Students of the Africa Studio during a course

International Design Strategy Africa Studio

Taught in French Cotonou
Diplôme visé contrôlé par l'ÉtatLabel - Diplôme conférant grade de master contrôle par l'État
Updated on 09.02.24

Degree: Diplôme de design Bac +5: Postgraduate studies / Master's level degree

Prerequisites: 3 years of undergraduate studies in design

Admissions: On our application website


Location: Cotonou, Benin

Teaching language: French

Postgraduate studies / Master's level degree

Discover the Beninese culture through a two-year MDes program, and obtain a French certified degree.

Program in partnership with the Africa Design School, the first design school in West Africa based in Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin.

This program leads to the master’s level degree (Diplôme de design) certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education.

Benin is undergoing rapid development of its territory and the digital transition of its companies, placing urban planning and societal design at the heart of the Africa Studio’s challenges.

In this programme, taught in French, students will work in multicultural teams on projects focusing on societal, ecological and environmental issues and will try to answer the question of how to put design at the service of the population and its surroundings.

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Our postgraduate studies, established over two years, are organized in four semesters validated by 30 ECTS each. A consequent and increasing personal working time is expected for each module.

Teaching program – 1st year

Semester 1
Students spend this semester abroad in an internship as a junior designer (13 weeks minimum).

The goal of this semester for students is to highlight and expand professional knowledge in the context of another culture.

Semester 2
During this semester, students learn how to manage complex design projects, deepen their knowledge of the economic, social and cultural aspects of the field covered in their program, build and apply a methodology and support their end-of-term project. studies, the subject of which they themselves define.

Teaching, delivered in the form of projects in partnership with industry, workshops, lectures, conferences and professional meetings includes the following compulsory credits:

  • Design and complexity project
  • Workshop to define the end of studies project
  • Prospective design project
  • Seminar methodologies
  • Innovation seminar
  • Intellectual property
  • Seminar specific to the theme of the program
  • Introduction to research workshop
  • Professionalisation / lab
  • Contests
  • TOEIC preparation
  • Preparation for the end of studies project, complementary seminar
  • Memory preparation workshop
Teaching program – 2nd year

Semester 3
Continuation and finalization of the end-of-studies project summarizing all the professional skills acquired. It can be conducted in collaboration with a company and / or research laboratory of a partner university. This personal end-of-studies project must be related to the program in which students are enrolled.
Supervision is ensured in the form of workshops under the direction of a referent designer, to which punctual speakers are associated. Writing a thesis in the theme of the project.


  • Initiation to law
  • Introduction to management
  • End of studies project workshop
  • Memory Workshop
  • Professionalization & lab
  • Competitions

Semester 4
The study program ends with a minimum of sixteen weeks (and a maximum of six months) internship within a company, in France or abroad.
Trainees work as junior designers and support all or part of a project.
The student must demonstrate his ability to integrate into a team, manage a project and develop all the sequences of the project for its smooth running. It allows the student to articulate all of his studies with what will be his first professional experience.
Depending on the professional project of the student, this internship can also take place within a company that the student will create, or even within a research laboratory.

Admission requirements
Academic requirements

This program is open to all applicants who either:

  • hold a Bachelor’s Degree in design or equivalent,
  • have completed at least three years of undergraduate studies in design or equivalent, equating to at least 180 ECTS credits

You may apply before actually receiving the degree or having completed your undergraduate studies. However, admission will only take effect once the degree is obtained or the undergraduate credits have been validated.

Applicants whose level we assess to be insufficient may be recommended to follow a semester or a full year in our 3rd year of DN MADE / International Class before entering the master’s program.

Final admission will only take effect when the necessary visa is obtained, if applicable.

Language requirements

If you are not a native English speaker, we ask that you provide proof of your English proficiency (minimum level of 600 points at the TOEIC test or equivalent).

  • The Master’s level degree being subject to the validation of 800 points in the TOEIC, you will be required to take the TOEIC exam during the course.

A French level equivalent to 4/B2 assessed by a TCF1 or DELF2 test is required to join the program.

How to apply?

Applications are open until June 30, 2023 for the academic year 2023-2024

They can only be done online on our application website

They are organized in 6 sessions:

  • January session: Until January 31, 2023

  • February session: from February 1 to February 28, 2023
  • March session: from March 1 to March 31, 2023
  • April session: from April 1 to April 30, 202
  • May session: from May 1 to May 31, 2023
  • June session: from June 1 to June 30, 2023

Selection process

1. Online application and payment of the application fees (€50);
2. Uploading all the required documents for application;

3. Application file review and interview if your application file is accepted;

4. Publication of the admissions results at the end of each admission session;

Selection process

Tuition fees 2023

French students and European Union students: €8,900 per year

Non-European Union students: €9,900 per year

+ CVEC (Student and campus life contribution): contribution set at just under €100 per year
CVEC website


The school itself does not offer any scholarship. However, according to your country of residence and your particular situation, different possibilities may be available to finance your studies in France: government grants, funding granted by international organizations and NGOs, private fellowships...

Campus France has a scholarship search engine  which may help you identify a scholarship available in your situation (country of residence, degree being prepared etc.).


Obtain a visa for Benin

Final admission will only take effect when the necessary visa is obtained, if applicable.

You will have to take the following steps:

  • Entry in Benin with a 90-day multiple entry visa (100€)
  • Once in Benin, you will have to make an appointment with the DEI (Department of Emigration and Immigration) to apply for a long stay visa or a residence permit.

In case of admission, the information given above will have to be reconfirmed with the Africa Studio

Academic calendar

The academic year runs from the beginning of September to the beginning of July for all our programs.

Academic Calendar 2023/2024 will start on September 2023 for this program.
This date is provided for information purposes only and is subject to change.

Teaching staff

Deputy Executive Director
Stéphane Gouret

Africa Studio Educational coordinator
Tymélia Zanifé

Job prospects and further education
International career prospects

This program trains students to become global players who can understand Benin context better, and most of all, improve the ability to design for clients and employers from other cultures. It is a living experience that will change its participants, often opening up unexpected, exciting international career opportunities.

Master’s level degree in design

As all our postgraduate studies, this program leads to the Master’s level degree in design, certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and registered in the Registre National des Certifications Professionnelles (the French directory for vocational qualifications or RNCP) as a Level 7 Master’s level degree.

Further education

The Master’s level degree confers the "Grade de master", and you can pursue your education at a PhD level.

africa studioCredits: Africa Design School
Africa Studio
Africa studioCredits: Africa Design School

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International Design Strategy Africa Studio

Taught in French Cotonou
Diplôme visé contrôlé par l'ÉtatLabel - Diplôme conférant grade de master contrôle par l'État