School of Fine Arts China2The Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts

International Design Strategy / China Studio

Taught in English Shanghai
Diplôme visé contrôlé par l'ÉtatLabel - Diplôme conférant grade de master contrôle par l'État
Updated on 06.03.24

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

Prerequisites: 3 years of undergraduate studies in design

Admissions: on our application site


Location: Shanghai, China

Teaching language: English

Postgraduate studies / Master's level degree

A postgraduate programme in two years specialized in International Design Strategy, a single master’s level degree in design. Programme in partnership with the Academy of Fine Arts of Shanghai University.

This programme leads to the master’s level degree certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education.

Throughout this programme, students will learn to decipher the local behaviors and understand the Chinese market to offer a coherent project, adapted to users, with an anthropological approach to design.This program is a stepping stone to an international designer career.

Shanghai is a strategic location to develop an intercultural design because of its dynamism and its recent evolution. It also represents a great field of observation and experimentation for understanding and internalizing Chinese codes and uses.

Main themes

  • Anthropology
  • Design in a Chinese context
  • Multicultural approach
Vivid Altar project to commemorate the deceased in a megalopolisCamille Charmey / Vivid Altar / Commemorating the deceased in a megalopolis
Brochure - International programs
A unique two-year program

This programme, 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.

Students conduct their master studies from within the realm of their design discipline, and with a spirit of integration into an Asian context. During applied projects conducted with local partner companies, students form interdisciplinary design teams working on real assignments for Asian clients.

Teaching program – 1st year

Semester 1

Students spend this semester abroad in an internship as a junior designer (13 weeks minimum). They follow before this internship a module including a welcome seminar and methodology-transculturality (80h), language courses and local culture (30h).

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.

Program taught in English

Obtaining the master's level degree

'Le Diplôme de design Bac +5' is awarded by the final jury to students who have obtained:

1. a minimum score of 800 points at the TOEIC test*;
2. a score greater than or equal to 10/20, which breaks down as follows:

  • for 40%, mark attributed to continuous monitoring,
  • for 60%, mark obtained at the final defense in September relating to the student's path (end-of-study project, internship and any other element chosen by the student).

More information on validation of the master's level degree

Admission requirements
Academic requirements

This program is open to all applicants who either:

  • hold a Bachelor’s Degree in design, or

  • have completed three years of undergraduate studies in design, 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 700 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.

While not mandatory for the programs taught in English, a certain command of French language is recommended for daily life in France and integration purposes.

How to apply?

Apply for the master's level degree 'International Design Strategy/China Studio'

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 China

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

After confirmation of your admission, you are required to start the administrative procedures in order to obtain a student visa (X) for China :

If you are a European citizen:
In order to obtain the visa, you need to follow the 2 steps procedure:

  • Getting the JW202 form and the admission attest from the University of Shanghai
  • Getting the student visa (X) from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in your country.

If you are not a European citizen:
The China Studio will assist you with the procedures.

China Studio

More information about the China Studio

Teaching staff

Deputy Executive Director
Stéphane Gouret

Director of Postgraduate Studies
Nathalie CIPRIAN

Job prospects and further education
International career prospects

This program trains students to become global players who can converse fluently in English and possibly even local, Asian languages, understanding Chinese context better, and most of all, steep themselves in 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 master programs, this programme 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.


Carrefour, Decathlon, Groupe ADEO, Hisense, Kohler, Leroy Merlin, Ultra Violet by Paul PAIRET

Design agencies

Creative Capital, centdegres, In Process, Octopus Innovation, Quintessence

Public institutions

City of Shanghai, French Chamber of Commerce, Alliance Française, University of Shanghai, UTSEUS

Higher education and research institutions

Shanghai, University, PACC, UTSEUS

A question about this program? Contact us!

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International Design Strategy / China Studio

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