Doctoral Programme in Democracy in the 21st Century

General Objectives of the Course

Objectives: The Doctoral Programme in Democracy in the 21st century — articulating three main research lines: Diversity, Republic and Citizenship; Compared Democracies and Participation; Social Networks and Social Movements — aims at contributing to an interdisciplinary, 'transcalar' advanced training on contemporary democracy through an integrated perspective which combines the rationalities of social, political and legal sciences, as well as a critical analysis of challenges posed by globalization and interculturality to democratic models and practices experienced during the 20th century. Since 2009/2010, the programme has been developed within a new strategic association involving the vast research experience of CES/Associated Laboratory of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra (FEUC) and a parallel Doctoral Programme from the Brazilian Federal University of Minas Gerais. This association includes knowledge areas such as sociology, economics, political science, international relations and social and political theory from a North-South and South-South perspective. This Programme is designed to contribute for developing advanced studies of political phenomena in Portugal, Europe, Latin America and Africa. The Programme goals include: 1. To provide a systematic understanding of democracy, of its ability to include and value diversity and citizen participation, and of the concept of Republicanism in the 21st century. 2. To promote an advanced sociological research conducting to the production of high-quality, original results worth national and international dissemination, and whose operationalization promotes social and cultural progress in the sociological and social science fields. 3. To provide doctoral candidates with the possibility of benefiting from the articulation of teaching-learning-research-action. 4. To ensure that each doctoral dissertation analyses political phenomena critically and interdisciplinarily, privileging a ‘comparative studies’ perspective.

Curricular Structure: The programme includes a first year with 3 seminars per semester (45 hours each), followed by a third semester with an investigation seminar and an update and debate seminar (90 ECTS). The remaining 5 semesters (150 ECTS) are devoted to the research work and writing of the PhD dissertation

Admission Requirements

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

a) holders of a bachelor's degree in Sociology or other Social and Human Sciences, with a particularly relevant academic or scientific curriculum recognized by FEUC's Scientific Council as providing the skills for attending the current study cycle.

b) holders of a master's degree or legal equivalent;

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

d) holders of a school, scientific or professional curriculum recognized by FEUC's Scientific Council as providing the skills for attending the current study cycle.

The recognition mentioned in points a) and d) 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 an acknowledgement thereof.

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

Professional Goals

Doctoral graduates in Democracy in the 21st Century have qualifications for exercising multiple, different functions within the scope of public administration, companies, associations and non-governmental organizations, as well as teaching and research institutions, in the field of Sociology, namely in areas related to democracy.

Mode of Study

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

Teaching / Evaluation language(s)


Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading

Given the fact that pedagogical assessment is inseparable from teaching, it is intended to ascertain competences and knowledge that students acquired, their critical thinking, their ability to point out and solve problems, as well as their written and oral expression. Students admitted to examination are those who are registered in the curricular units in the academic year in which the exams are carried out and, simultaneously, registered in those examinations, whenever this registration is necessary, in accordance with number 7, article 5 of the Pedagogical Regulation of the University of Coimbra. The assessment elements are the following examples: written or oral exam, tests, written or practical assignments, as well as individual or group projects that may have to be orally defended and students’ participation in classes. Assessment of each curricular unit may include one or more of the mentioned assessment elements. The mark obtained by each student in each curricular unit consists of a whole number between 0 and 20 points and students who obtain the minimum final mark of 10 points are successfully assessed. Whenever assessment of a curricular unit comprises more than one assessment element, the final mark is calculated on the basis of the marks students obtained in each assessment. element by means of a formula that is made public in accordance with number 1, article 8 of the Pedagogical Regulation of the University of Coimbra.

Course Coordinator(s)

Fernando Alberto Baetas Oliveira Ruivo

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 23649/2009 (Official Gazette, 2nd series, no. 209, 28 October 2009).

Graduation Requirements

The doctoral programme lasts for 4 years (8 semesters) and includes a taught component in the first two years, in which approval in each unit of study is required. At the end of the first year, doctoral candidates will present a dissertation project which will be assessed by a jury, whose approval is required for writing the dissertation. The dissertation will be defended in a public examination.

Access to Further Studies

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

Study Programme

Doctoral Programme in Democracy in the 21st Century

Academic year

Course Type
3rd Cycle Studies

DGES Code: 5126

Qualification Awarded: Doutor

Duration: 4 Year(s)

ECTS Credits: 240.0


Call for Applications


1st Semester
Start date: 16-09-2010
Start date (first year): 20-09-2010
End date: 18-12-2010
2nd Semester
Start date: 16-02-2011
End date: 04-06-2011


Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
2014-08-21 a 2020-08-20
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior