Doctorate Degree (PhD)


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6 Years
30 Jul 2019
Accreditation DGES
Initial registry R/A-Ef 1024/2011 de 18-03-2011
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School of Sociology and Public Policy
Sedas Nunes Building (Building I), room 1E03
(+351) 210 464 015
9:30 - 18:00

Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology (CIES)

PhD Management
 Building 4, room 329
(+351) 210 464 195
monday to friday, 10:00 - 13:00 / 14:30 - 18:00

Tuition fee EU nationals (2024/2025)

1.stYear 2000.00 €
2.ndYear 2000.00 €
3.rdYear 2000.00 €
Lectured in Portuguese
Teaching Type In person

Programme Structure for 2024/2025

1st Year
Public Policy Analysis and Design
6.0 ECTS
Public Policy Research: the Comparative Method
6.0 ECTS
European and International Public Policy
6.0 ECTS
Research Project Seminar in Public Policy
18.0 ECTS
State and Market: Contemporany Debates
6.0 ECTS
Public Policy Selected Researches
6.0 ECTS
2nd Year
Phd Thesis in Public Policy
120.0 ECTS

Recommended optative

The Scientific Commission of the PhD programme in Public Policy recommends that students attend the electives Theory and History of Public Policy (1st semester, Wednesday, 18:00-20:00), Policy Evaluation Methods (1st semester, day/schedule to be designated), Planning and Public Policy (1st semester, Thursday, 20:30-22:30) and Indices and Statistics in Public Policy (2nd semester, Wednesday, 20:30-22:30)*.

Students can, however, select any other curricular unit available in the Master’s and PhD courses at Iscte.

During enrollment, students may consult the list of curricular units available as electives in the platform where they registered online.

(*)The schedules may be subject to changes


To offer an advanced education in the domain of public policy that affords students:

a) A systematic understanding of the discipline of public policy, especially as regards the processes of internationalization and Europeanization;

b) Knowledge of the current analytical perspectives, concepts, theories and problems in the multidisciplinary study of public policy;

c) The ability to design and apply comparative models in this area;

d) The ability to produce significant research, abiding by the stringent parameters of academic quality and integrity;

e) The ability to communicate with the academic community and society in general about the area of public policy;

f) The capacity to make informed interventions in the analyses, design, management and evaluation of public policy in Portuguese, European and international organizations.


When students finish the course, it intended that they will be able to:

a) Identify and evaluate the principal models of analysis, conceptual frameworks and methodological strategies of the discipline of public policy;

b) Combine theoretical and methodological tools in conducting research of scientific significance and quality in public policy;

c) Apply and utilize acquired knowledge to design, analyze, manage and evaluate public policy on national, European and international levels;

d) Communicate and disseminate the results of their work in the academic community and general society.


In each curricular unit these objectives are put into practice, and their attainment is measured through specific tools. In the first year, doctoral candidates attend six compulsory seminars dedicated to the study of the theories and methodologies of public policy, as well as two elective units that may cover any of the following areas: social policy, defense and external relations, education, health, the environment, immigration, media, science and technology, energy and development (60 ECTS credits).

In addition, candidates will attend a research seminar, an international conference cycle and the Public Policy Forum. The completion and defense of the doctoral thesis requires the knowledge, skills and competencies gained in these courses, assessing the candidate’s completion of the degree in an integrated manner.



In the final two years of the programme, doctoral candidates will prepare a thesis by conducting research in the Centre for Research and Studies of Sociology (CIES).

For the purposes of this task, candidates will also attend:

  • An international conference cycle in Public Policy
  • A doctoral research seminar in Public Policy



1) To enroll in the thesis unit, candidates must present an approved research project and their registration.

2) Thesis preparation must include the completion of a research project in the Centre for Research and Studies of Sociology (CIES) or, with the authorization of the directors of the doctoral programme, in another research centre.

3) As an alternative of equivalent requirement to the thesis, doctoral candidates may opt to produce a coherent compilation of relevant research publications that fall under the framework of public policy. These papers must have already been published in scientific journals with internationally recognized selection committees.

4) Either the preparation of the thesis or the compilation of articles must be supervised by an advisor with a PhD named by the programme directors for this purpose.


School of Sociology and Public Policy
Sedas Nunes Building (Building I), room 1E03
(+351) 210 464 015
9:30 - 18:00
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