Portugal is not just a beautiful country and attractive tourist destination, but it also has rich tradition in higher education. The oldest university is the University of Coimbra and it dates back to 1290, which was founded in Lisbon and relocated and renamed afterwards. There are study programmes entirely taught in English, if you are not fluent in Portuguese. The most prominent universities are the University of Lisbon, University of Porto, Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon, Catholic University of Portugal and others. Some institutions have their campuses spread all over different locations, in some cases – even different small islands and you can only reach your faculty by boat. Education, culture, nature, mild climate – Portugal has a lot to offer!
A main characteristic of the Portuguese higher educational system is the division between university and polytechnic education. If you are more research oriented, you should apply for Masters programme at one of the universities in Portugal. If you prefer more practical, vocational education, you should choose a polytechnic institute. Both institutions might be private, public or other (for example run by the church like the Catholic University of Portugal).
Some subjects like medicine, law, psychology or natural science are taught only in universities, and others (nursing, preschool teaching, particular technical degrees) – only in polytechnic institutions.
However, both polytechnics and universities award Bachelors (bacharelado) and Masters degrees (mestrado). Doctorates are only issued by universities. That used to be the case also with Masters, but since the Bologna process in 2006, you can obtain a Masters degree also at Portuguese polytechnic. Some institutions offer joint degrees (integrated Masters), whereby they depend also on the subject – e.g. it is very likely to find an integrated Master in medicine.
As a general requirement for a Masters in Portugal you should hold a Bachelor’s degree in a related field and an English certificate for the English-speaking courses. However, assessment requirement may vary by institution and it’s recommendable to check them before applying.
|Universidade de Coimbra|
|ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa|
|Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics|
|Nova School of Business and Economics|
|Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD)|
|Universidade de Aveiro|
|Universidade do Minho|
|Universidade Nova de Lisboa|
|Universidade do Porto|
|Universidade Católica Portuguesa|