The DNSEP runs over 4 semesters (2 years) and each semester carriers 30 credits except the last semester, in line with ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). The last 30 credits are awarded upon the successful defence of the student’s project. The DNSEP is made up of a number of pôles (areas of study). These pôles are determined by the French ministry, which also determines the credits for each pôle, for example Semester 7 is made up of three pôles. This is true for all DNSEPs and is part of the DNSEP credit framework. ESADHaR and TMS however can decide which units and courses should be offered under each pôle. Some courses are obligatory, for some there is a choice and some are additional and voluntary for the students. Some courses are restricted and only have a limited number of places available.

The DNSEP according to the ECTS is the so-called second cycle of study and complies with the level 7 learning descriptor. The two years (year 4 and 5) of the second cycle (undergraduate studies being the first cycle) are validated through ESADHaR in collaboration with The Margate School by awarding the DNSEP (Higher National Diploma in Plastic Expression). The ESCAP (Studies Certificate of Higher Arts) is awarded with the successful completion of the 4th year.

During those two years, priority is given to the development of the personal project of each student. The delivery of the DNSEP will be in English, as will be the dissertation. The obligatory language courses will be French. There will also be an obligatory introductory sociology course. The obligatory internship can be in England or France, which the student will have to secure independently but with support from TMS/ESADHaR.

Following the students’ undergraduate studies, the fourth year (first year of the DNSEP programme) is therefore the year in which students start preparing for a deeper intellectual and artistic grounding and professional integration. The mandatory internship is for some a first opportunity to experience a realistic professional environment, whilst the mandatory language and introductory sociology courses will offer broader intellectual and intercultural engagement.


Personal interviews with tutors are paramount. The monitoring of the preparation of the dissertation is carried out with the aesthetics tutor, the coordinator and a research director, who will accompany the students until the end of their studies. Students are required to obtain 228 credits (this includes the 180 credits from the undergraduate degree) to enter the final stage of the DNSEP programme. Missing credits will be required to be made up during the 9th semester in order to achieve the full 240 credits necessary to move onto the DNSEP award and entitles the ESCAP (Certificate of Advanced Studies in Fine Arts). In line with ECTS each credit equates to 25-30hours of learning.


The 5th year is that of the preparation of the DNSEP (National Higher Diploma in Visual Expression), year in which the students’ efforts are concentrated on the completion and presentation of their personal project. During the 5th year, the monitoring of the student’s work by the tutors at individual meetings is fundamental.


Each course carries an assessment mark, which is awarded by the professor/tutor of the respective course. Marks vary between 0-20. Students must achieve a mark of over 10 to be part of the credit award.


Extra-curricular courses (activités facultatives) also carry a mark and may help the students to reach the required credits, for example when they have underperformed in another course.


2-3 professors/tutors will review the notes and marks the students achieved in the various courses and upon these will award the credits for the student for a specific pôle.


In semester the 10 – 15 students are awarded 30 credits with the completion of the DNSEP. There are no formal courses in semester 10.




The DNSEP assessment takes place on each of the campuses of ESADHaR and The Margate School. It consists of the defence of the student’s thesis (20 minutes) and presentation of the art work (40 minutes).


Candidates for the DNSEP assessment are graded according to four criteria


  • formal presentation of and critical engagement with the work

  • origin and evolution of the project

  • cultural inscription of the work (relevance of references and diversity of knowledge)

  • quality of the work completed

Each of these criteria is graded out of a score of five. An average of ten is required for graduation. A statement can be attributed from a score of fourteen. Commendations are given to candidates who score or exceed sixteen points.

The assessment panel for the DNSEP consists of five members, which is appointed by the Director: a representative of ESADHaR and TMS as well as qualified independent professionals from different fields of expertise. The panel is chaired by an academic who holds a doctorate. The defence of the thesis takes place in semester 10. After the defence, the panel prepare a written report. After the assessment of the presentation of artistic work, the panel decides on the award of DNSEP taking into account the report by the assessment panel. It awards the credits corresponding to the art work (25 credits) and dissertation (5 credits).

No candidate may undergo more than twice the assessment of DNSEP.