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Best Design Schools in France

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France has a long history of art, and was the birthplace of famous artists and their respective art genres. Studying in a country that has such a famous artistic legacy would be an inspiring choice for any international student. As well as being known for its more traditional art, France is also renowned for its contributions to fashion and architecture.

The country’s capital city, Paris, is a global hub of fashion and art, with leading designers, brands and industry events being based in the city of love. If you choose to study in Paris, you will have access to all of these opportunities, which can give you a head start in your career.

There are options for international students to study at schools that specialise in creative arts and design, as well as universities that are home to faculties offering well-regarded bachelors and masters degree in the subject areas.

France’s design schools provide high quality education, modern facilities, and encouraging environments. As a student in France you will be exposed to a culture that values artistic expression and pushes the boundaries of creativity.

Whether you dream of becoming a fashion designer, graphic artist, or interior decorator, France’s prestigious institutions are the perfect place to hone your skills and ignite your passion. Discover why studying design in France can be the transformative experience you’ve been searching for.

Design School Rankings

One of the measurements you might consider when choosing where to study is university rankings. These can be an indication of the quality of teaching you will receive, as well as student satisfaction. However, both the QS and Times Higher Education rankings don’t tend to include rankings for subject specific institutions, such as design schools.

As you can see from the table below, only two of the 12 best design schools in France have rankings. That is because they are actually central universities that have creative arts and design departments that are well-regarded.

Although rankings are a useful tool when it comes to deciding where to study, they are not the only thing you should consider. The ranking position of a university does not necessarily mean that it would be the perfect choice for you, it is important that you do some research and understand what else the institution offers to you, and what you value the most.

UniversityLocationQS World Ranking 2025THE World Ranking 2024
University of BordeauxBordeaux=535351-400
BESIGN – The Sustainable Design SchoolCagnes-sur-Mer
L’École de design Nantes AtlantiqueNantes
LISAA School of DesignParis
Paris College of ArtParis
Institut Français de la ModeParis
École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD)Paris
Beaux-Arts de ParisParis
Atelier de SèvresParis
Sorbonne UniversityParis=6375
École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle, ENSCI Les AteliersParis
Strate School of Design

Top French Design Schools

University of Bordeaux

The University of Bordeaux, located in the historic city of Bordeaux, offers courses in the creative arts and design subject area. You can choose to study a bachelors or masters degree in specialities such as eco-design, fine arts, graphic design and digital arts, among others. The teaching at the University of Bordeaux aims to balance theoretical knowledge with practical experience, making sure that you are ready for your future career.

Degrees are taught in both English and French, meaning they are accessible to international students from all over the world. Courses within the creative arts and design departments make use of state-of-the-art facilities, workshops and studios, and you will be encouraged to take part in exhibitions, projects and other events that allow you to show off your work and network with people from the industry you are interested in.

BESIGN – The Sustainable Design School

BESIGN, which is located in Cagnes-sur-Mer on the south cost of France, is a school that focuses on how to make design more sustainable. Its programs focus on encouraging the preservation of the environment and social innovation, ensuring that graduates are prepared for the design demands of the modern world.

BESIGN offers a bachelor and master degree taught in English, both of which are specialisations in sustainable innovation. As a student you will be able to shape your own journey, with the opportunity to study different areas of design, such as graphic design and computer aided design (CAD), as well as modules on sociology and anthropology, developing your understanding of design as a holistic subject.

L’École de design Nantes Atlantique

L’École de design Nantes Atlantique, a design school located in the city of Nantes, would be a great choice for international students. It is known for its innovative approach to teaching design, the school offers bachelors and masters degrees in subjects areas such as graphic design, product design and interaction design, among others.

Courses are taught in both English and French, meaning that the school is accessible for international students from all over the world. You will be able to develop your theoretical knowledge with practical experience, and will graduate feeling prepared for your future career.

LISAA School of Design

LISAA School of Design is located in France’s capital city, Paris. It is known for its industry connections, and the fact that it builds its degree programs to ensure that graduates are ready for whatever role you choose to work in. LISAA offers a range of programs, including interior architecture, fashion design and animation.

The teaching languages at LISAA are English and French, and the school offers you modern facilities, valuable internships, and job opportunities. As a student you will be able to take part in exhibitions, workshops, and international collaborations, allowing you to network your peers and future employers.

Paris College of Art

Paris College of Art offers degrees in fine arts, communication design and photography, in both English and French. It is a popular choice for international students, and has a diverse community.

The curriculum at Paris College of Art is designed to not only develop your knowledge and skills, but also prepare you for your future. You will have opportunities to take part in workshops and exhibitions during your time as a student, showcasing your work to your peers and potential employers.

Institut Français de la Mode

Institut Français de la Mode (IFM), located in Paris, is an exciting option for international students interested in creative arts and design. Renowned for its expertise in fashion and luxury management, IFM offers bachelors and masters degrees in fashion design, fashion business, and textile design.

Courses are taught in both English and French, making them accessible to a global student body. IFM’s curriculum blends theoretical foundations with hands-on experience, ensuring you are well-prepared for your future in the fashion industry.

École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD)

École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD), located in Paris, offers a prestigious environment for international students. Founded in 1766, its history is complemented by a forward-thinking approach to education, blending tradition with innovation.

ENSAD’s appeal lies in its diverse range of programs, which includes visual communication, multimedia, fashion design, and more. The school fosters a collaborative and experimental atmosphere, encouraging students to explore and push boundaries. With a faculty made up of renowned artists and designers, ENSAD provides a unique opportunity for you as a student.

Beaux-Arts de Paris

Beaux-Arts de Paris, founded in 1648, has a reputation as one of the world’s oldest and most influential art schools. Situated in the heart of Paris, the school’s renowned faculty and alumni include some of history’s most celebrated artists, providing you with a great network of present and former students to be inspired by.

Beaux-Arts de Paris offers degrees in a range of subject areas, from painting and sculpture to new media and digital arts. It emphasises both classical techniques and more contemporary experimentation, which creates a diverse and inclusive approach to artistic expression.

Atelier de Sèvres

Atelier de Sèvres, located in Paris, offers an intensive curriculum tailored to prepare students for careers in art and design fields. The school’s emphasis on practical skills development, combined with mentorship from industry professionals, ensures a nurturing environment for you as a student and as a person.

What sets Atelier de Sèvres apart is its strong connection to the contemporary art scene in Paris and beyond. You will benefit from frequent exhibitions, workshops, and collaborations with prominent artists and designers, providing valuable networking opportunities and real-world experience. The school’s small class sizes encourage all students to feel supported and able to develop your skills.

Sorbonne University

Sorbonne University in Paris is a renowned institution with a history dating back to the Middle Ages. It offers degrees in all disciplines, but is well known for its creative arts and design degrees, which are offered in both English and French.

The university’s Art and Archaeology department, housed within its Faculty of Arts and Humanities, provides programs that cover various aspects of creative arts and design. Students have access to world-class museums, galleries, and cultural institutions in Paris, which will enrich your academic experience with exposure to both art history and contemporary art.

École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle, ENSCI Les Ateliers

École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle, ENSCI Les Ateliers, located in Paris, was established in 1982. Over the years, ENSCI Les Ateliers has gone on to gain recognition for its avant-garde approach and emphasis on innovation and forward thinking.

ENSCI Les Ateliers focuses on merging your artistic creativity with technical expertise and classroom knowledge, preparing you to address contemporary challenges in design. The school promotes hands-on learning in its workshops, where students experiment with materials and technologies under the guidance of leading professionals.

Strate School of Design

Strate School of Design, located in the town of Sèvres (near Paris), is known for its forward-thinking approach. The school emphasises human-centred design, sustainability, and innovation across subject areas such as transportation design, interaction design, and design management.

Strate boasts strong industry connections and focuses on practical learning. Students benefit from workshops, internships, and projects with leading companies, gaining valuable real-world experience. The school’s multicultural environment promotes collaboration and diverse perspectives, enhancing the learning experience.

More information about studying Design in France

If you are interested in studying a bachelors or masters degree in design in France, you can take a look at the universities and schools we have here on and gather more information about the courses offered to you as an international student.

If you are still undecided about where in the world you want to study, or are wondering if design is the perfect choice for you, you should check out our subject directories, such as Creative Arts, Design & Communication, as well as others.

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