PhD Programmes

Education through research

PhD studies constitute the ultimate stage in education though research.

A truly thorough way of developing innovation and creativity, the PhD represents a springboard for many different careers requiring a high level of technical ability and a strong capacity to manage complex problems, as well as a passport to international careers.

As members of the research units and teams of the college or its partners, our PhD students are young professionals who, overseen by a researcher or a lecturer-researcher (the thesis supervisor), complete an original research project over 3 years, while also benefiting from a diverse range of multi-disciplinary lessons.

The latter, devised within each doctoral school, in collaboration with the international doctoral schools, take many different forms (conferences, thematic courses, seminars, classes, etc.) for international openness and optimal employability.

PhD specialities at l'Institut Agro Rennes-Angers

Recognised as a leading higher education and research institution, since 1985 l'Institut Agro Rennes-Angers has been authorised by the Ministry of Research and Higher Education (Decree of 9 March 1988) to award the national PhD qualification. Today, we deliver doctorates in more than 20 specialties:

  • Agronomic sciences
  • Animal biology and physiology
  • Biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology
  • Biology of organisms
  • Computer science
  • Ecology and evolution
  • Earth and environmental sciences
  • Earth and planetary sciences
  • Economic science
  • Epidemiology, risk assessment
  • Fisheries
  • Food science
  • Genetics, genomics and bioinformatics
  • Immunology
  • Mathematics and their interactions
  • Management Science
  • Marine biology
  • Marine ecology
  • Microbiology, virology and parasitology
  • Observation of the marine environment and processing of information
  • Pharmacology, phytochemistry and toxicology
  • Plant biology and physiology
  • Process engineering
  • Statistics / Modeling in ecology, geosciences, agronomy and food

Doctoral schools

L'Institut Agro Rennes-Angers is jointly accredited in 4 doctoral schools.
There is no specific period of enrolment for a PhD. PhD students are enrolled in one of these doctoral schools in accordance with the subject of their thesis and their host laboratory:

The conditions for admission are identical regardless of the nationality of applicants.
To enrol, students must have :

  • a master's or master's-level qualification
  • a thesis topic proposed and funded within a laboratory belonging to one of our doctoral schools
  • a research laboratory agreeing to host them
  • a thesis supervisor (who is an established researcher), authorised to provide research supervision
  • a mean of subsistence (funding, generally a thesis grant, providing living expenses for the 3 years involved up to defence of the thesis)
  • evidence of social welfare cover

Enrolment in a PhD course is confirmed by the director of l'Institut Agro Rennes-Angers at the proposal of the director of the Doctoral School following approval by the thesis supervisor and the director of the research unit.

Joint PhD 'cotutelle' scheme


Joint phD degree is governed by an agreement signed between 2 higher education establishments which allows the doctoral student to carry out his research work under the responsibility of two thesis directors: one in France and the second in a foreign country.

The two co-directors jointly exercise their functions with the doctoral student, who is required to work alternately in the two establishments.

The thesis gives rise to a single defense (in one of the two countries), in one of the two national languages, and leads to the delivery by the 2 establishments:

  • either a joint doctor’s degree,
  • either a doctor’s degree from each of them.


The candidate must hold a national Master's degree or an equivalent qualification.

After defining a subject in agreement with the 2 thesis directors concerned, he applies for admission to the registration establishment as well as to the French doctoral school concerned and its equivalents abroad.

When his application is selected, he has a co-tutorship agreement drawn up by the 2 institutions and the thesis directors concerned.