Astronomy Doctoral Programme, Ph.D.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #401 ,
The University of Porto is the leading higher education public institution in Portugal, placed ahead in all relevant international rankings. Also, Space Sciences is to field with the higher impact factor in Portugal, as quoted by ISI WoK, with a value twice the international reference value.


The Astronomy projects being developed at the European Southern Observatory (ESO, of which Portugal is a member state), cover areas almost unexplored by science, such as Interferometry in the infrared with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) and in the sub-millimeter with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA).

In addition, the current and future missions of the European Space Agency (ESA, of which Portugal is also a member state), namely Herschel, Planck, Gaia, Solar Orbiter, Euclid, Juice and JWST, will further add to the challenges and visibility of Astronomy.

New domains will be open to observation. In parallel, innovative diagnostic tools and techniques are being integrated, as well as new ways of accessing and operating the facilities. The large telescopes in operation, and the ones under construction or being designed as the European-Extreme Large Telescope (E-ELT), real data collecting machines, require innovative technologies (adaptive optics for example), complex systems and techniques for the data handling, processing and analysis as well as new attitudes in the way astronomers access their own data. Further to that the use of the "Virtual Observatories" building upon various data banks and data bases, which include data from ground and space observations, also add new dimensions and opportunities. Consequently, the role of Astronomy as a privileged area for multidisciplinary training, across various fields of science and technology, shines out clearly.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Credits
    180 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

  • Advanced Topics on Stars and Planets
  • Advanced Topics on Galaxies and Cosmology
  • Topics on Methods and Modeling in Astronomy
  • Topics on Observation and Instrumentation for Astronomy
  • Development of Research Skills
  • Research Seminar in Astronomy
  • Complementary Training

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Take IELTS test

Academic Requirements

The selection criteria, for evaluation of applicants is based on:
  • Curricular evaluation of the candidate, in particular the relevance and marks obtained in the undergraduate and master degrees (namely in Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics or Engineering);
  • Previous scientific experience in research (inbcluding reports, publications, participation in scientific events, etc);
  • Capacity to use English as the working language; reference letters, if presented; and any other relevant elements submitted by the candidate.

Work Experience

At least 4 year(s) of work experience are required.

Previous research experience is relevant for the selection of prospective candidates.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 2750 International
  • EUR 2750 EU/EEA


PhD grants are offered by the Ministry of Science and Technology through Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (the national research council). Applications are open annually. Gulbenkian Foundation (private foundation) also offers some PhD grants. PhD grants may also be offered by Advisors or Host Institutions within specific research projects, including for example the Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (CAUP).

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.