Study in Portugal, Europe’s Oldest Nation

6 minute read
Study in Portugal, Europe's Oldest Nation!

Sprawled with ancient architecture and cobblestone roads, Portugal is one of Europe’s oldest countries. The land of golden beaches is also an amazing country to pursue higher education with its excellent academic record, low tuition cost and high student satisfaction rate. It is also one of the safest countries in Europe for international students who wish to study in the country. With over 125 private and public higher education institutions, breathtaking mountains and countries like Spain, France and Morocco only hours away makes studying in the country a once in a lifetime opportunity. In this blog, we focus on how to study in Portugal, its top universities and more! 

Must Read: Unique Courses to Study in Europe

Why Study in Portugal?

YouTube: Visit Portugal
  • It goes without saying, a degree from foreign university holds great importance. While many people often opt for popular European countries like the UK, France or Germany. There are some European countries like Portugal that not only offer cheaper tuition fees but also quality education. 
  • Portugal is one of the top choices among students for pursuing higher studies abroad. Its unique culture, history, and globally recognised education system make it a popular choice. 
  • The quality of student accommodation makes it an even more desirable location for pursuing studies. 
  • With extraordinary facilities and beautiful surroundings, excellent masters programmes in fields like business management, engineering, international relations. Portugal is an excellent choice for those looking to explore a country as well as gain valuable skills and experience. 

Cost of Studying in Portugal

Let’s look at how much it costs to study in Portugal for international students in 2021-

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary from university to university. However, on average it ranges from 900 to 6,000 euros per year. (INR 75,000- INR 1,32,000)

Public Universities

  • 550 – 1,050 EUR/year for Bachelor’s degrees (INR 48,000 – INR 1,32,000)
  • 500 – 2,500 EUR/year for Master’s degrees( INR 44,000 – INR 2,20,000)

Private Universities

Tuition fees are considerably higher at private universities. However, they are still lower when compared to countries like the US, UK, or Australia. Tuition fees for private universities range around 7,000 EUR/year (INR 6,18,000)

Living Expenses 

The cost of living in Portugal varies significantly depending on the city. If one lives in the seaside capital of Lisbon or in a tourist hub like the Algarve, the living expenses will be higher than compared to other regions of Portugal. Despite these irregularities in living costs, the overall cost of living is much less in comparison to many other countries in Western Europe.

Student Housing in Portugal

Portugal offers a number of options to international students for housing like university-owned residences, private apartments, and student halls run by private companies. We have mentioned the average expenses for student housing and accommodation options

  • University-owned student halls of residence: 400 EUR (INR 35,000per month.
  • Renting a private room or apartment: 300- 400 (INR 30,000 to 35,000) EUR per month. 
  • Student halls run by international operators: Starting from 595 EUR (INR 52,585) per month. 

Study in Portugal without IELTS

Universities in Portugal usually do not ask for an IELTS score while offering admission. However, for international students, IELTS is needed to get a visa as it eases the process of visa confirmation.

Also Read Top 14 European Countries to Study in without IELTS!

Study in Portugal after 12th

To pursue an undergraduate degree in Portugal after XIIth, students must transcript of upper secondary education. Some institutions often ask foreign students to appear for an entrance exam. Non-EU students have to take an entrance exam as most courses at the bachelors level are in Portuguese. The entrance exam is conducted at the Portuguese embassy and students can get more information about the entrance exam procedure from the Higher Admissions Office.

Education in Portugal

Higher education in Portugal today follows the universally Bologna Process and hence offers three programs:

  1. Undergraduate (Bachelor’s)
  2. Graduate (Master’s) 
  3. Postgraduate (Doctorate) certifications. 

Educational Institutes to study in Portugal are of two types – Traditional and Polytechnical. Both are further divided into public and private institutes. Polytechnic Universities offer vocational, career-based training in fields like – medicine, natural sciences, economics and law. 

Top Universities in Portugal

Here is a list of world-class and highly renowned universities to study in  Portugal: 

University THE Ranking 2021
Catholic University of Portugal 351
University of Porto 401
University of Lisbon 501
University of Coimbra 601
University of Algarve 801
University Institute of Lisbon 601
Universidade Nova de Lisboa 351

University of Porto

The University of Porto is the second-largest Portuguese university by the number of enrolled students. It is also known for having one of the most noted research outputs in Portugal.

University of Lisbon

The University of Lisbon is a public university located in Lisbon, Portugal. The University of Lisbon offers quality education and is recognised globally for the research, innovation and culture of the schools.

Catholic University of Portugal

The Catholic University of Portugal is a private university in Lisbon, Portugal. It is an autonomous institute of public universities. All the courses offered by the Catholic University of Portugal are accredited by the National Accreditation A3ES.

There are many courses for international students to pursue higher studies in Portugal. Most international students opt to study masters in Portugal. Here are some of the most popular courses among international students to study in Portugal:

  1. Masters in Biomedical Engineering
  2. Masters in Finance
  3. Masters in Management
  4. Masters in General Engineering
  5. Masters in Computer Science

Also Read: Best Universities for Entrepreneurship in Europe 

For students planning to pursue studies in Portugal, they must be aware of the intakes. Universities in Portugal have two intakes:

Primary Session 1 November to February
Secondary Session 2 April to July

Students must keep themselves updated with announcements regarding intakes to ensure they apply on time. 

Also Read: Study Abroad Intakes: All You Need to Know

Documents Required

The requirements vary from school to different program you are applying for, but the generic documents that are needed to study in Portugal are:

  1. Your high school and all other grade transcripts 
  2. Language test results scores like IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
  3. Updated CV or Resume 
  4. Statement of purpose (SOP)
  5. Letter of recommendation
  6. Copy of your passport
  7. Submission essays (if asked by the university)
  8. Copy of student visa 

Admission Process

To apply for universities in Portugal, students must follow the below-mentioned steps –

  • Students must visit the official website of the institution. 
  • Then, click on ‘Apply Now’ or ‘Register Here’
  • Students are then required to provide their education history with all the qualifications.
  • They must also fill in the details of their employment history and personal statement.
  • Once the form has been filled up, students must submit the application form by paying the mentioned fees.


A number of scholarships are provided to international students for pursuing studies in Portugal. Public funding for EU and non-EU students is provided by –

  1. The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) -Project-based research grants in the fields of science and technology.
  2. The Instituto Camoes, which offers scholarships for studies in Portuguese language and culture;
  3. The Directorate-General of Higher Education (DGES) – Merit-based scholarships for all study programs offered by individual institutions.

Scholarships and grants are usually available for master’s students, however, some funding is available for bachelor’s students. Click here for more scholarships to study in Europe!

YouTube: Leverage Edu

Also Read: Explore Europe’s Sunniest Country with these top Croatian Universities

This is all that you need to know if you plan to study in Portugal. Planning to study abroad but confused about the application process amidst the ongoing pandemic! Then, contact our experts at Leverage Edu and look at a free session today to resolve all your doubts!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *



15,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today. Study in Europe
Talk to an expert