PhD Degree in Psychology

General Objectives of the Course

The PhD in Psychology aims to promote applied and fundamental research, in articulation with development and research institutions and research units in accordance with the internationally established quality patterns. Within this framework, the PhD in Psychology has the following main objectives: to promote scientific research and innovation, to provide students with specialized training in different areas of Psychology, to foster their research skills and their integration in national and international research networks , promote scientific employment and strengthen the connections with the working contexts in a lifelong learning perspective and to contribute to the development of a knowledge-based society.

Admission Requirements

1 – Application to the study cycle conducive to the title of doctor is open to those who:
a) Hold a master’s degree or legal equivalent;
b) Hold a licentiate degree, and possess a particularly relevant school or scientific curriculum that is acknowledged by the Scientific Council of the FPCE-UC as evidence of ability to undertake this study cycle;
c) Possess a school, scientific or professional curriculum that is acknowledged by the Scientific Council of the FPCE-UC as evidence of ability to undertake this study cycle.
2 – Acknowledgement mentioned in sections b) and c) of the previous item only allows access to the cycle of studies conducive to the title of doctor, and does not bestow on its holder an equivalence to the licentiate degree or master from the UC, or in any way acknowledge it.
Candidates should check the admission requirements available on this site, in addition to the information provided here.

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

Professional Goals

The 3rd cycle of studies is an extension of the integrated study cycle in Psychology (Integrated Master), thus concluding specialised and highly differentiated higher education. It also enables students to participate in national and international research networks, and reinforces connections between professionals and their work contexts, through command of scientific competencies that contribute to the sustained progress of a knowledge-based society.

Mode of Study

The course is offered in a full time regime during the first curricular year, and in full/part time from the 2nd curricular year onwards. Mode of study: The course is delivered in a mixed / B-learning attendance and daytime schedule.

Teaching / Evaluation language(s)

Portuguese/ English

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading

The assessment aims to determine the following acquisitions by students: skills and knowledge acquired, their critical spirit, ability to enunciate and solve problems, mastery of scientific, written and oral presentation. Students enrolled in the curricular units are admitted to assessment tests in the academic year to which the tests relate to. Evaluation elements are understood as the following examples: Written or oral exam, tests, written or practical work, projects - individual or in group and that may have to be defended orally - participation in classes, scientific presentations and organization of scientific events. The assessment of each course unit may include one or more of the previous elements. In all curricular units, from the 1st curricular year, the assessment scale is Approved / Failed, except for “Development of the Thesis Project” in which the scale will be: Insufficient / Sufficient / Good / Very Good; if it is Good or Very Good, the doctoral student proceeds to the thesis; with Sufficient he does not proceed to the thesis but can have a Diploma of Advanced Studies, and with Insufficient he does not proceed to the thesis nor can he receive the Diploma of Advanced Studies. In this curricular unit, a public presentation and defense of the project is required, before a jury with an external speaker. The final qualification of the Doctorate course is awarded by the doctoral jury taking into account the merit of the thesis assessed in the public act.

Learning Objectives and Intended Skills

To provide the students with the necessary skills to perform the autonomous conduction of an original and innovative research project of a disciplinary, interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary nature.
Specific skills:
- training in the autonomous management of the research project, mastering of the methodology and techniques, problem solving, mastering of scientific writing and the procedures associated with the dissemination of scientific articles with peer review, mastering the ethical processes associated with the scientific research in Psychology.
Cross-disciplinary skills:
- communication skills with the scientific community and with society in general, using several supports;
- skills in mastering team work and in the building of research networks ;
- skills concerning human and financial resources management.
- career management skills.

Course Coordinator(s)

Marco Daniel de Almeida Pereira

ECTS Departmental Coordinator(s)

Bruno Cecílio de Sousa

Fernando Gabriel Neves Fontes

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of prior learning is carried out in accordance with the Academic Regulation of the University of Coimbra.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations

This study cycle awards the Doctor (PhD) degree. The legal framework for the qualification is established by the Decree-Law no. 74/2006, 24th March, in its current wording.

Graduation Requirements

To achieve the doctoral degree, the student must successfully complete 180 ECTS, which includes the 1st year curricular units and the Thesis. In all curricular units of the 1st curricular year, the evaluations is expressed in the Pass / Fail formula, except for the curricular unit "Development of the Thesis Project" that will use the scale of Insufficient / Sufficient / Good / Very Good, registered in a minute for each student assessed. The enrollment in the course unit “Thesis development…”, requires the minimum classification of Good in the curricular unit "Development Project thesis" and approval in all other curricular units of the 1st curricular year.

Access to Further Studies

Possibility to access any level that requires a doctorate, namely access to post-doctoral studies.

Study Programme

Common core
PhD Degree in Psychology
Areas of expertise
Clinical and Health Psychology
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational and Developmental Psychology
Forensic Psychology
Social and Cognitive Psychology
Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology

Academic year

Course Type
3rd Cycle Studies

DGES Code: 9343

Qualification Awarded: Doutor

Duration: 3 Year(s)

ECTS Credits: 180.0

Annual Fee: 2750.0


Call for Applications


1st Semester
Start date: 11-09-2023
End date: 16-12-2023
2nd Semester
Start date: 05-02-2024
End date: 23-05-2024


Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
2019-07-31 a 2025-07-30
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior

Nº Registo: R/A-Ef 3443/2011/AL03