Objective of the IMACS programme

Most existing Masters Courses dealing with clays focus on a single discipline or domain in which Clay Science does not necessarily constitute the main part of the course (Earth Sciences, Civil and Geotechnical Engineering, Materials Science, Environmental and Life Science, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering). However, Clay Science is a multidisciplinary endeavour, combining geology, mineralogy, crystallography, with physics, geotechnology and soil mechanics together with inorganic, organic, colloid chemistry and biochemistry.

IMACS (International Master in Advanced Clay Science) is the first multi-disciplinary programme that brings together the widely-distributed knowledge of clays.

IMACS is an integrated 2 years master programme delivered by four Universities : the University of Poitiers (France), the Technical University of Crete (Chania - Greece), the University of Aveiro (Portugal) and the Federal University of Rio Grande Do Sul (Porto Alegre – Brazil), and is supported by the French Clay Group (GFA) and AIPEA (International Association for the Study of Clay Minerals) which are associated members of IMACS. This programme approved by the European Commission under a very competitive application scheme as an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master programme in July 2009.

During the first year, basic knowledge on clays, recent developments in clays and analytical techniques are provided, followed by a first specialization in Environment, soil and geological systems. After this training period, a master project completes the first year programme. The second year incorporates two specializations 1) Geomaterials and civil engineering, and 2) Advanced clay – nanomaterials, and Healing minerals. The master thesis (4 to 6 months) completes this second year and can be carried out at any of the partner research laboratories which constitute a network of more than 20 labelled research laboratories and numerous private companies.

The objective of this Master is to form high level graduates by providing them a wide range of competences with applications in Environment, Earth Sciences, Materials (Geomaterials and Nanomaterials)... The interdisciplinary of the IMACS programme gives access to a large job market on the international level. A great number of research laboratories will be able to welcome for PhD IMACS students. IMACS students will be attractive for any engineer vacant positions requiring clay knowledge (Environment and waste management, Civil Engineering, Soils, Industries linked with mineral and energetic resources, Geo materials, Cement and Ceramic industry, Nano-materials, Cosmetics and medicine...).

The teaching language is English. The completion of the curriculum is rewarded by a Master Degree or multiple Master Degrees depending on the student mobility.

This Masters Course is open to students holding a BSc (or a degree equivalent to 180 ECTS) or an academic equivalence based on professional experience (validation of acquired experience is required), and a fluent understanding of the English language

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