Bologna Process

Bologna process is the European Union of Higher Education (the official name is "European Higher Education Area").

In the past, each country had its own higher education model; those who adopted Bologna have a similar model based on three cycles, although maintaining at a more detailed level the particular characteristics of each country.

“[In Bologna] you can only become an Engineer once completed the 2nd cycle."

As in many other areas of the European Union, Bologna means more competition, higher mobility and the capability of rating courses at European level.

What is our response to the challenge? It can only be more quality, a more demanding attitude and higher competitiveness, considering not only the Portuguese, but also the European context.

The DEEC has long known that its ground of action is Europe, beyond the borders of Portugal. Although the challenge is ambitious, the DEEC and FCTUC are prepared and determined to pursue the accomplishment of such intents.

The main document of this process is the Bologna Declaration, whose principles are:

  • Adoption of a comparable system of educational degrees;

    Adoption of a Higher Education system fundamentally supported on three cycles;

  • Establishing a credits system;

  • Promoting mobility;

  • Promotion of European cooperation in the domain of quality assessment;

  • Promoting the European dimension at Higher Education level.

"All students who complete the 1st cycle have guaranteed access to the 2nd cycle of their study area, keeping the same fees of the 1st cycle."

According to Bologna, Higher Education is divided into three cycles:

"(...) On Polytechnic, where students have a less profound training, the 1st cycle typically constitutes the end of the formation course."

The “Ordem dos Engenheiros”, an organization that credited the registration of pre-Bologna engineers, no longer accepts graduates that only concluded the 1st cycle (in the Bologna model). Therefore, you can only practice credited professional activity as an engineer upon completion of the 2nd cycle.

Therefore, with Bologna, the word “Licenciatura” (a previous designation for a 5-year bachelor degree) changes meaning. Also, as a result of the Bologna process, a "Master" now designates a less advanced course when compared to the pre-Bologna Master. Only the "doctorate" degree maintains the same exact meaning as before Bologna.

A full academic education is now usually composed of 1st and 2nd cycle degrees. The first cycle at DEEC facilitates the mobility of students and gives access to the 2nd cycle.

All students who complete the 1st cycle at the DEEC have guaranteed access to the 2nd cycle of their study area, maintaining the same fees of the 1st cycle.

In contrast, in Polytechnic the training is shallower and the 1st cycle typically constitutes the end of the formation route. This is currently the main difference between polytechnics and universities.

  Duration National Designation
1st cycle 3 years “Licenciatura em Ciências da Engenharia” Degree (B.Sc.)
2nd Cycle 2 years M.Sc.
3rd cycle 3 to 5 years Ph.D.