TEACHING METHODS | EPF Ecole d'ingénieurs

STUDIES

TEACHING METHODS

EPF has been training engineering students since 1925. A generalist EPF engineer is open-minded, well-rounded, and curious, with an international frame of mind. Students are also taught a set of skills through proven teaching methods.

A GENERALIST EPF ENGINEER'S SKILLS

In their profession, generalist engineers rely on a wide basis of scientific and technical knowledge and know-how, as well as economic, social and human skills to make decisions. 

At EPF, generalist training is combined with individualised coursework in the two final years, in an area of specialisation, such as aeronautics and space, digital technologies, health, civil engineering, biomechanics, business engineering, logistics, energy and environment, smart cities and buildings.

Generalist engineers have certain responsibilities, and they have learned how to learn, and to adapt to changes in the world. They also know how to play a part in society and in the world as a whole. Sustainable development and ethical behaviour are key to their approach to management.

These engineers are trained to play 3 fundamental roles:

  • The Leader and decision-maker: Plays a key role in the decision-making process (choice of financing, investing in technical solutions, etc.).
  • The Mediator: Optimally transposing and combining different sources of input and information. Managing cross-disciplinarity. 
  • The Innovator: has the "cognitive flexibility" to combine ideas, deconstruct thinking and combine these things into new models, to create new products, services or organisations.

EPF'S TEACHING METHODS

PROJECT-BASED LEARNING

Engineering students work actively on different projects to learn about the reality of work in their future profession. These projects offer a variety of educational interests. Projects teach students organisational skills as well as technical skills, how to organise the project itself so that it moves forward according to schedule, and how to organise the other people working on the project, so that they all give it their best. Lastly, the thematic richness of these projects and the solutions used are naturally multi-disciplinary, completely in line with the generalist engineering training.

Students work on several types of projects:

  • Projets Personnels de Recherche -PPR-(Individual Research Projects): A one-year initiation to research. Each engineering student reviews a specific theme, and is then interviewed at the end of the year by a researcher specialised in the field.

The IRP is part of EPF's drive to combine Research and Education

  • Projets Personnels Associatifs -PPA- (Individual Organisation Projects): Research around the set up of a non-profit organisation or around the evolution of a position in anon-profit organisation.
  • Projets Personnels Encadrés -PPE- (Individual Supervised Projects): Teaching students about the complexity of real-world projects.
  • Projets Personnels Publics -PPP- (Public Individual Projects): the primary objective is to help students learn to express themselves when discussing a specific topic in front of a large group.

It should be noted that all projects are launched upon each engineering student's initiative, with the aim of creating an actual project management situation.
EPF strongly encourages its students to take on this type of project. Our successful junior company, EPF-Projets, further testifies to our drive to put future engineers in real-life workplace situations.

TUTORING

For the past two years, tutoring has been overseen by an student organisation to provide academic assistance to 1st- and 2nd-year students. The 3rd-year student tutors, who are selected and trained by the school's permanent faculty, supervise tutoring sessions. Each tutoring group has no more than 6 students per tutor, with sessions lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. Each year, there are fourteen weeks of tutoring. Subjects include maths (analysis, algebra, algorithms, mechanics, electricity) and AST (automated systems technology).

INTERNSHIPS AND VIE

On top of giving its students a well-rounded education, EPF aims to train engineers who are adaptable and operational in the workplace as soon as they graduate, to make their first professional experience go smoothly. To help with this, EPF includes several internships and workplace experiences, throughout the curriculum. Projects are done upon the company's request. Students are advised by an EPF professor and supervised by an engineer from the company.

In addition to internships, international experience allows students to discover a "different" way of working or studying. It gives students richer personal and relational experience. EPF's requirement that its engineering students get experience outside France has become one of its main assets. Students may do an internship abroad: agreements have been signed with companies and establishments across Europe and in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Mexico and South-East Asia.

In case a student joins in EPF in 4th year, he will not do a Student-Engineer Internship but a longer end of year project (6 weeks at least). 

REQUIREMENTS FOR GENERALIST ENGINEERING
DEGREES

To encourage mobility across Europe and between universities and Grandes Ecoles, EPF has adopted the LMD system. Each academic year is divided into two semesters, worth a specific number of ECTS credits. Through this system, students gain educational credits and qualifications in a two-cycle programme.
EPF's engineering training is divided into two cycles. The General curriculum gives them the bases for scientific knowledge and the fundamental skills they need as engineers, and in the Specialisation cycle, they become specialised in a certain field, such as aeronautics.

FRENCH & EPF GRADING SYSTEM 

Grading practices:
The French grading system is an absolute grading system. Grades in France and at EPF are awarded on a scale of 0 to 20 (20 being the highest and 0 being the lowest).
Grades from 10 to 20 are considered as «pass». The minimum passing grade that allows students to obtain credits for each subject is 10 / 20. Grades higher than 16 are rarely awarded.
The year is considered as validated once the total average of the grade is higher than 10 / 20.

French institutions of higher education use the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Each credit equals 25 to 30 hours of work (lectures and homework).


ECTS grading description:
The ECTS grading scale is based on a statistical distribution curve. For a given course, letter grades are distributed among students as follows:

EPF specificities:
On top of those general rules, EPF also has its own specificities:
If a student obtains a grade between 6 and 10, he/she will have the possibility to do a catch up exam to improve it and validate the credits; in certain circumstances, it might also be possible to obtain the credits linked to the course. For instance, if the average of the grades obtained in the same Course Unit is higher than 10 / 20.
If a student obtains a grade below 6, he/she will fail the course and won’t obtain the credits.