MSc City and Urban Environment
Atmosphere, Water and Environment (U-ENV AWE)

NB This specialism is only on offer in the M2 year in from September 2024

Programme Objectives
This City and Urban Environment specialism offers a world-class education to future engineers and town planners by providing the skills necessary to address environmental and health issues in the context of sustainable urban development, in research and in urban engineering.

The programme is designed to provide the scientific theoretical knowledge and tools necessary to understand and address the environmental physical problems resulting from the ever increasing urban population. Various key disciplines such as urban hydrology, urban atmosphere, building heat transfer and pollution of air water and soils are taught through advanced lectures and research work in laboratories renowned in these fields.

The programme of study lasts two academic years - denoted by M1 and M2 and is taught in English. It comprises three study semesters followed by a paid Master's thesis / internship in the final semester.

Our Master's programmes in City and Urban Environment are fully accredited by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

Contribution to sustainable development goals




Learn more about Centrale Nantes' commitment to the 17 sustainable development goals
Course Content

30 ECTS Credits per semester.
Language of instruction: English

M1 Year - 2023/24
Autumn Semester Courses ECTS  Spring Semester Courses  ECTS
Fluid mechanics 1  5 Hydrology and transfers in soils  5
Algorithmics for Engineering Modelling  4 Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics  5
Energetics and building heat transfers  5 Urban Realities Review  5
Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences  5 Urban Management and Planning  4
Introduction to research  5 Fluid Mechanics 2  5
Business Environment  4 Environmental Data Analysis  4
Modern Languages *  2 Modern Languages *  2
Conferences  0

* 'French as Foreign Language' except for French native speakers who will study 'Cultural and Communicational English' or Spanish (depending on sufficient demand).
NB Course content may be subject to minor changes
M2 Year - 2024/25
Autumn Semester Courses ECTS
Turbulence: theory, modelling and analysis 5
Meteorology & atmospheric boundary layers 4
Urban pollution 5
Urban water management and modelling 5
Urban climate and energy 5
Case studies in the urban environment 4
Modern languages * 2
Conferences 0

* 'French as Foreign Language' except for French native speakers who will study 'Cultural and Communicational English' or Spanish (depending on sufficient demand).
NB Course content may be subject to minor changes
Spring Semester ECTS
Master thesis / internship                                                    30

Examples of previous internships in industry / research labs:

  • Influence of climate change on the behaviour of buildings in their urban environment
  • Study of the turbulence structure in the lower urban atmosphere using LIDAR measurements
  • Preliminary studies for the implementation of an experimental campaign of flux measurements by dual-wave scintillometry in an urban environment
  • Combining dynamic modelling and long-term ground based FTIR remote sensing for the characterization of air masses above Paris megacity
  • Formation of urban aerosols

NB Internships undertaken in France are strictly regulated and are only open to current full-time students of an accredited educational institution. Interns are entitled to all the rights guaranteed to regular employees (such as social protection and redress mechanisms). For internships that exceed two months in duration a minimum level of remuneration is set by the government, at approximately €600 per month. In some professional branches, this amount may be higher.
Skills developed
  • Understand the physics and dynamics of fluids in urban environments
  • Master analytical and modelling tools for hydrology and atmospheric sciences in urban environments
  • Learn techniques in water management; soil, water and air treatment, and mitigation of the urban heat island

In addition to the above specialism-specific skills, students will also develop more general skills:

  • Express assumptions to analyse and solve a problem
  • Communicate comprehensive results in a meaningful way
  • Undertake bibliographic surveys of international research and professional literature
  • Manage or be part of a project

Download syllabus | City and Urban Environment - Atmosphere, Water and Environment

Facilities and Partnerships


This City and Urban Environment programme is taught by faculty at Centrale Nantes.


Local authorities: Nantes Métropole
Engineering and consulting companies, design offices in water, air quality, urban planning & environment sectors: Veolia, Artelia, Ginger Burgeap, SOLENEOS
Public establishments: Scientific and Technical Centre for Building (CSTB), CEREMA, IRSN, EDF R&D
Research laboratories: LHEEA, IRSTV (Research Institute on Urban Sciences and Technology), Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech (CEREA), Gustave Eiffel University (LEE Department);

Focus on unique resources

Atmospheric Wind Tunnel

The results obtained from experiments relating to quality of life issues, (comfort, air quality and climatology or local meteorology) contribute to the decisions that are being made for sustainable urban development in the context of both climate change and the development of coastal and continental cities.

Learn more

LiDAR Light Detection And Ranging

scanning lidar
In 2019, the LHEEA Laboratory acquired a scanning LiDAR, an innovative measuring device to characterize wind and atmosphere. It will be used for marine renewable energy (MRE), urban atmosphere and air quality applications.

Learn more


The Nantes Observatory for Urban Environments (ONEVU) has been operational since 2008 for the long-term study of the hydrology, micro-meteorology, climatology, water, air and soils quality of the urban environments.

Learn more

  • Apply online on the eCandidat platform
  • M2 applications only: applications closed for 2024/25
Application process

Application rounds

  • Applications are reviewed in two rounds. Applications should be submitted on the eCandidat platform as early as possible, but before the deadlines below;
  • Applications are not considered 'complete' until all required elements are submitted. Only complete applications received by the round's deadline will be considered in that round;
  • The admissions board reviews applications at the conclusion of each round and notifies each applicant of the outcome of their application;

Accepting your place

  • Successful applicants must accept their place on the eCandidat platform by the deadlines below;
  • The first installment of tuition fees must be paid by the deadlines below to definitively secure the applicant's place on the programme.

Deadlines for the 2024-25 intake

M2 | Round 1 M2 | Round 2
Submit your complete application by ... 31 Mar 28 Apr
You will be notified of the outcome of your application by ... 25 Apr 23 May
Accept your place by ... 9 May 6 Jun
Pay your first tuition installment by .... to qualify for a reduction in tuition fees (international non-European students) 25 May * N/A
Pay your first tuition installment by .... with no reduction in tuition fees 15 Jun 15 Jun

Early Bird Applications 2024-25
  • * A reduction of €1,500 for the M2 study year is granted to non European international students who apply during the first admissions round and make their first tuition payment within one month of being offered a place on the programme.
Admission requirements

Admission requirements for the second year (M2)

Students who have successfully completed a first year MSc programme can apply for the second year MSc programme. Applicants must be fluent in English - written and spoken:
  • An applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a certificate, which is no older than three years, for a recognised international test of English*:
    • TOEFL - IBT 80, or ITP 550, paper-delivered test 60, TOEFL Home edition is accepted,
    • Cambridge B2 First Test - 173 or higher,
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced Test - 160 or higher,
    • IELTS - 6.5 or higher, IELTS Online test is accepted
    • TOEIC - 800 or higher.
  • Applicants who carried out their studies in English (you must provide an official confirmation letter from your university) are eligible without passing such a test, but providing the results of a recognized international test can add value to the application.
  • Students who completed their studies in the countries listed below are exempted from submitting a language certificate: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, English-speaking Canada, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, Kiribati, Liberia, Mauritius, Micronesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia or Zimbabwe.

*no other test is recognised.

Language of instruction

Fully taught in English.
Required documents

When applying for a Centrale Nantes MSc Programme you will be asked to provide the following documents:

  • Your official transcripts
  • A CV/Resume and cover letter
  • Your diploma
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Your passport or other form of official identification

Your documents must be uploaded in English or French. If the original version of your documents is not in one of these two languages, a certified translation by a sworn translator is required.

Apply online
Apply online on the eCandidat platform

How to use the eCandidat platform:


Your application in 5 easy steps:

Contact and admissions support

Master Admission Office
Tel: + /

Chinese students:
Indian students:

Tuition fees and financing

Tuition Fees

International students (non-European)

M2 Year | 2024 - 2025 €6,000 - (students starting their M2 year in 2024) *

Early Bird Applications
  • * A reduction of €1,500 for the M2 study year is granted to non European international students who apply during the first admissions round and make their first tuition payment within one month of being offered a place on the programme.

European students

€243 per year

Financing your studies


Different scholarships are available for students enrolling in a MSc Programme at Centrale Nantes:
  • Centrale Nantes Elite Scholarship
  • Government scholarships
  • Inter-government scholarships
  • Industry scholarships
  • Scholarships from organisations
  • European Programmes

Other ways to help you finance your way through your studies:

  • Paid 6-month internship
    You will be paid for your 6-month Master's thesis / internship in France. For internships undertaken in France that exceed two months in duration a minimum level of remuneration is set by the government, at approximately €600 per month. In some professional branches, this amount may be higher.
  • Work alongside your studies
    You are entitled to work part-time alongside your studies, to earn some extra money. This option is available for both European and non-European students, but different rules apply. Learn more
  • Help with your rent
    French and international students are eligible to receive financial support (known as APL in French) from the CAF (Caisses d'Allocations Familiales). The CAF is a French government organism that covers part of the monthly cost of rent paid for student accommodation – the allocated amount depends on the type of accommodation and on your income. Learn more (in French)

Meet our City and Urban Environment Students

Why choose this MSc?

Five reasons why you should choose the MSc in Atmosphere, Water and Environment at Centrale Nantes:

  • 1 - Multidisciplinary training applied to the physics of urban environments: atmospheric flow, hydrology, pollution
  • 2 - Scientific skills and know-how that can be used in other sectors e.g. wind resources or industrial pollution
  • 3 - Fully taught in English for a cohort of international students
  • 4 - Centrale Nantes is ranked in the top 300 in the world for engineering according to the Times Higher Education world rankings by subject 2024
  • 5 - Accredited Master of Science (MSc) preparing for a PhD in France or abroad or for direct entry into the workplace
After the MSc

Career Prospects

  • Sectors: urban planning; urban environment; energy, pollution, soil and water management
  • Fields: environmental fluid mechanics, hydrology, microclimatology, air quality
  • Positions: engineer in consulting office or groups specialized in environmental engineering; engineer in urban design and planning office or local authorities; research and academia (post PhD)

Where are they now?

► Find out what our recent MSc graduates are doing now
What our students / graduates say

Read what our students and graduates have to say about the programme:

Geng Tian, class of 2018


Meet the Programme Supervisors

Isabelle Calmet, M2 Programme Supervisor AWE, Programme Supervisor City and Urban Environment

Isabelle Calmet is a professor in the Department of Fluid Mechanics and Energetics. Her research in the LHEEA focuses on the multi-scale modeling of atmospheric boundary layer flows, the study of urban microclimate and the characterization of dynamic and thermodynamic interactions between urban or coastal surfaces and the atmosphere.

Laurent Perret

Laurent Perret, M1 Programme Supervisor City and Urban Environment

Laurent Perret is an associate professor in the Department of Fluid Mechanics and Energetics at Centrale Nantes. He is mainly involved in courses on fluid mechanics, micro-meteorology, turbulence and experimental methods.
His research activities at the LHEEA lab focus on the study and modeling of the interactions between the lower atmosphere and urban surfaces.

Campus facilities
Centrale Nantes houses 17 buildings on a 40-acre green campus. In addition to the standard facilities of a university campus (classrooms, media library, computer rooms, etc.), it is home to 13 research platforms, some of which are unique in France, and modern and varied sports facilities, the Centrale-Audencia-Ensa incubator and vibrant student life. Facilities on the Centrale Nantes campus:

  • 45 classrooms
  • 6 lecture theatres 
  • 13 computer rooms (with nearly 180 fully equipped PCs and extended opening hours)
  • 1 media library
  • 5 research institutes
  • Sports and cultural facilities: 1 gymnasium, 1 multisport/dojo hall, squash courts, 1 piano room
  • 1 student house
  • Student halls of residence and accommodation support
  • 1 online platform for students, Onboard, with timetables, grades, attendance management, distance learning and teaching resources,
  • 1 Moodle platform (Hippocampus) with collaborative functionality available to faculty and students (additional resources, working groups, forum, online assessments, etc.).
  • Students also have access to meeting rooms / learning innovation / videoboxes equipped with video projectors, cameras, interactive whiteboards, etc., for their classes, presentation preparation, project work, etc.
  • 1 lifelong email address and an individual digital workspace and storage space, with remote 24H access.

Virtual Tour

Explore the campus with its classrooms, research platforms, student life and sports activities: Take the virtual tour

Published on March 25, 2017 Updated on June 10, 2024