Portugal is a Member-state of the European Union with a higher education system of excellent quality with international standards. It is part of the Bologna Process and its higher education system incorporates the European Higher Education Area.
Higher Education is divided into the European Higher Education Area three cycles of studies that award degrees, and also includes a short cycle that awards a diploma, the technical professional higher education courses (TeSP):
- Curso técnico superior profissional – TeSP (short cycle): 120 ECTS | 4 semesters.
- Licenciatura (1st cycle): 180 to 240 ECTS | 6 to 8 semesters.
- Mestrado (2nd cycle): 90 to 120 ECTS | 3 to 4 semesters.
In some exceptional cases: 60 ECTS | 2 semesters.
- Mestrado integrado (1st and 2nd cycle): 300 to 360 ECTS | 10 to 12 semesters, for courses that allow access to the practice of a certain professional activity (i.e. Medicine, Architecture, Engineering, Psychology, etc).
- Doutoramento (3rd cycle): Although not defined, often 180 to 240 ECTS | 6 to 8 semesters.