Catholic University of Portugal

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Catholic University of Portugal
Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Catholic University of Portugal logo.png
Latin: Universitas Catholica Lusitana
Motto A Ω Veritati
Type Concordatary University
Established October 13, 1967
Rector Maria da Glória Garcia
Administrative staff
1571 (2006)
Students 11,426 (2008)[1]
Location Lisbon, Portugal

The Catholic University of Portugal (Portuguese: Universidade Católica Portuguesa, pronounced: [univɨɾsiˈdad(ɨ) kɐˈtɔlikɐ puɾtuˈɡezɐ]), also referred to as Católica or UCP for short, is the only concordatary university (non-state-run university with concordatary status) of the Catholic Church, in Portugal.

Although it is just one university, UCP is organized as a university system, made up of four major regional centres: Lisbon (the headquarters), Beiras (Caldas da Rainha and Viseu), Braga, and Porto. These include 18 faculties, schools and institutes, which are the basic education and research units. Besides the four regional centres in Portugal, UCP also has the University of Saint Joseph in Macau as its affiliate.


Catholic University in Braga
Faculty of Philosophy of Braga
Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon.

The Catholic University of Portugal was established in 1967 by decree of the Holy See (Lusitanorum Nobilissima Gens), at the request of the Portuguese Bishop's conference and under Concordat Law. It was founded in 1967 and gained official recognition in 1971.

Its first constituent Faculty was the Jesuit-owned and run Faculty of Philosophy of Braga (Northern Portugal). However, the University was soon extended to Lisbon where it opened, in 1968, the Faculty of Theology and, in 1971, the Faculty of Human Sciences.

The Portuguese government's official recognition of UCP occurred in 1971, via decree-law 307/71, which acknowledged the Catholic University as on a par with the other Portuguese universities and conferred on the degrees it grants - presently Licentiate, Master and Doctorate, - the same value and the same effects as those awarded by State universities.

The late 1970s and 1980s saw the establishment and development in Portugal of a privately owned sector in higher education (including both universities and polytechnics). Within that context, there has been a generalized acceptance of the distinctive position held by the Catholic University - a public, non-State and non-profit-seeking institution.

Nowadays, and following the general trend in Portugal and abroad, UCP enjoys a large degree of autonomy in the creation and running of new campuses, faculties and courses.

Currently it has, among others, the well known courses of Business, Economics, Architecture, Law, Media and Cultural Studies, Civil Engineering and Dental Medicine.

The Lisbon MBA[edit]

The Lisbon MBA is a partnership between Universidade Catolica Portuguesa and Universidade Nova de Lisboa. The partnership includes a Full Time One year MBA, in partnership with MIT Sloan School of Management and a Part Time MBA. The two Universities that offer this MBA program hold the triple crown accreditation namely AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB.


According to the QS World University Rankings, the Catholic University of Portugal is within the world's 600 best universities.[2]

According to rankings published by the Financial Times, the Catholic University School of Business and Economics is the best in Portugal and 25th in Europe. Its master's degree in management is one of the two best in Portugal in 2013, when it was ranked 52nd worldwide.[3]

It is the largest "private" university in Portugal in terms of students enrolled and the 10th largest including public universities.[1]

Teaching units[edit]

The Portuguese Catholic University is a decentralized university composed of four regional centers, each one including several academic and research schools, faculties, institutes and departments.

  • Lisbon (headquarters):
  1. Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics
  2. Faculty of Human Sciences
  3. Faculty of Law - School of Lisbon
  4. Faculty of Engineering
  5. Faculty of Theology
  6. Institute of Health Sciences
  7. Institute of Political Studies
  8. Higher Institute of Canonical Law
  • Beiras Regional Center (Viseu):
  1. Department of Economy, Management and Social Sciences
  2. Department of Humanities
  3. Department of Architecture, Science and Technology
  4. Department of Health Sciences
  • Braga Regional Center:
  1. Faculty of Philosophy
  2. Faculty of Theology
  3. Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Oporto Regional Center
  1. Faculty of Theology
  2. Faculty of Law - School of Oporto
  3. Faculty of Biotechnology
  4. School of the Arts
  5. Católica Porto Business School
  6. Institute of Bioethics

Faculty of Biotechnology[edit]

The Faculty of Biotechnology (ESB - Escola Superior de Biotecnologia) started its activity as a higher education institution in 1984 with the creation of the graduate course in Food Engineering. Later, in 1992, the graduate courses in Microbiology and Environmental Engineering were created. Since the beginning, these courses had a strong connection with the broader field of Biotechnology, which has always been the basis of teaching and R&D activities implemented at ESB. When the European higher education system was reorganized according to the Bologna Model, the original three graduated courses were restructured in first- and second-cycle courses in which, once again, Biotechnology was the common feature.

Presently, ESB offers three 1st-cycle courses – Bioengineering (180 ECTS), Microbiology (180 ECTS) and Nutrition Sciences (240 ECTS) – and four 2nd-cycle courses (each with 120 ECTS) – Food Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Applied Microbiology.

At the 3rd-cycle level, ESB offers, since 1990, the PhD degree in Biotechnology, recently converted to the Doctoral Programme in Biotechnology (with 240 ECTS), with four areas of specialization – Chemistry, Microbiology, Food Science and Engineering and Environmental Science and Engineering.

In parallel with its higher education activity, ESB has created and developed a research center, CBQF (Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina), which, since 2004, has the status of State-Associated Laboratory and develops activity in the Biotechnology field, specifically in the Food and Environment areas and their interface with quality of life and well-being. One of the competences of CBQF is to provide scientific services to the community and to the different industries. In the last national evaluation of research centers it was classified as "excellent".[4]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]