NOVA School of Law’s 3rd Cycle Programme in Law is a four-year program leading to a Ph.D. degree in Law. The Programme comprises a taught component (over three semesters) where advanced legal studies are carried out with an interdisciplinary focus. This period also provides training in research methodologies and other complementary skills. Towards the end of the taught component of the Programme, candidates must prepare and publicly defend their thesis project. During the remaining part of the Program (comprising five further semesters), candidates must complete their research under the guidance of their supervisor, culminating in the preparation and defense of their doctoral thesis. The Programme is internationally oriented. Its main language of instruction is English.
In 2014, FCT, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (the national funding agency for science, research, and technology) awarded the NOVA School of Law Third Cycle Programme the prestigious FCT Ph.D. program status. It is thus far the only public higher education institution to have been bestowed with this distinction in the field of legal studies. FCT’s generous funding of this Programme has allowed NOVA School of Law to award over 50 research grants to some of its most talented doctoral students. Year upon year, we attract a talented, multicultural cohort of candidates from all corners of the world. This funding also allows a good portion of our annual student intake to carry out their research full-time. This has proved to be an essential element in the creation of a vibrant and close-knit community of doctoral students, who are active in many of NOVA Law School’s research initiatives.
The Programme admits 25 doctoral candidates each academic year. Numbers are low and therefore admission into the Programme is highly competitive, as NOVA School of Law seeks to ensure that every doctoral candidate is afforded sufficient individualized attention and supervision.