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Université Côte d’Azur (UniCA)

Université Côte d’Azur (UniCA)

Université Côte d’Azur (UniCA)


Université Côte d’Azur is a recently created cluster of higher education establishments on the French Riviera that brings together the major players in higher education and research in the region. Université Côte d’Azur aims to develop a new, 21st-century model for French universities, based on new interactions between disciplines, a new form of coordination between research, teaching, and innovation, and strong partnerships with the private sector and local authorities. In January 2016, Université Côte d’Azur won a prestigious “IDEX” award from the French government for its UCAJEDI project, placing it among the top 10 world-class, comprehensive universities in France.

The University of the 21st Century

The Université Côte d'Azur is made up of 13 outstanding institutions, working together as ONE UNIVERSITY. We challenge ourselves in all the ways. We break barriers in nearly every field. We go beyond the limits. We search the best of all of us, the best of you, to make our world better.

The scope of UCA thus brings together all the public and private entities of higher learning and research, well-known and visible on the international scene, that are present on the Côte d’Azur. The innovative character of its distinctive collaborative practices will create self-organizing conditions for excellence; it will drive the emergence of future science, training, and innovation.

  • The Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS), research-intensive, present in all international rankings;
  • Two National Research bodies: CNRS and Inria, multidisciplinary and emblematic in digital sciences, respectively;
  • Another star that is joining the UNICA's cluster is the Côte d’Azur Observatory (OCA). With some 450 staff located on four sites (Mont Gros and Valrose in Nice, Sophia Antipolis, and the Plateau de Calern Observatory). Designed by Charles Garnier the OCA has a remarkable architectural and scientific heritage, But far from looking to the past, it remains an internationally recognized center for research in Earth Sciences and Astronomy consort with precision mechanics, high-performance computing centers and virtual observatories.
  • The Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) of Nice, a leading national center for simulation and innovation in hematology, biological resources and therapies that places basic scientists side by side with medical researchers and engineers;
  • EDHEC and SKEMA, two outstanding Business Schools present in all international rankings; the presence of two Business Schools, present in world rankings, brings to the project, in addition to their research and training activities, a culture of quality assurance
  • A consortium of six Art Schools, active on the international scene, comprising world-class establishments, is a guarantee of the originality of our vision and will boost the creativity of our approach. In all, each of the players brings a unique contribution with high added value and a new dimension.
  • Centre National de Création Musicale, is one of the six national centers of French musical creation. Its mission is to disseminate and promote the repertoire of contemporary music by deploying its activities mainly on four axes: production, broadcasting, training, and research.
  • Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art Villa Arson, it's a unique national institution dedicated to contemporary art. It reunites in a single venue a school of art, an art center, an artists’ residence, and a specialized library. The building has been listed Patrimoine du XXe siècle
  • The Sustainable Design School (SDS), shaping the future, with a responsible focus on the 4 pillars of sustainable development through new and creative learning methods in partnership with the industry.
  • Ecole Supérieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower, Since its creation in 1961 the Ecole Superieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower has become one of the world’s premier professional dance schools in terms of classical ballet, contemporary dance and Jazz training. The ESDC’s partnerships with professional dance companies, among which Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, or international competitions as Le Prix de Lausanne.
  • Conservatoire National à Rayonnement Régional de Nice (CNRR). Since 1957, the Conservatory has catered more than 50 000 students from over 50 different countries and it has welcomed a series of great musicians, either as students or as teachers from around the world.

UNICA's Ambitions

Research, Create, Innovate

Université Côte d’Azur was created in 2015, to bring to life the collective ambition of the major players in higher education and research on the French Riviera. As a higher education cluster that includes a major research university, multiple top-level research agencies and laboratories, elite business schools, and a group of internationally renowned art and design schools, UNICA is well positioned to provide multidisciplinary, creative solutions to the complex challenges posed by a rapidly changing world.

Building on the French Riviera’s rich history as a center of artistic and technological innovation and as the home of the largest technology park in Europe (Sophia Antipolis), our vision is based on scientific and educational excellence, a strongly international focus, deep connections with local industrial and governmental partners, and a resolutely transdisciplinary outlook. Our research and educational programs are the fruit of decompartmentalized interactions between disciplines, the inclusion of human, artistic, and management dimensions to our projects, and a rigorous foundation based on quantitative, digital, and data-driven approaches.

As a recognition of our ambitious agenda and scientific excellence, in January of 2016 UNICA was awarded a prestigious “IDEX” (Excellence Initiative) award by the French government, placing UNICA among a small group of high-profile, world-class French universities and providing an endowment to help us achieve our goal of transforming our university and our region. We have also recently won a number of other major national awards to support our activities in, notably, continuing education, undergraduate and graduate education, and entrepreneurship.

With over 20% of our faculty and students coming from abroad, UNICA is strongly turned towards the outside world, an aspect that is being constantly reinforced with the creation of elite international partnerships and the development of new international educational programs that will be taught entirely in English. New services have also been created to help attract international researchers and students and allow them to settle into the region, as well as to help university faculty publish their research in top international journals.

UNICA is also working to develop entrepreneurial and business skills among its researchers and students. A number of new programs aim to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit in students at all levels and to give them the tools needed to achieve their dreams. University researchers and ideas are also at the heart of many companies in the region, whether they are based on university research or founded by a member of the university.

Finally, UNICA is striving to be a catalyst that will transform the Côte d’Azur region, contributing to its growth by providing solutions to business problems through consultancy activity, continuing education, and through the licensing of discoveries to new and existing companies. The constant exchange of ideas between the university and the region is an important contributor to its growth and success. Much of UNICA’s leading research can be translated into solutions, products, and companies that will benefit both society and the economy.

Scholarships and Funding

IDEX Scholarships for International MSc Programs

Each year Université Côte d'Azur awards 10 Idex scholarships to the best MSc candidates. The recipients of these grants of excellence will be exempt from tuition fees and will receive a stipend of €5,000.

To be eligible, students will have to apply to one of Université Cô te d'Azur's international programs listed below:

  • European Masters Molecular Pathology
  • MSc Biobanks and complex data management
  • MSc Data science and artificial intelligence
  • MSc Biocontrol solution for plant health
  • MSc Modeling of neuronal and cognitive systems
  • MSc Environmental hazards and risks management
  • MSc Music Scoring for visual media and Sound Design
  • MSc Management of the flavor and fragrance industry
  • MSc MARRES, ocean science, conservation and innovation (Science and Society)

France Excellence Europa Scholarship Program

International students from 26 European countries may be awarded the France Excellence Europa scholarship to pursue a Master's degree at Université Côte d’ Azur for a maximum period of 12 months (M2) and 24 months (M1).

EIFFEL Scholarship Program of Excellence

The Eiffel Scholarship program is a tool developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to enable French higher education institutions to attract the best foreign students to graduate programs at the master's and doctoral levels.


Université Côte d'Azur has been awarded the "Idex" label by the French government, as part of the 10 best research-intensive universities in France. The International MSc. programs have been designed in this framework.

Université Côte d’Azur (UniCA) is in the Top 10 Countries to Study Abroad Top 10 Europe rankings 2023 badge Top 10 Global rankings 2023 badge Top 10 Europe rankings 2022 badge Top 10 Global rankings 2022 badge Top 10 Europe rankings 2021 badge


  • Nice

    28 Avenue de Valrose, 06103, Nice

  • Cannes

    230 Av. Francis Tonner, 06150, Cannes

    • Grasse

      4, traverse Dupont, 06130, Grasse

      • Biot

        ISA INSTITUTE 400 route des chappes, 06903, Biot

        • Pisa

          Pisa, Italy

        • Nice

          Avenue Valrose, 06000, Nice