Master's in Law and Security

New responses to new threats


The Master’s Degree in Law & Security provides in-depth knowledge of issues related to Security, drawing from different fields. It is based on an interdisciplinary and transversal approach, due to the need to address the problems of (in)security, which require a global response.

The importance of this master’s degree lies in acknowledging the growing threats to the security of States and citizens, such as terrorism, organized crime, the fragility of certain States, cyberattacks, among many others – all of which pose a series of challenges to the legality and legitimacy of the action of public powers.  Today, more than ever, Security is intrinsically connected to democracy, citizenship, globalization and development, therefore being a crucial issue for the International Community of States and Citizens.

For the academic year 2022/23 we present a revised edition of the Master’s Degree in Law & Security. We have invested heavily in internationalization and reinforced the theoretical and practical component. We have thus intensified the political, geostrategic, military, economic and legal area of Security. Consequently, we can guarantee the appropriate training for our students to adequately respond to the professional and academic challenges of an increasingly complex and competitive world.


Armando Marques Guedes

Felipe Pathé Duarte

Scientific Commission

President: Armando Marques Guedes | Board Members: Felipe Pathé Duarte (taught component) | Laura Iñigo Alvarez (taught component)


The general objective is to provide specialised training in matters of Law and of Security, from a multidisciplinary, integrated perspective. There are also specific objectives:

  • To understand, from a geostrategic perspective, the challenges that the new international configuration brings to the individual and collective security of states – namely by analysing the design of a regional, international and a legal order designed to face the new challenges to security arising from organised crime, particularly with regard to the use of force;
  • To promote in-depth discussions about security as a fundamental right and as a limit to other fundamental rights in the light of  national Constitutions and of other normative orders in the international order within which we live, and given a changing international system under ever-increasing stresses – consistently with a focus on the rule of law;
  • To systematically examine the internal legal order and the institutional responses, among others,  regarding the domains of national, regional, and international security, and the roles filled by the branches of the increasingly complex, varied, and interconnected Armed Forces, the changing roles of extant police forces, and the various intelligence services;
  • To understand the role of research and crime in contemporary socio-political and socio-economic domains, as well as in environmental dynamics, which includes a careful assessment of the importance of other communal and more inclusive security systems, such as civil protection, and cybersecurity or private security, in  developing a sense of security.

Target Applicant

The Master’s Degree in Law & Security is for all graduates who want to deepen their knowledge in these two ever broader and more sensitive areas, stressing that security presents itself as an interdisciplinary domain that touches and challenges the boundaries of multiple research fields.

The Master’s may be undertaken by students as a full or part-time endeavour.


This course is taught after working hours*.

*Some Optional Curricular Units may have schedules that do not match the timetable of the course.


Study CycleDegreeA3ES DecisionNumber of YearsPublication of the A3ES DecisionDGES Registration NumberPublication in Diário da República
Law and SecurityMasteraccredited6


Documents relating to the accreditation process

R/A-Ef 3197/2011


The Master in Law and Security, in a multidisciplinary approach, provides a high-quality study of the problems of threats to the rule of law and current security dilemmas. The degree in Master in Law and Security prepared me to respond to the challenges and constant change of this complex society in which we live.
Maria João Carapêto
PhD Student and Researcher, NOVA School of Law
It was by chance and with deep regard that led me to participate in the Master’s in Law and Security. I had the pleasure of completing the first cycle of the post-graduate course, and later, of concluding the first cycle of this Master’s in Law and Security (MLS). As an engineer by training, and working in the cybersecurity area, the MLS has offered me new perspectives on issues that demand a multidisciplinary approach. It has also provided me with new personal and professional opportunities. With its eclectic and prestigious Faculty members, and very practical and up-to-date views on different topics and the attendant issues they raise, I personally came to see the MLS as a privileged space for interdisciplinary dialogue, as well as for the training of professionals in areas that go far beyond Security and Defense. Given all of the above, I can only recommend this MLS.
Lino Santos
Head at National Cybersecurity Centre (CNCS), PhD Student NOVA School of Law

Curricular Plan

1st year – Taught Component

The taught component corresponds to 60 ECTS and consists of 6 mandatory courses (36 ECTS), 3 subjects of restricted option (18 ECTS) and 1 subject of free option (6 ECTS).

Mandatory  ECTS
Security, Governance and the Rule of Law 6
International and European Security Law 6
Research Methodology 6
Globalization and Security 6
International Humanitarian Law 6
Security and Geopolitics 6
Restricted OptionECTS
Cybersecurity and Governance6
Risk Management and Security6
Privacy and Security6
Research and Crime6
National Security and International Cooperation6
Intelligence and Strategic Analysis6
Human Rights International Protection Systems6
Free Option* ECTS
Data Protection and Management Law** 6
Ethics and Regulation of Artificial Intelligence 6
Law of Online Platforms 6
Direito Penal Económico 6
Emerging technologies: governance and regulation 4
Fintech 4
EU Criminal Law 4
International Economic Law 4

*The list does not exhaust all options on offer

**Data Protection and Management Law is a course offered by NOVA School of Law’s Jean Monnet Module on European Union Data Protection Law in Portugal (DataporEU)

2nd year – Research

1st Semester / 2nd SemesterECTS
Dissertation, internship at national or international institution or project work.60

Tuition Fees

  • Total Tuition Fee – National and International Student: 6000.00€;
  • Annual fee for the taught component – National and International Student: 4700.00€;
  • Total Semester Tuition Fee for Non-curricular phase: 1300.00€;
  • Tuition Fee for Additional Non-Curricular semester – National and International Student: 1000.00€;
  • Extension of the non-curricular phase (90 days): 600€

Reading of this information does not exempt consultation of the full documentation regarding fees, emoluments and taxes for the academic year in question.

Tuition fees are annual and due in full upon enrolment in the course. Payment in instalments is allowed for students’ mere convenience.

In the case of withdrawal from the course, the amounts already paid are not refundable. The remaining tuition fee payments due for the academic year to which the application relates must also be paid.

Only in situations where the applicant does not complete the degree which they are applying for (in these cases, the applicant must submit a declaration from the institution of higher education by September), the amounts paid for the tuition fee will be reimbursed (application fee, School insurance and administrative costs are not reimbursed).

Payments must be made via ATM or through PayPal using the references available in the reserved area. Failure to pay tuition fees within the time limits indicated results in an increase in the amount to be settled and/or the suspension of enrolment and registration, as well as the invalidity of all curricular acts practised in the academic year in which the non-compliance is not respected.

Students who choose to pay tuition fees in a one-off initial payment at the time of registration receive a 5% discount on the amount to be paid.


Merit Awards

Merit Awards are awarded to:

  • Candidates whose final average admission to a 2nd study cycle at NOVA School of Law, according to assessment and ranking by the appropriate jury, is equal to or higher than 17 points (on a scale of 0/20) and who enrol and attend the same course, benefit from an award in cash corresponding to 50% of the tuition fee for the taught component of the Master’s degree.
  • Candidates whose final average admission to a 2nd study cycle at NOVA School of Law, according to assessment and ranking by the appropriate jury, is equal to or higher than 16 points (on a scale of 0/20) and who enrol and attend the same course, benefit from an award in cash corresponding to 30% of the tuition fee for the taught component of the Master’s degree.

In the non-taught phase, three prizes for academic merit are awarded (by master’s degree or area of specialization, in the case of the Master’s Degree in Law). These awards assume the completion of the taught component within the stipulated time.

  • The best student of the taught component of each study cycle or specialization area of a study cycle who continues and attends the non-taught phase benefits from an award in cash corresponding to 100% of the tuition fee for the non-taught phase of the Master’s degree;
  • The second-best student of the taught component of each study cycle or specialization area of a study cycle who continues and attends the non-taught phase, benefits from an award in cash corresponding to 60% of the tuition fee, corresponding to the non-taught phase of the Master’s degree;
  • The third-best student of the taught component of each study cycle or specialization area of a study cycle who continues and attends the non-taught phase of the Master’s degree.

Emoluments/Charges and Taxes Fees

  • Application fee: 51.00€
  • Administrative costs per registration/enrolment (each year): 35.00€
  • Institution insurance (each year): 3.00€
  • Registration Certificate: 6.00 €
  • Improvement grade exam: 15.00 €/enrolement
  • Conclusion Certificate: 50€



Length 4 Semesters

120 ECTS

Taught in English

Applications from students who prove they will be able to complete their bachelor’s degree(licenciatura) by September will be accepted.

1st Phase of Applications:

  • Submission of applications: From 1 to 28 February 2022
  • Announcement of placements: 9 March 2022
  • Complaint about placements: From 9 to 16 March 2022
  • Enrolment: From 16 to 22 March 2022

2nd Phase of Applications:

  • Submission of applications: From 1 to 26 April 2022
  • Announcement of placements: 9 May 2022
  • Complaint about placements: From 9 to 16 May 2022
  • Enrolment: From 16 to 23 May 2022


Holders of a bachelor’s degree (licenciatura) or legal equivalent.

Selection Criteria

  • Final grade of the degree which the applicant is applying with. Preference is given to degrees in the scientific areas of Law, Security and National Defence and others;
  • After applying the previous criterion, in the event of a tie, candidates will be interviewed by a three-member jury, appointed by the Scientific Board.

Submission of Applications (Online):

  • Completion of the application form (online);
  • Payment of the application fee using the ATM or Paypal reference provided (51.00€);
  • Online submission of the following documents: motivation letter, curriculum vitae (European model), copy of the course(s) certificate(s); copy of the tax number identification card; copy of the Identification Card;
  • Applicants conditioned upon the conclusion of the bachelor’s degree must submit an interim academic transcript showing the subjects already completed and their final grades discriminated and a declaration under oath stating the course, school, expected average and the the conclusion date. In addition, a statement from the institution of higher education where they are attending the degree should be submitted, proving their academic situation;
  • Applicants with foreign qualifications must send an academic transcript showing the coefficient of performance or a statement with the final average of the degree. Applicants are conditioned to the respective formal recognition or equivalence of the foreign qualification by a competent Portuguese authority, under the regime of the Decree-Law no. 66/2018, of August 16 (certificate or proof of submission of the request to be presented until September).
  • Applicants who do not report the final grade average, expected or completed will be graded with a minimum score of 10 on the 0-20 scale.
  • During the application, candidates must submit a request for accreditation of academic qualifications and professional experience obtained before entering the study cycle. For this purpose, the applicant must complete the appropriate form and attach all relevant documentation. When the request for accreditation occurs at the time of the application, the accreditation is not a sufficient condition to be accepted into the study cycle and only can be granted after the admission into the study cycle, in the same study cycle only.
  • All documents must be presented in Portuguese, English, French or Spanish, and endorsed by the competent authority of the State where the document originates.

Applications omitting the documents requested or where the application fee has not been paid will be rejected. 

Applications available through the NOVA School of Law applications portal.

Any questions?

Please do not hesitate to contact us by email:


Readmission is the act by which a student, after interruption of studies in an institution/course of higher education, enrols in the same institution and enrols in the same course or in a course which has replaced it.

SCHOOL YEAR 2021/2022


Students who can apply for readmission to any cycle of studies:

  • Must have already been enrolled and enrolled at the NOVA School of Law, in the same course or in a course in which they are already registered, without having completed it
  • Must not have been enrolled in that course in the previous academic year to the one in which they intend to be readmitted to
  • Those students whose registration has lapsed due to the requirements in force may apply for readmission once two school semesters have elapsed since the date of the regulations

The Faculty reserves the right to refuse readmission to applications from students whose curricular record indicates serious difficulties in adapting to the study plan in force and to the type of teaching provided at the NOVA School of Law. Requests from students who are in debt to the Faculty for tuition fees or any other amounts will be rejected, subject to the provisions of Law Nº. 75/2019, of September 2.

Deadlines for submission of applications: –
2nd semester 2021/2022


Submission of the application

From 14 to 23 January 2022

Announcement of placements

28 January 2022

Complaint about placements

28 January to 04 February 2022


07 to 11 February 2022

Instructions for submitting the application (online):

The application is submitted online through the website of NOVA School of Law by filling in a form and uploading the necessary documents, namely:

  • Online submission of a simple photocopy of the citizen card or passport (international applicants)
  • Payment of the application fee through the Multibanco/PayPal references that will appear during the application process 70.00€ (non-refundable)

The student must print proof of the online application, essential for any subsequent steps.

Fees and Emoluments




Administrative cost per enrolment/registration (annual)


School insurance


Registration certificate


Note: to these amounts must be added the annual fees applicable to the study cycle relevant to the academic year 2021/22 (see the relevant notice).

Tuition fees are fixed annually by the General Council of the NOVA University Lisbon.

The reading of this information does not exempt consultation of the relevant legislation and regulations, the public notice of fees, and the table of fees in force of the respective school year.

Applications that are not accompanied by all the documents or whose fee has not been paid will automatically be rejected.

Regulations Applicable: Decree-Law Nº. 36/2014, of March 10th, altered by Decree-Law Nº. 62/2018, of August 6th, and Regulation Nº. 436/2020, of April 28th, of the NOVA School of Law.

Applications through the NOVA School of Law applications portal.