Portugal Higher Education

Portugal has a large tourism industry, and there are good opportunities to get jobs in, among other things, the hotel and restaurant industry. Many universities offer courses in Portuguese during the summer months. If you go to a vocational education, you also have the opportunity to get an internship in Portugal.

Portugal, together with Spain, forms the Iberian Peninsula and, in addition to the mainland, also consists of the two archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both of which have self-government with their own government and legislation in a number of areas.

According to Countryaah, the country is divided into a northern area, which is characterized by industry with a lot of export activity, and a southern area, which is more characterized by administration and service activity. There are also major differences between the coastal areas, which are characterized by tourism, and the inland areas of Portugal, where agriculture with its traditional values ​​characterizes the culture.

As a foreign language, English is gradually becoming more widespread than the more related French language. Although French is understood by virtually all Portuguese, they prefer to speak English or French.

Worth knowing

Vocational training in Portugal

Once you have completed the equivalent of 9 years of schooling, you can start a vocational education in Portugal.

  • Vocational training (Cursos Proffissionais) lasts 3 years. There are 19 different directions e.g. social and health education, tourism and office education. The educations are mainly targeted at the labor market, but also provide access to post-secondary and higher education.
  • Technical courses (Cursos Tecnológicos) last 3 years. There are a number of different directions e.g. in electronics, IT, design, pedagogy and sports. Provides vocational competence in addition to access to post-secondary technical education or higher education.
  • Artistic educations (Cursos Artísticos Especializados) are targeted at people with special abilities in e.g. visual arts and audiovisual communication.

Finally, there are apprenticeships. Find out more at IEFP – Instituto do Emprego e Formacao Proffissional, which provides guidance on vocational and vocational education.

If you are thinking of taking all or part of your own internship abroad, read the section on internships abroad for vocational education under the section Primary school and upper secondary education.

Higher education in Portugal

In 2005, Portugal introduced a new structure for higher education following the Bologna Declaration, which was fully implemented in the 2009/10 school year

Higher education

In Portugal, higher education takes place at universities and other higher education institutions, e.g. the polytechnic institutions that provide:

  • Licenciado, which lasts at least 3 years and consists of a minimum of 180 ECTS points. Some studies that qualify for regulated professions last 4 years and consist of 240 ECTS.
  • Masters lasting 1½-2 years (3-4 semesters with 90-120 ECTS) in extension of a Licenciado.
    There is also a Mestre Integrado, which is taken in 5-6 years in one overall course within areas where the education takes place without division.

The universities also offer the Doutor research program , which is usually of a minimum duration of 3 years.

Application for higher education

There is a lot of competition for study places for higher education. You can find more information about access to higher education here.

The private educational institutions are not affiliated with the coordinated enrollment. Here you must instead apply for admission directly to the individual institution.

Admission requirements

A Danish upper secondary education provides general access to higher education in Portugal. There is a national entrance exam for anyone who wants to study at higher education institutions. You must pass the exam that pertains to the education you are applying for. The entrance exam is called Concurso nacionalfor public educational institutions and Concurso localfor private institutions. To gain access to public education, you must pass the entrance exam with min. 95 out of 200 points (from 2006).

Before you apply for admission, you must contact NARIC to have your Danish examination papers approved. You can get more information on their website: NARIC Portugal.

The exam papers must be translated into English or Portuguese.

In addition to the requirement for an approved upper secondary education and a passed national entrance examination, the individual educational institutions often set specific requirements. Check the requirements at the individual institutions.

Language skills The
teaching at the Portuguese higher education institutions takes place in Portuguese. Many universities offer summer courses in Portuguese in the month of July.

Application deadlines
You must contact the individual educational institutions for information on application deadlines.

Recognition of foreign educations in Denmark
If you have completed a publicly recognized education abroad, you can have it assessed by the Danish Agency for Research and Education

Economics and education

Portuguese institutions of higher education determine what students have to pay in tuition fees for studies at a particular institution. If you are going on a study stay at a Portuguese institution of higher education as a guest student, or to take your entire education, the exact tuition fee will therefore depend on where you are going to study.

On average, the tuition fee at Portuguese higher education institutions is between 950-1250 euros per year for bachelor’s and master’s programs. You can read more about economics and education in Portugal at Study in Europe.

Work in Portugal

Unemployment in Portugal has risen over the past few years and in May 2013 was 17.6%. However, Portugal has a large tourism industry and there are job opportunities in the hotel and restaurant industry.

The working week varies from 37 to 44 hours depending on the sector. The holiday is set at 22 working days a year. You often get an extra monthly salary in June and December.

Job search

You can receive unemployment benefits for 3 months while you apply for a job in Portugal. See more about this in the article Job search abroad in the folder Paid work.

You can get information about working in Portugal from the EURES Advisers at the country’s Job Centers.

In addition, you can also search for e.g. this job database: www.careerjet.pt

Work-and residence permit

As an EU citizen, you are free to stay and work in Portugal for up to 3 months. All you have to do is have a valid Danish passport.

You can read more about this in the article Visas, work and residence permits.

If you want to stay longer than 3 months in the country, you must apply for a residence permit with the Portuguese Foreign Police (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) before the 3 months have expired.

You can get further information about residence permits at the Portuguese Embassy in Denmark.

Practical conditions

You have the opportunity to come up with e.g. au pair stays and language courses in Portugal.


If you are going to study in either Lisbon or Porto, you can rent rooms on the GlobalPlaza website , which is primarily aimed at Erasmus students . All rooms are located very centrally with good connections to public transport, as well as close to higher education institutions. On the website you can also get help with questions regarding, for example, visas and language courses.

Facts about Portugal

Population: Approx. 10.5 million

Language: Portuguese.

Employment: In May 2013, the unemployment rate was 17.6% (Eurostat).

Residence permit: Applicable to the Portuguese Foreign Police (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras).

Portugal Higher Education

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