need to apply for an extended-stay student visa, with residency permit (VLS-TS).

When a VLS-TS visa is issued, students will be given an official form that they must present to the French office of immigration and integration (OFII).

A VLS-TS holder must, upon arriving in France, send to the OFII by registered mail (return receipt requested):
  • The official form received from the consulate that issued the visa.
  • A copy of passport pages showing the visa holders identity and the stamp indicating entry into France (or into the Schengen area).
You can find out more about visas at Campus France -

Life in Grenoble

Grenoble is a great place to study a graduate program abroad as it is a big enough city to offer a variety of living but small enough as to not be overwhelming.

Much of the city’s social life (like much of France) centres around its cafe culture and this can be enjoyed throughout the city along with an array museums, concert venues, bars, restaurants and cinemas.

The city also has easy access to the mountains which locals and tourists use for mountain sports in both winter and summer.

Grenoble has an extensive tram system which allows easy access to all parts of the city.

Working In Grenoble

If you are a postgraduate student from inside the EU you are entitled work in Grenoble provided the institution you are enrolled at provides access to the student social security scheme.

For other foreign students, since 2007 the student residence card has replaced the need to get temporary authorisation to work in France. Foreign students can also work up to 60% of the statutory annual work time, the equivalent of a maximum of 964 hours per year. 


Generally student accommodation in France is considered expensive.

There are two main types of accommodation while studying:
  • University accommodation – such as halls of residence
  • Private accommodation – House and flat rentals
University accommodation is in very short supply, so most students end up living in private accommodation. The number of private student residences is on the increase, making it easier to find student accommodation in France.

CNOUS CROUS (the student social support service) and is usually reserved for government scholarship holders.

Campus France can help you with problems you might have with student housing in France, such as locating and reserving accommodation except for places in Paris.

Weather and Climate

Grenoble has a humid subarctic continental climate with cool summers and no dry season. The warm season lasts from June to September, and the cold season (which often has freezing temperatures) is from November to March.

What to do next

Are you interested in studying a graduate program in Grenoble? If so, you should sign up for our Free Application Service. We'll provide you with tailored information, courses to suit you and the option to apply online for the graduate program you want.