Levels of study available are : first degrees: Bacharelato (three years of study) and Licenciatura (four to six years of study); postgraduate courses: Mestrado (four semesters, advanced degree in a scientific area through practical research); doctoral studies: Doutoramento (several years of personal study for a thesis); Postdoctoral programmes: Agregação (reserved for Doutoramento, the highest level of study).
Portugal is situated in the south-western extremity of Europe, occupying the western littoral of the Iberian Peninsula. The territory also includes the Azores, Madeira and Porto Santo Islands. It is bound to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east and north by Spain. The capital of the country is Lisbon. The population of the country is 10.4 million the official language is Portuguese, which is spoken by the entire population.
Higher education in Portugal is divided into two subsystems: university education and non-university higher education (polytechnic education), and it is provided in autonomous public universities, private universities, polytechnic institutions and private higher educational institutions of other types. The two systems of higher education are linked and it is possible to transfer from one to the other. It is also possible to transfer from a public institution to a private one and vice-versa. University institutions may award “Licenciado”, “Mestre” and “Doutor” degrees while Polytechnic institutions award 1st cycle – “Licenciado” and 2nd cycle – “Mestre” degrees.
The Portuguese agency Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior) promotes national scientific research and technological development by providing different types of grants, e.g. Master grants (MA), Doctorate grants, Post-doctorate grants, Sabbatical grants, Grants for scientific career development, Enterprise doctorate grants, Training grants at scientific and technological international organisations, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.