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Portuguese Higher Education

There are two types of higher education institutions in Portugal: universities and polytechnics. Their organization is similar, because both can be public or private. But the education offered is very different. The universities offer general knowledge, theoretical, while polytechnics provide professional education.

The oldest university in Portugal is that of Coimbra, founded in 1290. It is also the most famous for the law school, and management literature. The largest university is that of Porto, with 28 000 students. Its sectors of economy and medicine are well-attended, like the University of Lisbon. For complete details on Portuguese universities, and the supply of courses offered, please visit the website

The Portuguese higher education is undergoing reorganization. The total standardization of university courses as part of the Bologna process is planned for 2010. So some universities have already made their mutation, while others are still in the preparatory phase.

To enter public uinversités, must hold the equivalent of the baccalauréat, the Diploma de Ensino secundario. Admission procedures in private schools are left to the discretion of the latter.

1st cycle: Bachelor

The undergraduate degree requires 3-4 years of study following the sector, and provides 180 to 240 ECTS credits. Polytechnics deliver meanwhile a Bacharelato in three years, but can also délivrrer, since the implementation of the Bologna Process, a licenciatura.

2ème cycle: Master

One to two years of study will achieve the Mestrado, akin to the Master. He deepens his knowledge in a specialized area of ​​its sector, or to give professional guidance to the university degree obtained previously.

3rd cycle: Doctorate

Holders of mestrado may consider preparing a doutoramento, equivalent to doctorate. Those with only a bachelor’s degree but who have sufficient capacity to accomplish this cycle can also be accepted.

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