University of Rennes 1

University of Rennes 1. Study in France. Education in Europe.

University of Rennes 1 Details

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Université de Rennes 1 is amongst the twelve main universities in France. It is a multidisciplinary university which is famous for its excellence and dynamic research. Located in the centre of a city on a human scale, the university is only two hours away from Paris and one hour from prestigious sites such as Mont Saint-Michel or Saint-Malo. Building on our assets and committed to taking part in 21st-century innovation and knowledge, one of our top priorities is to create a vibrant international university.

Université de Rennes 1 has four main research sectors, linked to four graduate schools:


  • Mathematics and ICT (Information and Communication Sciences & Technologies)
  • Life and Health Sciences
  • Material Sciences
  • Humanities and Social Sciences


The ongoing development of international courses and scientific collaborations has enabled us to reach outstanding results: on a teaching level, we offer degrees taught exclusively in English (11 master’s degrees), double degrees with international partners and off-campus training sessions, and our scientific collaborations include around twenty International Associated Laboratories (LIAs) and International Research Groups (GDRIs) in conjunction with the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) or the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM). Numerous incoming and outgoing students, lecturers and researchers from all over the world, in addition to our commitment to increase mobility for non-teaching staff, characterise the global network of Université de Rennes 1.

We currently welcome over 3,600 international students (13% of the university’s student population) and every year, nearly 1,000 of our students undertake an outgoing study programme or work placement. As a result of our close and long-standing ties with a large number of foreign universities and membership in international networks, the internationalisation of teaching and research is continuously growing and strengthening.

Université de Rennes 1 represents 28,000 students, 3,700 employees, 32 research units associated with national research centres, a budget of €292.4 million and more than 250 PhD degrees awarded every year. Our overarching goal is to provide researchers and students with a unique opportunity to interact with a broad and global network.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

The University of Rennes 1 comprises 10 units of training and research (UFR).

  • Medical School
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Faculty of Law and Political Science
  • Faculty of Economics
  • Faculty of Philosophy
  • UFR Sciences and Properties of Matter
  • UFR Life Sciences and Environment
  • UFR Mathematics
  • UFR Informatique Electronique (ISTIC) institutes

The University of Rennes 1 includes 6 institutes (including 4 university institutes of technology):

  • Rennes Management Institute (IGR-IAE)
  • Institute of Preparation for General Administration (IPAG)
  • IUT de Rennes
  • IUT de Lannion
  • IUT de Saint-Malo
  • IUT de Saint-Brieuc


Asked by Francis II, Duke of Brittany, the Pope created the first university of Brittany in Nantes in 1460 . It taught arts, medicine, law, and theology. In 1728, the mayor of Nantes, Gérard Mellier, asked that the university be moved to Rennes, Nantes being more trade orientated. The Law school was thus moved the Rennes in 1730. This city already had the Parliament of Brittany, it was thus more suited to have this School. In 1793 the French Revolution closed all universities. It is not before 1806 that the Law school reopened in Rennes.

In 1808, Napoleon I reorganized the universities in France, creating the University of France. From the 2 original cities housing the University of Brittany, only Rennes was included in this University. Nantes had to wait until 1970 to have again its university. In 1810 a faculty of letters opened, which gathered in 1835 five schools (French literature, foreign literature, antic literature, history, and philosophy). The science faculty opened still in Rennes in 1840. Those 3 faculties remained without clear boundaries between them until 1885 with the creation of a “Conseil des facultés” which took in 1896 the name of University of Rennes. In the middle of the 19th century, they were gathered in the Palais Universitaire, located currently in the Quai Émile Zola, but were then scattered downtown. The faculty of law and the faculty of letter were thus relocated in 1909 in the Séminaire, located currently in the Place Hoche.

In 1969, in order to enforce the growth of French universities, a law was passed, splitting the University of Rennes into two new entities. This new university took the name of ‘University of Rennes 1’.

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