MSc Civil Engineering
Materials and Structures in their Environment (C-ENG MSE)

Programme objectives

This specialism aims to develop scientific and technological knowledge on materials and structures in both the public works and industrial sectors. It is characterized by a high degree of scientific specialisation. The programme focuses on the following specialised areas: numerical modelling, constitutive laws, structural reliability, advanced experimental techniques, durability, modern concrete, geomechanics and earthquake engineering.

The programme of study lasts two academic years - denoted by M1 and M2. The language of instruction is English.

This MSc programme is fully accredited by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

Two tracks are on offer in the M2 year. This means that students follow a set number of core courses and then have a choice of three courses from either track 1 or 2.

Contribution to sustainable development goals


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

Webinar replay

Click here to view the webinar replay. (NB to access the webinar you have to register your details first).
Course content

30 ECTS Credits per semester.
Language of instruction: English

M1 Year - 2023/24
Autumn semester courses ECTS Spring semester courses ECTS
Continuum Mechanics 5 Physical Modelling 4
Fluid Mechanics 1 5 Constitutive Laws 5
Algorithmics for Engineering Modelling 4 Imaging in Civil Engineering 5
Numerical Methods 5 Geotechnical Engineering 5
Vibrations and Differential Equations 5 Concrete and Structures 5
Business Environment 4 Mathematical Methods in Civil Engineering 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'

NB Course content may be subject to minor changes
M2 Year - 2023/24

Core courses for all students:

Autumn semester courses ECTS
Numerical Analysis 5
Mechanics of Porous Media 5
Statistics of Materials and Structural Reliability 4
Project 2
Modern Languages * 2

plus, Track 1 courses

Autumn semester courses ECTS
Homogenization Methods in Heterogenous Media 4
Design and Behaviour of Modern Concrete 4
Durability and Structural Maintenance 4

or Track 2 courses

Autumn semester courses ECTS
Theory of Structures 4
Earthquake Engineering 4
Large Infrastructures of Energy and Transport 4

* 'French as Foreign Language' except for French native speakers who will study 'Cultural and Communicational English'
NB Course content may be subject to minor changes
Spring semester ECTS
Master thesis / internship                                    30

Examples of previous internships in industry / research labs:

  • Permeability evolution of granular soils in an internal erosion context (GeM Institute)
  • Improving the spatial monitoring of rainfalls for flood assessment (GeM Institute)
  • Performance assessment of inerter-based vibration absorbers for deep water fixed-based monopile wind turbines (INNOSEA SAS)
  • Structural Analysis and Design of a Tensegrity Footbridge (EIFFAGE BIEP)
  • Use of crushed sand in hydraulic concrete (Eurovia)
  • Study of the absorption/adsorption of sulphates in synthetic C-(A)-S-H during the external sulphate attack on cementitious material (GeM Institute)
  • Behaviour of reinforced concrete structures under real fire conditions (IRSN)
Skills developed
  • Organize and carry out research work to understand a physical phenomenon or a new problem in civil engineering
  • Organize, complete and validate an engineering approach to address a specific problem

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

  • Act with professionalism, be rigorous and autonomous
  • Identify models, perform simulation and analyse results
  • 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 | C-ENG MSE 2022/23

Facilities and partnerships


This MSc programme relies on the staff and the research facilities of the Research Institute in Civil and Mechanical Engineering (GeM), at Centrale Nantes and Nantes University. Researchers at the Gustave Eiffel University (Nantes) are also involved in the programme.

Partner companies

CEA, Cerema, EDF, Egis, EIFFAGE, Eurovia, INNOSEA SAS, Verbund.
With internship and employment opportunities.

International research collaboration

Université Libre de Bruxelles and Université de Liège (Belgium), Università degli Studi di Perugia, Università di Roma La Sapienza (Italy), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Tongji University (China), Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus), Alliance of Laboratories in Europe for Research and Technology (ALERT).

Focus on research facilities

The supporting research institutes have extensive experimental test facilities for static and dynamic characterisation of materials and structures (for example, the Sustainability and Green Building Platform and biaxial machine on the Centrale Nantes campus and the geotechnical centrifuge at Gustave Eiffel University. Centrale Nantes also has a supercomputer.

Sustainability and Green Building Platform

These facilities provides researchers and companies with exceptional experimental and digital resources.
In order to meet the challenges of environmental civil engineering, the platform brings together simulation tools adapted for design and management of the lifecycle of structures.

Learn more

Biaxial machine

biaxial machine
Biaxial testing machine adapted to the spatio-temporal monitoring of deformations and flows in a granular material under mechanical and hydraulic loading conditions.
This machine is used, for example, to identify hydro-mechanical instabilities in soils.

Learn more
  • Apply online on the eCandidat platform
  • 2023/24 intake: applications closed
  • 2024/25 intake: applications will open in October 2023
Application process

Application rounds

  • Applications are reviewed in rounds. M1 applicants may apply in any of the three M1 rounds, and M2 applicants in either of the two M2 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.

Important dates for the 2023 intake

M1 | Round 1 M1 | Round 2 M1 | Round 3 M2 | Round 1 M2 | Round 2
Submit your complete application by 14 December 28 February 30 April 30 March 30 April
You will be notified of the outcome of your application by 27 January 24 March 26 May 28 April 26 May
Accept your place by 14 February 10 April 11 June 11 May 10 June
Pay your first tuition installment by 31 March 25 May 15 June 30 May 15 June
Admission requirements

Admission requirements for the first year (M1)

  • International students with a bachelor's degree (Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Technology) or equivalent, in a field related to Science and Technology
  • French and European students with a 'license' qualification or equivalent.
  • Students must have graduated from the above before the end of August in order to enrol in a Master's Programme at Centrale Nantes in September.
  • Applicants must have a good level in Mathematics and be fluent in English - written and spoken. An applicant whose native language is not English is required to pass a recognised international test of English*:
    • TOEFL - IBT 80, or ITP 550, paper-delivered test 60,
    • Cambridge B2 First Test - 173 or higher,
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced Test - 160 or higher,
    • IELTS - 6.5 or higher,
    • 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.

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.

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

Fees for non-European students:

  • Master 1 year: €9,000
  • Master 2 year: €6,000

A reduction of €1,500 for the first year of study is granted to non European international students who make their first tuition payment within one month of being offered a place on the programme.

Fees for European students:

€243 per year


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
Why choose this MSc?

why choose this MSc

After the MSc

Career Prospects

  • Sectors: Civil Engineering, Sustainable Design,  Engineering and Environmental Geology, Consulting
  • Fields: Civil Engineering, Design, Research and Development
  • Positions: Civil Engineer, Environmental Engineer, R&D Engineer

Recent graduates of this MSc programme choose to pursue their studies with a PhD or started their careers mainly in consulting, as project or research engineers or in 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 / graduates have to say about the programme:

Thiền, MSc Civil Engineering Graduate, Class of 2020

Can you describe your experience of the programme?
"In the first semester, the program builds a good foundation of mechanics and computational methods which are quite hard, but on the other hand are really important. In the second semester, students are given insights into different aspects of Civil Engineering. From there, the third semester offers some important courses and students have the right to choose between two paths which are structure-oriented or material-oriented. Finally, students will have 6-month internship to apply what they have studied. My classmates found their internships all over France and Europe."

Why did you choose Centrale Nantes?
"I chose to study in Centrale Nantes because of its international environment and a well-structured master program. I had planned to do a PhD afterward, and the courses fit well with what I wanted to study."

What was your career plan when you joined the programme?
"My plan was to search for a PhD position in road materials in a European laboratory after finishing my master. Luckily, I had a perfect offer right after my master defense. I am now entering the third year of my PhD program."

What are you doing now?
"I am a 3rd year PhD student (from October 2022) at L'École nationale des travaux publics de l'État/ University of Lyon. I am working on thermomechanical behavior of the interface between two asphalt concrete layers."

Any advice for future students?
"Enjoy the knowledge that you are going to acquire, enjoy an international environment, enjoy my beautiful city Nantes. I have a lot of international friends at Nantes, and some of them are now my best friends. I will never regret about the decision I made in 2018."

How would you describe Centrale Nantes in 3 words?
"Passionate - Friendly - Research-oriented"  

Mir Hamza, MSc Civil Engineering Graduate, Class of 2021

Why did you choose Centrale Nantes?
"For me choosing Centrale Nantes was due to the fact that it is one of the premier and renowned French institutes that started English Master’s programs."

What was your career plan when you joined the programme?
"Prior to my master’s degree I planned to work as a Engineer in a Design Office. It was during the master’s that I was inspired from some of the research work at the school and I understood it’s importance for the community. My Master’s Degree at Centrale Nantes inspired me to pursue a PhD and work as a researcher throughout my life." 

What are you doing now?
"Upon returning to Pakistan after my Master’s Degree, I was lucky to find a Junior Engineer job at Pakistan Engineering Services. I am assisting the Dam’s Expert of the firm with the geotechnical studies required for design and feasibilities."

Any advice for future students?
"Nantes has some interesting vibes that make a person fall in love with the city as soon as he/she arrives. The tram takes you almost everywhere with splendid views of Erdre river. The city clubs are alive with students from everywhere in the world. Apart from having the nicest restaurants and cafés the city hosts a lot of touristic events throughout the year. "

How would you describe Centrale Nantes in 3 words?
"International - Friendly - Study"  

Meet the Programme Supervisors

Giulio Sciarra, M2 Programme Supervisor C-ENG MSE, Programme Supervisor C-ENG MSE

Giulio Sciarra is Professor in Mechanics at Centrale Nantes. He heads up the GEOMEC (Environmental Geomechanics) research team in the GeM (Research Institute in Civil and Mechanical Engineering) at Centrale Nantes. He is interested in the mechanics of porous media and geomechanics, both in the framework of numerical modeling and advanced experimental activity, with a particular emphasis in hydro-mechanical instabilities.

Ioannis Stefanou, M1 Programme Supervisor C-ENG

As a senior researcher at the Navier laboratory (ENPC, IFSTTAR, CNRS), Ioannis Stefanou was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for his project Controlling earthQuakes (CoQuake) and the Connect-Talent prize (CEEV/BLAST) from the Pays de la Loire region in 2018. He joined Centrale Nantes as a professor in 2019 and was appointed Professor.
His main research interests are fault mechanics and earthquake control. His work also focuses on the dynamic behaviour of monumental structures under the effect of earthquakes and explosions.

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 May 31, 2023