quatre etudiants sortent de cours

Study semester “Wood science and sustainable management programme”

This semester provides students from around the world, with a diverse and multidisciplinary approach about wood science and sustainable management. It enables participants to contribute to a more sustainable world through the use of engineering tools. The course is delivered entirely in English.

Learning by doing is one of the key elements of this semester: workshops, projects and applied research. The student is at the heart of the learning process by experimenting alone, or in a group, under the supervision of professors and experts.

This semester is offered from February to June every year and successful completion provides 30 ECTS.

 Learning outcomes

  • Describe the different functions of a forest
  • Use different processes to transform wood into products
  • Select appropriate wood products by their use, supply chain, and recyclability
  • Optimize a product or process using a suitable method or tool
  • Analyse and implement a sustainable development strategy in a company
  • Determine physical and chemical material characteristics
  • Understand wood-water interactions
  • Analyse results with a scientific approach
  • Apply norms and research standards
  • Manage a project and a team (communication, management skills)
  • Write and speak English confidently in a business context
  • Learn the basics in French, in order to cope with everyday life in France

Teaching modules

Sustainable management (1 ECTS)

The course aims at providing a critical look at organizational analysis, considering various criteria: strategy, CSR strategy, organizational structure, governance, organizational culture and the organization’s environment. At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify and characterize different forms of organizational structure
  • Describe and analyse organizational culture
  • Analyse the organizational environment

Circular economy: implementation – strategy, offer, design (3 ECTS)

The course aims to highlight the link between operational and strategic issues in a circular economy. At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify strategic issues to be solved in relation to environmental, social and economic issues
  • Describe the environmental, social and economic impacts of the solutions chosen
  • Argue a project’s performance with regard to the circular economy

Finite elements (2 ECTS)

Student have to run a project on ANSYS modelling software. Lectures in small group of 15 students on mechanical structures will be provided.

Makers Playlab (2 ECTS)

Experience ESB Makers Playlab and its “learning by doing” approach under the supervision of its Manager in order to:

  • Discover the environment of a Fablab
  • Develop skills for prototyping, modelling, programming, 3D printing, laser cutting…
  • Conduct document research for technical communication
  • Create parts and/or an application

Wood based Composite II (2 ECTS)

To provide an understanding of the environmental, economic and technological drivers behind the manufacture and use of commercial wood composites. At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Collect and summarise experimental data
  • Apply and adapt standard test methods to composites materials
  • Measure physical and mechanical properties of composites
  • Optimise a bio-based composite for a particular end-use

Wood sciences (Anatomy, chemistry, physics…) (2 ECTS)

The course aims to deepen participant understanding of wood science. At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Communicate orally to effectively transfer information
  • Measure a property in a concrete way
  • Determine the physical and chemical characteristics of materials
  • Understand water-to-wood interactions
  • Apply testing standards and protocols
  • Use mathematical formulas wisely
  • Identify the characteristics of each physical phenomenon

Biorefinery (2 ECTS)

The aim of this course is to understand the value of agro and bio-based products beyond their traditional channels (agriculture/food and forest/wood) and to anticipate the evolution of uses and added values. At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Qualify a bioresource
  • Describe a biorefinery facility
  • Explain the concept of bio-based platform molecules

Project DEFI (3 ECTS)

The DEFI allows you to realize an idea that is close to your heart, or to respond to the request of a sponsor (company, which can be the host company of an apprentice, association, individual…), while experimenting with project management and developing your ability to work independently. At the end of this project you will have developed your ability in:

  • Defining and conducting a project
  • Managing a project team
  • Communicating orally to effectively transfer information
  • Communicate your ideas through diagrams and models
  • Develop your social outlook

Research and Technology Transfer project (3 ECTS)

The main purpose of this exercise is to find a solution to a problem, using the main stages of research: defining the problem to be solved, collect and analyse appropriate information (state of the art), design and conduct experiments to supplement the information already collected, analyse data, draw conclusions from these data and convey the findings to others.

Internship or research project (8 ECTS)

The Professional Experience in a company or lab allows:

  • to implement the knowledge and know-how learned during the training
  • to discover a professional environment and the world of work – to lead a mission in a professional situation

French as a Foreign Language (1 ECTS)

Learning the basics in French, in order to cope with everyday life in France

English – advanced (1 ECTS)

Write and speak an appropriate English in a business context.


Applicants are required to:

  • Provide evidence of having completed an undergraduate degree in wood sciences, forestry or materials science
  • Have a certificate demonstrating their proficiency in English (at least level B1)

To apply:

  • Applicants studying at an ESB partner institute (exchange student): the application is sent by the partner institute.
  • All other applicants (non exchange student): online applications via the ESB application platform before 15 December (select the programme: “Application for Semester study: Wood science and sustainable management programme”)


Fees are applicable only for non exchange students (no agreement with a partner institution).

One semester study is charged €3,475. Tuition fees includes courses and all additional welcome and support form international service.

Transport and daily expenses are additional (average cost in Nantes about 700€ a month).

Formulaire téléchargement brochure DRB

(*) Champs obligatoires

Formulaire téléchargement brochure Ingénieur

(*) Champs obligatoires

Formulaire téléchargement brochure Bachelor

(*) Champs obligatoires

Formulaire téléchargement brochure SCBH

(*) Champs obligatoires