Higher education in Portugal is divided into two subsystems: university education and non-university higher education (polytechnic education), and it is provided in autonomous public universities, private universities, polytechnic institutions and private higher educational institutions of other types. The two systems of higher education are linked and it is possible to transfer from one to the other.
It is also possible to transfer from a public institution to a private one and vice-versa. University institutions may award “Licenciado”, “Mestre” and “Doutor” degrees while Polytechnic institutions award 1st cycle – “Licenciado” and 2nd cycle – “Mestre” degrees.
First degrees: Bacharelato (three years of study) and Licenciatura (four to six years of study).
Postgraduate courses: Mestrado (four semesters, advanced degree in a scientific area through practical research).
Doctoral studies: Doutoramento (several years of personal study for a thesis).
Postdoctoral programmes: Agregação (reserved for Doutoramento, the highest level of study).