The University of Coimbra, the oldest institution of higher education in Portugal and one of the oldest in the world, aspired to create a field of study in the area of Physical Culture and Sport. Recognising the sports facilities offered by the University, the University Senate founded the Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education. Under the Bologna Process, the Faculty offers, as 1st cycle, an undergraduate course in Sport Science. It is organised in a range of subjects that allows the students to fit the challenges of higher education in a future with multi-professional performance. The practical component of subjects is often linked with outdoor activities, based also on the proximity of the river and mountains surrounding the city area.
Keeping a closer link between the 1st and 2nd Bologna cycles the Faculty promotes, as post-graduation programmes, the follow masters courses: Biokinetics; Physical Education Teachers Training; Exercise and Health for Special Populations; Youth Sports; Leisure and Local Development.
As 3rd Bologna cycle there is a Ph.D. tutorial course on Sport Sciences and Physical Education, with three specialities: Physical Education; Physical Activity; and Sports Science. The Faculty also organises under the European credit system, a Ph.D. Course of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, with the following branches: Physical Activity and Health, Physical Education, Special Needs Education, Sports Training. In addition, the Sports Science Faculty together with the University of Coimbra Faculty of Humanities, also promote a PhD course in Tourism, Culture and Leisure.
In order to strength the connection to the community, the Faculty emphasises the cooperation with the Sport Federations and Associations, Local Authorities and Companies, allowing the organization of events, training, research and promoting employability of its undergraduates and graduates students.
The Faculty of Science of Sport and Physical Education, in the spirit of growth of international cooperation, promotes the exchange of teachers and students, and the establishment of cooperation projects and joint research, based on International and European programmes, like Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci and also promote the Coimbra Network of Sport Sciences.