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Design Preparatory class

Montpellier, Nantes, Toulouse

MANAA or Design Preparatory Class : what is the difference ?

The Design Preparatory Class and the class of MANAA (Mise à Niveau en Arts Appliqués) is a bridge between the high-school diploma (all series) and a higher education training in applied arts. It allows students to acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge to join a Bachelor’s degree program or any other training in Applied Arts.

Either the Design Preparatory Class or the class of MANAA are assuredly the gateway to artistic studies. During one year, the students acquire the basic knowledge and experience needed to pursue artistic studies.

Globally, these preparatory cycles give each of our students the opportunity to discover the many facets of applied arts and serenely make a choice of career.

Travail de maquette
sur le journal Le Un

design graphique
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Recherches typographiques

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design graphique

Parole de prof

Rencontrer une personnalité, apprivoiser une sensibilité et développer une créativité, en rappelant à chaque étudiant qu’il fut un enfant plein d’imagination…

Catherine Jean
Responsable de la section Design Graphique (Montpellier)

design graphique

Parole de prof

J’apprends aux étudiants à découvrir ce qu’est la typographie, à choisir les bons caractères en fonction de la demande et du message, à faire des choix esthétiques, techniques, visuels.

Edouard Marpeau
Responsable de la Section Design Graphique (Toulouse)


Both of these preparatory classes allow you to acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge to integrate a Bachelor’s degree program or a diploma in Applied Arts, whether you hold a literary, an economic, a scientific or a professional high school diploma.

Choosing the right preparatory class means giving yourself the opportunity to access all the trainings in Applied Arts at ESMA. The quality of both our Design Preparatory Class and of our class of MANAA, translate itself into the excellent results our students encounter in their final examinations, and into their successful professional integration.

Students wishing to join these courses are selected after a motivational interview and a study of their academic record.

The difference between our two preparatory cycles

The difference between our two preparatory cycles stands in the absence of scientific teachings and in the strengthening of drawing in the Design Preparatory Class. The class of MANAA meets the requirements of the program defined in the Order of July 17th, 1984.

In both cases, the artistic practice is at the core of the program : plastic expression, drawing, colour & form, visual arts… The goal is to allow the students to quickly acquire solid foundations in Applied Arts and drawing. These subjects will be reinforced by professional classes (Graphic Design and Space Design creation studios), where the students will experiment the disciplines of the two Bachelor’s degree programs ESMA offers.

Objectives & Job Opportunities

Under continuous monitoring, the class of MANAA and the Design Preparatory Class offer the students a unique opportunity to explore the world of artistic crafts.

The year of these two preparatory cycles ends with a final examination and an oral presentation of the yearlong productions, assessing the student’s achievements. This latter will also receive professional counselling according to his or her tastes and skills.

By means of plastic expression, drawing courses and artistic creation workshops, the class of MANAA & the Design Preparatory Class are specifically thought to improve the technical knowledge and artistic culture of the students, which will progressively acquire the necessary maturity, the subtleties of plastic expression, and the general & artistic culture that will serve them as a foundation throughout their curriculum.

In addition, the practice of applied arts will allow students to test their interests, and thus find their professional path.

NB – The BTS in Applied Arts should be the subject of an upcoming reform

The BTS in Applied Arts should probably be the subject of a forthcoming reform, aimed at merging the MANAA and the BTS in order to make it a new three-year Higher Education diploma. These organizational changes have not yet been officially published and this new training, if adopted, will not change the skills required to work in the field of Graphic Design, Space Design or any other Applied Arts.

In pratice

Becoming a space designer, a graphic designer, an artistic director, a webdesigner or a 3D animator involves the development of both technical and artistic skills.

The class of MANAA and the Design Preparatory Class allow this transition : for a year, the students acquire the necessary basics, both in artistic and general teaching (only for the MANAA), in order to integrate a training program in art.

Research, experiments, pleasure, curiosity, discoveries… here are some notions that perfectly illustrate both of these year programs. Disciplines interconnections, transversal projects, conferences, study trips, visits to museums or exhibitions, bring the dynamics and the necessary synergy for our students’ fulfilment.

Networks & Partners

Pursue your studies at ESMA

Choosing our Design Preparatory Class or our class of MANAA means giving yourself the chance to access all the trainings in applied arts ESMA offers : our Bachelor’s degree program in Graphic Design, our Bachelor’s degree program in Space Design and the 3D animation & FX training.