PhD in Law

Faculty of Law

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Academic year




Course Type

3rd Cycle Studies

Qualification Awarded



5 Year(s)

ECTS Credits


Annual Fee

1600.0 €

Course Coordinator(s)

Jorge Manuel Coutinho Abreu (uc32364@uc.pt)

ECTS Departmental Coordinator(s)

Maria Matilde Costa Lavouras Francisco (uc36508@uc.pt)

General Objectives of the Course
This cycle of studies is designed to provide doctoral students with specialized legal knowledge in a specific area of Law, as well as the basic tools to carry out original scientific research and applications that will contribute to the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge in the Law field.
Learning Objectives and Intended Skills
These are the core goals of this cycle of studies: provide students with advanced training and high skills in the analysis and the understanding of a particular issue in a specific theoretical area; ensure students’ ability to shape the method and the goals of their research according to recognized academic standards; ensure students’ ability to transmit their progress in studies and their scientific output to different audiences; encourage them take as a personal responsibility the pursuit of legal knowledge amidst the Portuguese-speaking legal community. Thus, this 3rd Cycle is designed to train students in their ability to apply their knowledge and skills to new and complex situations to which they are expected to bring a proper solution.
Mode of Study
Full-time, face-to-face and daytime
Access to Further Studies
Post-Doctoral in Law
Admission Requirements

May apply to the course leading to the degree of PhD of Law:
- Holders of master's degree in law or legal equivalent, with a minimum grade of 14 points or equivalent;
- The wizards that have passed the aptitude test pedagogical and scientific capacity;
- Holders of an academic, scientific or professional that is recognized by the Scientific Council as attesting the capacity to carry out this cycle of studies.

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

Recognition of Prior Learning
According to the Credits for Previous Learning and Work Experience Policy of the University of Coimbra.
Qualification Requirements and Regulations
Decree-Law No. 74/2006, of March 24 (modified by Decree-Law No. 115/2014, of August 7)
Professional Goals
Teaching at the University level; Scientific Research.
Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading
The doctoral evaluation system is set out in the Coimbra Faculty of Law Doctoral Regulations approved by the Faculty Assembly in June 2015 and the University of Coimbra Academic Regulations.
Evaluation in the doctoral programme is performed according to the continuous evaluation method, which may include the elaboration, presentation and defense of research work. Final evaluation of PhD candidates who have successfully completed a specialized seminar in the doctoral programme is determined according to a numerical grading scale, to which the following qualitative grading scale corresponds: 10-13 = Fair; 14-15 = Good; 16-17 = Very Good; 18-20 = Excellent. Evaluation in the general seminar covers a subject matter not comprised in the candidate’s area of expertise, and is expressed in a Pass / Fail basis. The final grade in the doctoral programme reflects the arithmetic average of the marks earned in the seminars and the corresponding qualitative mark. Evaluation of the Thesis proposal falls to the supervisor and is expressed in a Pass / Fail basis. Doctoral examinations consist of a public oral discussion, before a board of examiners, of an original Thesis intended for that specific purpose and under the scope of both legal sciences in general and the legal branch specifically concerned. Final grading is expressed in a Rejected / Approved basis; if the latter, one of the following final grades is granted: Approved, Approved with distinction, Approved with distinction and honor. The final grade is granted by the doctoral examiners on the basis of the merits of the Thesis publicly defended by the candidate. Final grading of candidates enrolled in the doctoral programme with course work will also take into consideration the final grade in the doctoral course.
Graduation Requirements

Achievement of the passing grade in a set of curricular units that amount to a total of 300 ECTS.
PhD with course – 10 semesters/ 300 ECTS (60 ECTS obtained with the approval in the General Seminar and in the Specialized Seminars, and 240 ECTS obtained with the approval in Dissertation).
PhD without course - 10 semesters/ 300 ECTS (obtained with approval in the Dissertation).