PhD degree in Territory, Risk and Public Policies

Institute for Interdisciplinary Research

Entidade s parceira s : Universidade de Aveiro, Universidade de Lisboa

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Academic year




Course Type

3rd Cycle Studies

Qualification Awarded



4 Year(s)

ECTS Credits


Annual Fee

2000.0 €

Course Coordinator(s)

José Manuel Oliveira Mendes (jomendes@fe.uc.pt)

General Objectives of the Course
TRPP objective is to offer solid training in risk related scientific areas.
The programme is structured along three main strategic lines: a) Promotion of a critical vision both of risk, social vulnerability and resilience concepts as well as of instruments of risk evaluation and management, taking into account contextual dimensions of risk (sociological dimension);
b) The possibility for students to be involved in risk analysis within the context of various land use development and territory planning programs, and in the evaluation of policies and projects with territorial impact (planning
c) Analysis of environmental risks and climate changes, critically evaluating international and national governance policies in this area (environmental dimension).
TRPP also promotes ways of involving communities, institutions, social actors and citizens in risk governance practices.
Learning Objectives and Intended Skills
The doctoral programme fosters the advanced training and qualification of human resources in the area of planning and risk analysis. The programme aims to provide solid scientific training in diverse areas related to risk, such as
process modelling, land use management, mobilization of individuals and communities, as well as the articulation and implementation of public policies.
The programme seeks to define fundamental concepts and to design tools to support a risk management policy that, besides structural measures and emergency systems, includes also measures for the reduction of social
vulnerability and legal instruments developed within the national legal and strategic frameworks.
The methodological and theoretical modules offered in this programme are designed to consolidate the scientific knowledge of qualified professionals, enhancing their ability to apply research skills autonomously and innovatively in activities related to exact sciences, engineering, as well as social and political sciences.
The programme coordination defined a strategic flowchart of development including both research topics and transdisciplinary society involvement, drawing up and evaluation of public policies in the area of planning,
organization and cartography of natural and technological risks, and social vulnerability analysis and risk communication. An analytical frame was developed involving riskappraisal, risk perception, actors involvement and
decision making processes.
Monitoring students in TRPP proceeds in three levels:
(1) curricular orientation, (2) tutorial orientation, (3) and, integration in scientific activities.
1 - Monitoring of students through curricular orientation is implemented in the first year of TRPP with the definition of their academic career paths and with participation in sessions to discuss methodological and bibliographical
issues. These specific curricular activities allow for the evaluation of students' skills and to motivate them for the acquisition of learning outcomes and skills defined by the programme.
2 - Tutorial orientation is applied in Research Seminar curricular unit that results in the presentation, discussion and approval of the students’ thesis project. Secondly, theses’ supervisors and TRPP coordinators apply tutorial
orientation in the subsequent academic years in which students must write their dissertations.
3 - Complementarily, students participate in all activities to national and international research projects coordinated by TRPP professors.
Mode of Study
Full time with class attendance.
Access to Further Studies
Doesn’t apply.
Admission Requirements

The criteria for the selection of candidates are : a) Bachelor and Master degrees in fields related to the PhD
programme (60%); b) scientific curriculum (20%); c) professional curriculum (20%).
A) students must hold Bachelor and Master degrees with the miminum final classification of Good, with recommendation letters from experts in the thematic area of the PhD programme.The main undergraduate and Master degrees privileged are: Sociology and Geography; Economics; Law; Earth Sciences ; Architecture and Urbanism; Biology and Technologies for Environment Protection.
B) presentations in scientific meetings or articles with peer review and/or participation in research projects and/or other activities of scientific merit in areas related to Risk Sciences.
C) advanced short term training or post-graduation courses in areas related to Risk Sciences.

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

Recognition of Prior Learning
Recognition of prior learning is enacted by the Programme Scientific Committee and by request of the candidates, originating the enrollment in the regular or research branches.
Qualification Requirements and Regulations
The legal framework for the qualification is established by the decrees: Decree-Law no 74/2006, de 24 th March, amended and republished by the decree: DL no 107/2008, 25th June; ordinance no 782/2009, 23th July.
Professional Goals
The students with the PhD degree in Territory, Risk and Public Policies can work in the publico or private sector in the following fields:
- regional and spatial planning
- risk evaluation
- risk cartography
- social vulnerability and public policies
- civil protection and population safety
- emergency planning
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.
Graduation Requirements

The doctoral programme is composed of a lecturing component concentrated in the first year of the studies cycle(both normal and research project branches), which is completed by a research component that occurs in the last three years or, according to exceptional adaptations, begins at the first year of the programme. The students in the research project branch have to choose in the first year three curricular units from the programme core and have toenroll in the Research Seminar, completing 30 lecturing credit units. For qualification all students must obtain a total of 240 ECTS.

Study Programme
Applications Notice (only in portuguese)
1st Semester
Start date: 14-09-2015
Start date (first year): 14-09-2015
End date: 19-12-2015
2nd Semester
Start date: 08-02-2016
End date: 31-05-2016
- A3ES
Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
  • 2010-07-19 a 2016-07-18
R/A-Cr 188/2010 - DGES
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior
  • 2010-11-03