The nature of hospitality management programmes in France

Download this annual study in which the Luxury Hotelschool analyses and compares French postgraduate programs in hospitality management, based on public data. This study is considered by law as a comparative advertising to inform candidates.

Most programmes deliver a professional certification. The name Master's degree, MBA or MSc is not State-approved (including for ESSEC, ESCP, Vatel, Paul Bocuse...)

2020 Study (pdf)2020 Study (xls)

Annual study

This study of postgraduate courses in hospitality management in France has been published every year since 2013. The study was created to teach our students the subtleties of the French education system and in particular the difference between a master awarded by a university and a professional certification.

It is quite simple: only a university can deliver a Master in France or in the United Kingdom. The confusion comes from professional certifications in France that are sometimes marketed under the names MBA, MSc or master . In this case, only the professional certification is approved by the state; the MBA, MSc or French master of science is not State-approved.

Professional certifications

MSc, MBA and master of science in France are not Master's degree when they are not awarded by a university, they are professional certifications instead. The RNCP is the directory of these certifications and is available online. The certification is State-approved, the MBA, MSc or master of science is not, it is a trade name.

Professional certifications are not comparable to a master's degree in terms of academic level. A master's degree is based on research, requires the access to an extensive library and includes the presentation of research methods that culminates in the writing of the dissertation.

Certifications (in French) RNCP directory (in French)

Origin of the Master's degree

In a papal bull by Pope Gregory IX in 1231, Parens scientiarum, the masters were recognised. Eight hundred years later, in 2002, the degree of master is created in France, exceptionally using an English word.

The UK government publishes a list of universities or colleges that are officially recognised and can award degrees like a bachelor or a master's degree. In France too, a list of public educational institutions is published by the Ministry.

History of Oxford University UK recognised institutions FR recognised institutions

Master's degree in France

An ordinance dated April 25th, 2002 in France creates the master's degree and article 7 states that only public institutions duly recognised can award the Master's degree.

In France as in the UK then, only universities and other public institutions can award degrees. No business school and certainly no hotel school in France can deliver a bachelor or a master's degree alone.

The grandes écoles in France are private business schools with a prestigious programme named programme grandes écoles, that is very selective and with a high academic level. Theses programmes nonetheless do not award a master's but rather the school's diploma that is State approved and grants the master's level. In the list of recognised programmes, there is no hospitality programme, no master, only the programmes grandes écoles.

Recognised programmes French law on the master Le Monde (in French) L'Etudiant (in French)

UK Master's degree

LH Luxury Hotelschool jointly delivers the Master in international tourism and hospitality management with London South Bank University. As of 2018, it is the only authentic degree in all French hotel schools.

Master's degree are for example master or master of arts. In France, it is rather master of research or professional master. Both degrees hold the same place in the European framework at level 7 and have the same origin.

The UK master is one of the most prestigious degree in the world. Graduates can request an official comparison with French degrees if required. An example of the document they receive is accessible below.

master UK University degree
UK Master in France

Bachelor in France

LH Luxury Hotelschool jointly delivers the bachelor in international tourism and hospitality management with London South Bank University. As of 2018, it is the only authentic bahelor's degree in all French hotelschools.

Bachelor's degree translates ins French into licence. Awarding a licence in France is restricted to universities, as is the awarding of a bachelor in the UK. But in France, the word bachelor is not protected, which means that a bachelor in France can be anything from a professional certification to a school certificate. It is never State-approved if there is no university involved. Along with the Bachelor with French, a professional certification might be delivered, the certification is State-approved but not the bachelor.

Bachelor's degree
Le Monde (in French)

Contact us

Luxury Hotelschool
69, bd Haussmann
75008 Paris

Restaurant Le Charles
76, rue Villeneuve
92210 Clichy Grand Paris

Tel: +33 (0)1 47 31 39 39



  • Matthias Terrettaz, Shangri-La Paris
    Shangri-La Paris

    “You can be very proud of your diploma and your training, which are great assets for your future career.” Matthias Terrettaz, Hotel Manager Shangri-La Paris and sponsor of the 2013 cohort

  • Geraldine Dobey, Fouquet's Barrière
    Le Fouquet's

    “You graduated from a very good school, a school that is highly regarded.” Geraldine Dobey, General Manager, Le Fouquet's Sponsor of the 2014 cohort

About us

LH Luxury Hotelschool is an international hotel management school dedicated to luxury. This family institution founded 30 years ago is the specialist of international luxury hotel management.

The school offers Bachelor's and Master's degree taught in English in Paris, combining French tradition of gastronomy and luxury hospitality, and anglo-saxon management skills.

Each year, a luxury hotel sponsors the graduations and signs the diplomas as did the Ritz in 1996, Crillon in 1997, Lutetia, Le Bristol, Shangri-La Paris, Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, Prince de Galles, Raphaël, Fouquet's...