PhD in Biosciences

Department of Life Sciences

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Academic year


Study Plan in alteration process for 2017/2018.



Course Type

3rd Cycle Studies

Qualification Awarded



6 Semester(s)

ECTS Credits


Annual Fee

2750.0 €

Course Coordinator(s)

José Paulo Filipe Afonso de Sousa (jps@zoo.uc.pt)

ECTS Departmental Coordinator(s)

António Manuel Santos Carriço Portugal (aportuga@bot.uc.pt)

General Objectives of the Course
The training at postgraduate level is of paramount importance in the preparation of specialized researchers, teachers and other professionals in the field of Biosciences. The third cycle aims to provide advanced training and multidisciplinary areas of Ecology, Molecular Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Bioenergetics, Bioinorganic, and Cell Biophysics Molecular Microbiology, Neuroscience and Toxicology, using the scientific resources of the Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Coimbra (DCV), and the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra (CNC- National Associated Laboratory), Institute of Marine Research-Coimbra (IMAR, and Center for Functional Ecology (CFE). A Doctoral Thesis is developed for a minimum period of 2 years (120 ECTS), following a first year of course work. Optional course work requirements are fulfilled by attending a variety of advanced courses. The grades obtaned in these courses are then transferred to fixed curricular units, thus ensuring a great deal of flexibility to the program.
It is extremely important to note that the Mandatory units (Thesis Project and Seminars I and II of the different specializations) are carried out in a one-on-one relationship between a Student and a Supervisor, and not in classroom model, common to other study cycles (this the notations in section 2). Each Student is responsible for contacting/choosing a Supervisor who, in turn, will provide a Thesis Topic to be developed in the curricular year, as well as the methodology and activities to be scheduled. The Student must provide a Literature Review on the Topic proposed (Seminar I), possible avenues for future research (Seminar II) and a concrete plan of experimental approaches to be developed as a Thesis in the following years (Thesis Project). The Supervisor will grade these activities, but a Committee named by the PhD Coordinator must validate the Thesis Project, to ensure quality/feasibility.
This course of study allows different specializations: Specialization in Ecology, Marine Ecology, Catchment Ecology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Toxicology, Biotechnology, Cellular Biophysics, Molecular Biophysics, Inorganic Biochemistry and in Bioenergetics.
Mode of Study
Full time and day-time learning, but with a very reasonable and flexible schedule that allows for other activities.
Access to Further Studies
Access to post-Doctoral Training
Admission Requirements

Masters Degree with research expertise or previous professional expertise in scientific research

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

Recognition of Prior Learning
When applicable credits are given for previous experience mentioned in point h.
Qualification Requirements and Regulations
Originally published in Despacho n.º 11949 -BC/2007, in Diário da República n.º 114, 2.ª série, 1.º Suplement June 15. Modified by Despacho n.º 20220/2009 in Diário da República, 2.ª série — N.º 173 — September 7 2009
Professional Goals
Lecturers and researchers at a college level; Senior Researchers and Lab Tecnicians in Research Institututes, Clinical environments, companies, government agencies, natural parks, etc.
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

Public defense of a written Thesis including original high-quality research (following approval of the Project) in the chosen field which must include at least one research paper with the student as first author.

Study Programme
Applications Notice (only in portuguese)
1st Semester
Start date: 11-09-2017
End date: 21-12-2017
2nd Semester
Start date: 05-02-2018
End date: 30-05-2018
- A3ES
Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
  • 2017-06-30 a 2023-06-29
R/A-Ef 1520/2011 - DGES
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior
  • 2011-03-18