Doctoral Programme in International Politics and Conflict Resolution

General Objectives of the Course

As any advanced education programme, the doctorate in International Politics and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) has the qualified professionalization and research autonomy of its students as generic goals. Specifically, IPCR programme is structured in order to foster the training of advanced skills in the analysis of contemporary international politics, with a particular emphasis on the study of international peace and conflict dynamics, whether from the perspective of the causes and signs of the emergence of conflicts, or from the standpoint of technical and theoretical instruments of conflict resolution, thus combining the research agendas of both conflict and peace studies. This programme gathers therefore the strenghts of technical training with the
strenghts of the theoretical framework of international peace and conflict with the aim of furthering the understanding and positive transformation of conflicts.

Admission Requirements

As defined in Article 64 of the Academic Regulation of the University of Coimbra and in the Act creating this doctoral programme:

a) holders of a master's degree or legal equivalent in International Relations or other Social and Sciences;

b) lecturers which have been approved in educational aptitude and scientific capacity tests;

c) holders of a bachelor's degree in International Relations or other Social Sciences (or its equivalent in other countries) with a particularly relevant academic or scientific curriculum recognized by FEUC's Scientific Council as providing the skills for attending the current study cycle;

d) holders of other bachelor’s or master’s degrees, as long as the FEUC’s Scientific Council considers that their study plan is in condition to be effectively and usefully inserted in the programme;

e) holders of a school, scientific or professional curriculum recognized by the Doctoral Programme Coordination Committee and by FEUC's Scientific Council as providing the skills for attending the study cycle.

The recognition mentioned in points c), d) and e) only allows access to a study cycle conducting to a doctoral degree, and does not entitle its holder any equivalence to a bachelor's or master's degree or a recognition thereof.

Candidates should check the admission requirements available on this site, in addition to the information provided here.

Professional Goals

Doctoral graduates in International Politics and Conflict Resolution have advanced qualifications for exercising multiple different functions in the field of international politics in general, and on the subjects of peace and conflicts in particular, namely in international organizations, state bodies (diplomatic career), in international relations departments and offices at public bodies and non-governmental organizations, in the media and in teaching and research institutions.

Mode of Study

Full-time attendance, presence required in daytime schedule. Teaching sessions will take place on Friday, in the morning and afternoon.

Teaching / Evaluation language(s)


Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading

As assessment is a pedagogical activity inseparable from the teaching process, its aim is to establish the students' competencies and knowledge, their critical sense, ability to recognize and resolve problems, as well as their written and oral presentation skills. Students may only register for exams for classes they are currently registered for under the terms of number 6 of article 4 of the University of Coimbra Pedagogical Policy. The following are examples of assessment items: Oral or written exams, written or practical work, individual and group projects that may require an oral defense, as well as class participation. Assessment for each class may include one or more of the above mentioned items. Grading is based on a scale of 0 to 20 and a grade of 10 is required to pass. Whenever assessment includes more than one item, the final grade is calculated by taking into account the relative weight of each item according to a formula published in the course outline under the terms of number 2 of article 7 of the UC Pedagogical Policy.

Learning Objectives and Intended Skills

IPCR seeks, above all, to provide the indispensable skills for the most advanced and demanding level of higher education. Among them, we should highlight a few: the comprehensive and detailed cognitive mastering of a particular scientific area; systematic and in-depth understanding of an area of specialization; sophistication in methodological design; development and implementation of research work, respecting the requirements imposed by academic quality and integrity standards; capacity for critical analysis and evaluation of new theoretical proposals and complex realities; and the ability to construct and defend a consistent and original argument. In order to achieve this objective, the IPCR seeks, more specifically, to train consolidated and sophisticated skills on Peace and Conflict Studies. These specific skills include three types: a) Cognitive: thorough knowledge of the evolution of international conflicts and of contemporary debates on this topic; identification and analysis of tension and conflict areas; critical reflection departing from the different theories of peace and security; knowledge of the techniques and strategies to approach and peacefully transform international conflicts. b) Social: the ability to apply acquired knowledge in international negociation, conflict prevention, transformation and resolution, post-war reconstruction, particularly in complex institutional and uncertain environments; ability to plan and carry out fieldwork involving these analytical instruments. c) Ethics: ability to frame this knowledge and these tools in a normative reading of international reality. The organization of this syllabus clearly corresponds to the ambition of achieving these objectives. This is reflected in particular in the structure of this curriculum: the courses on Conflict Prevention and Management, Crisis Resolution and Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Theoretical Constructions of Peace, Geopolitics of Peace and Conflict, Contemporary Perspectives in Peace Studies and New Trends in International Politics and Conflict Resolution reflect the cognitive, social and ethical requirements of our training in this area of expertise. Evidence of remarkable success in achieving these objectives are the quality of the work done for each uc and its publication by CES, as well as regular presentations at national and international conferences (showing interest on the part of a highly demanding audience).

Course Coordinator(s)

Maria Raquel de Sousa Freire

Recognition of Prior Learning

Previous training obtained in national or foreign higher education institutions can be recognized.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations

The qualification is framed by the Decree-Law No. 74/2006, of 24 March, as amended by the Decree-Law No. 107/2008, of 25 June, and by the Decree-Law No. 230/2009, of 14 September. Order 13417-Z/2007 (Official Gazette, 2nd series, no. 122, 27 June 2007).

Graduation Requirements

The doctoral programme lasts for a minimum of 4 years (8 semesters) and includes a taught component in the first two years. Attendance and approval in first-year seminars with a minimum grade of 14/20 are required for the presentation of a dissertation project, whose successful defence is required for subsequent dissertation development. The dissertation will then be defended in a public examination. This programme leads to a doctoral degree in International Relations by the University of Coimbra.

Access to Further Studies

Doctoral graduates will be able to access post-doctoral programmes, namely in the field of International Relations

Study Programme

Doctoral Programme in International Relations

Academic year

Course Type
3rd Cycle Studies

DGES Code: 5231

Qualification Awarded: Doutor

Duration: 4 Year(s)

ECTS Credits: 240.0

Annual Fee: 2000.0


Call for Applications


1st Semester
Start date: 16-09-2019
End date: 21-12-2019
2nd Semester
Start date: 10-02-2020
End date: 30-05-2020


Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
2015-01-05 a 2021-01-04
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior