Study Period in Cluny

Find out more about the modules during the study period to complete at the European College of Cluny.

Languages applied to landscapes (English and French)


The modules of the course are bilingual (English and French): teachers are able to switch from one language to another (for example oral in English and documents in French, or the reverse, answer to a question in the language chosen by the listener); reciprocally, each listener must have a good command of one of the two languages ​​and acquire a minimum background allowing him or her to understand the other language. To this end, two weeks at the beginning of the course will be devoted to a discovery of the landscapes of Clunisois with acquisition of vocabulary and turns of phrase allowing discussion in English and French on these landscapes and the actors of their evolution.


Skills to be acquired: ability to actively follow a bilingual teaching (English – French), knowledge of vocabulary and expressions useful to the program modules, ability to speak, didactic presentation and animation of case studies in either of the two languages; cooperative language skills (comprehension support for a person with difficulties).

Living with the living


The collapse of biodiversity and the mass extinction of species is one of the characteristic phenomena of the Anthropocene. The course will explain this phenomenon, document its extent and analyse its determinants. It will present the various public policies and international, European and national programs intended to tackle it, as well as the profound changes to be made to local public planning policies, in particular in the fight against the artificialization of soils. Particular emphasis will be placed on initiatives by local authorities in this area.

Skills to be acquired: knowledge of the challenges of the collapse of biodiversity and of the major European and international programs in this area, ability to integrate this dimension into public policies, ability to lead public action projects in favor of maintaining biodiversity.

Mobilizing the intelligence of a territory


The ability of a community to manage the challenges of transformation depends on the ability to mobilise the skills of the actors present around a territorial project. The course will give the theoretical keys to approach the understanding of a territory in a systemic way and to accompany the development projects. It will particularly train to the realization of a diagnosis and to the mobilization of the actors around the collective conception of the shared glance, with the help of powerful graphic tools in order to feed a territorial strategy. The course will be based on concrete examples of local projects and on a concrete situation through workshops with restitution to the actors in the field.

Skills to be acquired: ability to mobilize data concerning a territory, to analyze it, to coordinate consultation between stakeholders to design a territory project including the consideration of transitions

Design of public policies


Public action must bring people closer to those responsible. Among the resources useful for this reconciliation, design plays a particular role. This course will provide listeners with an introduction to design and will impart the ability to use this discipline to facilitate dialogue and the common representation of stakeholders in relation to transformation projects.

Skills to be acquired: basic knowledge of project design methods; ability to mobilize them for the collaborative design of operational local public policy projects; capacity to evaluate projects after their prototyping phase.

Entrepreneurship in the circular economy


In the context of the need to break with the depletion of fossil resources and the limitation of emissions linked to the transport of goods, the course will introduce the concepts of the circular economy: life cycle analysis, ecodesign, industrial ecology, relocation. In the field of wood materials, he will discuss the conditions for the development of this new model of endogenous economic development. It will provide case studies of local development based on the valorization of local resources.

Skills to be acquired: ability to analyze the development potential of the circular economy in a territory, competence to lead a territorial pole of economic cooperation, to coordinate the bringing together of local economic actors around the development of local resources.

Introduction to coding


The culture and practice of coding is too often confined to a community of experts. It is important that territorial actors and managers have a minimum of skills and capacity for cooperation in this area, in order to develop their own applications or to contribute to the adaptation of existing open tools. The teaching provides the basics of coding and allows the most motivated people to continue their initiation. Its objectives are as follows:

  • learn the basics of programming
  • discover the development tools
  • create a program and a visualization
  • allow the future territorial actor to communicate and collaborate with a developer
  • acquire a self-taught posture,
  • understand the challenges of programming.


Skills to be acquired: basic knowledge of computer programming, ability to design public policies for awareness and training in computer programming

To be protected and to protect, to be included and to include


The profound changes in lifestyle necessary to fight climate change are likely to destabilize the social fabric and worsen the divides between generations, between rural and urban people, between included people and people in vulnerable situations. The desperation of young people in the face of the deteriorating climate situation is a major difficulty. In this unprecedented context, social and solidarity policies, particularly in the fight against exclusion, must evolve. The peculiarity of the situation can be measured in the light of several recent crises: the cleavages between supporters and opponents of vaccination, situations of distress and isolation caused by rising energy prices, throughout Europe, conspiracy and xenophobic movements, etc. The course will provide elements of social policy analysis, current developments and offer case studies of innovative local public policies to face the most recent risks.

Skills to be acquired: ability to coordinate local integration and solidarity policy projects, in particular for people excluded from employment, isolated, with disabilities; ability to analyze the issues of old age and coordinate action projects in this area; competence in analyzing the social issues of ecological transition.

Eat local


Food is a crucial issue, both in terms of public health, the type of economic and agricultural development, greenhouse gas emissions and geopolitics. The course will introduce these issues and present territorial approaches aimed an improvement in local food supply, at relocating food production as well as quality research linked to agricultural practices and a better distribution of added value through the creation of local processing tools. agro-food and short marketing channels.

Skills to be acquired: ability to coordinate a territorial food project approach; knowledge of the different levers of a local food policy (land, agricultural practices, consumption...); ability to lead a policy of encouraging the installation of new farmers and the transfer of farms; ability to analyze the impact of agricultural and food trajectories on resources and landscapes.

Creating a system for/through the valorisation of territorial data


The intelligence of the territory imposes to consider but also to cross domains and problems more and more diverse and interdependent. To these fields are associated sources and types of data more and more numerous, varied and coming from diversified actors. Taking advantage of these resources in a collective and sustainable manner on a territorial scale requires the implementation and management of a Territorial Information System (TIS). This system mobilises three main areas of knowledge and action: technical, through tools and methods for processing and representing geographic data (geographic information system, geovisualisation, etc.); functional and organisational, through the development of transversality and partnerships (Open data, collaborative platform, etc.); and political and legal, with the issues of information governance and data regulation The training will aim to provide the bases and keys for understanding and articulating these different registers of action.

 Skills to be acquired: knowledge on the digital geographical information (nature, structure, treatments), to apprehend the diversity of the "business approaches", functional and organizational principles of a TIS, to integrate the ins and outs of the opening of data, to take into account the political and legal dimensions of the sharing of the territorial data.

Connecting without excluding


The rapid development of digital exchanges and artificial intelligence open up considerable opportunities, but are accompanied by situations of marginalization and exclusion, for people who do not have access to it, who only partially access it, or in degraded conditions. The course will present an overview of the digital revolution, will explain the main economic and social consequences of this movement, will analyse the foreseeable evolutions in the short and medium term. It will address the issues of e-government, digital illiteracy and provide access to examples of public policies to overcome the main risks of exclusion that accompany the digital revolution.

Skills to be acquired: knowledge of the major challenges of digital development in terms of economic, social and environmental consequences, in terms of open software and open data; ability to coordinate local policies to fight digital exclusion, share digital commons, promote digital sobriety.

(Re)housing the existing?


Faced with socio-demographic changes and the new ecological, technical and health challenges of the 21st century, we will need to consider the new development of housing production and improvement.  The triptych 'sobriety, efficiency, renewable energy' seems to be gradually infusing urban planning policies. 

What do sobriety and efficiency mean for housing policies, then? What are their effects on the production and management of housing habitat stock? As sobriety becomes a priority, for soil protection and biodiversity as well as energy saving and material resources, therefore most of the stakeholders are considering necessary to work with what already exists. This posture aims to combine the socio-economic and intimate needs of households with the existing built environment. It seems to be the guarantee of sustainable territorial development. Consequently, urban, and rural design practices are transformed, thus questioning our ability to take care of what is already there (fight against vacancy, rehabilitation measures, regeneration of wastelands, etc.). After having presented the stakes of such a paradigm shift and the frameworks of the public policies related to it, the course will be based on examples of local actions to consider their transformations.

Skills to be acquired:  knowledge of housing and urban design policies, ability to coordinate these policies and settlement strategies.

Getting around "low carbon"


Globalization has been built on freedom of movement, the intensive use of petroleum fuels and the development of air transport. It has resulted in phenomena of high specialization in production and increased interdependence between regions of the world. The increase in the cost of fuel and the reduction in the quantities available could have the effect of severely handicapping regions with low population density, where distances are greater and where the organization of collective mobility is more complex. At the same time, the reduction in the mobility of goods and services gives rise to new economic opportunities in proximity approaches. Electromobility has a number of advantages, but requires the development of electricity production and networks. The course will introduce these issues and present innovative mobility practices: public transport, soft mobility, multi-modality, etc.

Skills to be acquired: ability to analyze the mobility practices of a territory, to stimulate a local mobility scheme, to design and implement innovative services in terms of collective mobility and soft travel.

Acting as a local, regional, national, European and global citizen


Faced with climate change and the collapse of biodiversity, the innovations necessary for the profound transformations of public policies cannot be done in a "top-down" direction, from international and national bodies to local levels, but must be nourished by experiments and have recourse to strong interactions between the different scales of public action. Active citizenship and a legitimate and vibrant democratic organization are necessary conditions for the ability to innovate and experiment. It is also a factor of good articulation between the decisions of the different levels. In this context, the course will introduce the notion of citizenship through authors like Tocqueville and Dewey. He will present the different models of institutional construction: unitary, decentralized, federalist. It will present the specificities of the process of European construction. It will draw on concrete examples of innovative practices in terms of citizen participation and cooperation between the different levels of public action, in particular between grassroots democracy and the functioning of national and European institutions.

Skills to be acquired: knowledge of multi-level institutional mechanisms, in particular federal, ability to analyze the responsibilities of entities according to their skills, knowledge of European institutions and general principles of European law.

Public service in Europe - In Visio, spread over the year from 21 Nov. 2022


The way public service is organized in Europe varies from country to country, depending on historical data, political and cultural traditions, but also on economic and legal factors. The course will provide an overview of the variety of traditions and practices, and put the developments in perspective, in the context of the transformations of the Anthropocene. He will discuss the influences of the evolution of European law on national practices in this area.

Skills to be acquired: knowledge of the organizational practices of public services according to the different traditions in European countries; ability to grasp the issues in this area in the context of Pot-Anthropocene transformations and in relation to European construction.