Funding Overview

Higher Education in Portugal

Portugal’s mild climate and its hospitality make it ideal for many travellers. These are also pull factors for those seeking to further their education in a European destination. Since Portugal was once a world power which controlled several territories, it is interesting for students who appreciate history. Apart from its fame as a past world power, it is also known for having the oldest engineering school in Latin America, the oldest medical college in Asia. It also has a university that dates all the way back to 1290. With such impressive institutions in education, it is no wonder that Portugal is a great destination for students.
Profit from a great level of higher education in Portugal
Profit from a great level of higher education in Portugal

Educational system

With 99% of the adult population literate, the country’s education system is quite commendable. The tertiary education system is divided into two main types of institutions: Universities (universidade) and Technical Institutes referred to as polytechnics (politécnico). Portugal has a total of fifty-six (56) institutions; thirty-seven (37) of which are State-run and nineteen (19) Private. Among the total number of institutions you will be able to find universities, polytechnics and non-integrated institutions among the mix, catering for a wide array of students across five disciplines in tertiary education. These institutions offer first, second and third cycle programmes (Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates).

Admission Requirments

To enrol in a Bachelors Programme you must have completed secondary school, meet the pre-requisites for your programme and pass the university’s entrance test. It is important to note that undergraduates must prove Portuguese language competence, but this is not necessary for Masters and Doctorate Programmes. Enrolment to Masters Programmes requires a Bachelors qualification while admissions to a Doctorate Programme warrants a Masters level qualification. Application deadlines generally end in September.

Upon completion of an upper secondary school education- which stops at grade twelve (12) - students are required to pass a national exam in order to be able to apply to a higher learning institution. The minimum passing grade for this mandatory exam is ninety-five points while the maximum is two hundred points. To figure out what your scores would be when converted, you may consult the European Grades Comparison Chart. The Portuguese Ministry of Education publishes a list of available places, referred to as vagas, in Public institutions annually. Private institutions also tend to have limited spaces, so for admissions, students are ranked and placed by grade point average.


There are approximately 1161 accredited Bachelors Programmes and 1694 accredited Masters Programmes for students who are interested in furthering their education in Portugal. Portugal institutions have made the necessary arrangements to make sure that those who wish to study their degrees can do so in English instead of Portuguese. If you wish to do your bachelors or masters in English you can choose from 419 programmes.