The Science and English section in the Preparatory level of INSA Lyon

SCAN is one of the sections of the Core Foundation Engineering Program (undergraduate level) offered at INSA Lyon. The international dimension is an integral part of the training. This two-year program aims to prepare students to join the three-year graduate course in one of the nine departments of study to obtain the INSA ‘Diplôme d’ingénieur’, internationally recognized as an MSc in Engineering.

Created in 1979, SCAN combines scientific excellence and intercultural experience. This international program welcomes three groups of 24 students each in the first year. The section is then open in the second year to an additional group from the Preparatory level.

SCAN offers a solid grounding in general scientific and technical education providing a pedagogy and courses that integrate the specificity of the students' profiles. SCAN students benefit from continuous support and their progress is carefully monitored to ensure their academic success and integration into university life (help with administrative procedures, priority accommodation, help with finding internships, tutoring sessions, psychological support, etc.).

The SCAN section is aimed at both English-speaking foreign students and French students who have acquired an very good level in the language during high school.

In total, over the two years, 80% of courses are taught in English and 20% in French. For non-French speakers, French is compulsory. French speakers may choose any of the foreign languages taught at INSA Lyon (English, German, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese or Russian).

SCAN in a few words:

+ Scientific excellence, high academic standards, strong sense of social responsibility

+ Interculturality, open-mindedness, cross-disciplinary approach

+ Innovation skills, adaptability, creativity

+ Immerse yourself in the INSA culture and values


  • Obtain the INSA ’Diplôme d’ingénieur’, equivalent to an MSc in Engineering, in five years from an internationally recognized French Institute of Science & Technology: after the two-year SCAN program, students join the three-year postgraduate program in one of the 9 departments of study at INSA Lyon
  • Get an excellent scientific education
  • Gain field experience by undertaking several internships
  • Study abroad for a semester or even a year at one of INSA Lyon’s partner universities
  • Become a player for the future: an engineer with strong humanist values committed to combining scientific skills with societal and environmental issues


The added value of SCAN is to provide an international dimension to the excellent initial education offered by the undergraduate program (FIMI department) at INSA Lyon:

  • Opening up to different cultures, ways of working and relationships: preparing yourself to work in multicultural teams in your future engineering career
  • Gain professional experience by undertaking a one-month internship in France or abroad: all students can do the internship in the country of their choice.
  • Benefit from enhanced teaching in foreign languages: all students must study 2 foreign languages (in addition to their native language). Non-French-speaking international students must attend French language classes.


The two-year foundation course is structured over four semesters of 15 weeks each (representing approximately 1,800 hours of teaching in total). More information is available here.

  • The scientific teaching at SCAN is based on the same core curriculum as the standard Core Foundation Engineering Program
  • Various cultural options to foster the thinking process: during the two years of training, students choose 6 to 8 options, each lasting six weeks, from among the 16 offered: Radio broadcasting, Journalism, Cognitive science, Interpersonal psychology, Public speaking, Negotiating, Activism, International studies (study of the South Africa of today), Web Page Management, Model United Nations Program, Yearbook, Cultural studies (TV series, futurism).
  • Tailored teaching approach and materials for international students to ensure students’ progress is monitored by the teaching staff on a daily basis (one-to-one interviews, individual tutoring sessions, etc.). 
  • All courses are taught in English
  • Students are required to study 2 foreign languages (other than their mother tongue). Additional French language support is offered to non-French-speaking students (up to 6 hours/week until level B2 is obtained). They also benefit from a four-week summer school in August and September prior to their first year to facilitate their integration and help them settle smoothly into their new environment.
  • Most of the courses, lab work, tutorials and practical assignments are organized in international teams.
  • All students undertake an internship lasting a minimum of four weeks at the end of their first year.  


Continuous assessment throughout the year as well as final examinations: passing each unit allows the student to move on to the next year.

On successful completion of the two-year SCAN program, and based on the number of places available, the student's ranking and his/her wishes, students join one of the 9 departments of study for three years, leading to the award of the INSA ‘Diplôme d’ingénieur’, internationally recognized as a MSc Engineering degree.


    • Candidates holding or preparing for a French scientific baccalaureate (France or abroad): 

    Apply on the website

    • Candidates holding or preparing for a scientific diploma not issued by France or Morocco:

    The SCAN recruitment process is common to the entire INSA Group, which is made up of seven institutions in France. To join an international program such as SCAN, you must first be admitted to the INSA Group. To be considered for the SCAN Lyon program, make sure you specify INSA Lyon in your application. Separate prerequisites may be required for access to each SCAN programme.

    The application process must be completed online on two different websites:

    • Apply to the INSA Group. When submitting an application to join one of the 7 INSAs, you will be able to specify the school in the INSA group that you wish to join. The application fee is €95.
    • Register on the Study in France platform (depending on your country of residence): this is an administrative registration common to all foreign students that aims to facilitate administrative procedures (visa application, communication with consular authorities, etc.). As soon as you have registered on Study in France, you must go back to your online application on the INSA Group's admission website to enter your ’Campus France ID’.

    If no registration is required for your country of residence on the "Study in France" platform, you are invited to contact the French Embassy or Campus France in your country, whose role is to help you with your administrative procedures (information, orientation, visa, etc.) alongside your application to the INSA Group.

    For more information, please visit this website.


    All applications are reviewed by the admissions committee in June of each year. 
    Depending on your academic profile and your country of origin, the deadline for applications can be from mid-November to early May.

    More information about applications and deadlines is available on the INSA Group website


    • In order to be considered, candidates must have a solid grounding in science (mathematics, physics and chemistry). A mathematics test as well as a personal interview in English or French can be organized to assess the applicant’s level and motivation.
    • Ensure you meet the deadline for submitting your application.
    • Only complete applications will be assessed. If you do not follow the instructions and your application is rejected, you will not be able to appeal.
    • If you have any questions about the application process, please contact


    • Common recruitment to the INSA Group
    • Open to candidates who have completed a first year of preparatory classes for the grandes écoles, provided that they have been admitted to the second year and have completed 60 ECTS credits, a first year of bachelor or equivalent, or a first year in a post-baccalaureate engineering school (classical engineering curriculum).
    • Open to students who have completed or are preparing a year of higher scientific studies abroad.
    • Examination of the application (baccalaureate grades, grades and assessments obtained in post-baccalaureate studies) and possibly an individual interview 
    • Please find all the details here.


    • Lyon was voted second best French city for the quality of student life
    • A historically and culturally renowned city, Lyon is also known as France’s capital of gastronomy
    • Second largest city in France and leading region in the industrial and digital sectors
    • An international campus: 30% foreign students from 92 nationalities
    • On-campus accommodation guaranteed for SCAN students, catering available seven days a week24-hour security on campus
    • Sports facilities (swimming pool, training centers, sports fields, etc.), performance venues, libraries
    • Vibrant campus life with :
      • more than 130 student clubs and associations
      • the Student Union is very active and INSA Lyon also hosts the largest student festival in France - ’24h de l’INSA’. Find out more about our student associations here
      • ASIL, the SCAN students' association which animates the life of the section. The members organize the integration of the new class in September and October through various activities and the organization of an integration weekend with all students, as well as several activities throughout the year. 
      • During their second year, about 40 SCAN students enjoy a two-week stay in European universities where English is the working language (Bristol, Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, Sheffield, Lund, Gothenburg, etc.). It provides a linguistic experience and a first contact with a social life and teaching methods that are sometimes very different from ours.

    A virtual tour of the campus is available HERE

    For more information on the SCAN section, visit the website managed by SCAN students:

    Tuition fees

    INSA Lyon is a publicly-funded Institute of Science and Technology under the authority of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. Thus, INSA Lyon receives a subsidy from the French state to fund part of the cost of tuition, which amounts to approximately €14,000 per year per student. 

    The remaining costs indicated below (visa fees not included) are to be paid as part of the tuition fees:

    More information HERE

    Please be aware that tuition fees do not include living costs in Lyon

    Estimated living costs for France and Lyon are available in the Student Welcome Guide

    Funding opportunities

    INSA Funding opportunities

    • Scholarship for International Sections (Bourse des Filières internationales (BFI)): the BFI scholarship is specifically targeted at students from underprivileged backgrounds
      • This scholarship (up to 2000 a year) is not awarded directly to the student but the amount is deducted from the student's accommodation and catering bills (the student must live in an on-campus INSA residence).
      • The duration of the grant can be extended up to three years, provided that the student successfully progresses to the next year. Furthermore, for students in receipt of the BFI scholarship, the annual registration fees are reduced to €601 a year.

    Student Benefits in France

    • CAF: As a student in France, you can receive rent assistance (even if you live on campus in a student hall). 

    Other funding opportunities

    Monsieur Damien Deleruyelle

    Head of the SCAN section

    Madame Lorna Fitzpatrick

    Director of SCAN studies