PhD in Law

The higher you get, the better we see

Presentation

NOVA School of Law’s 3rd Cycle Programme in Law is a four-year programme leading to a PhD degree in Law. The Programme comprises a taught component (over three semesters) where advanced legal studies are carried out with an interdisciplinary focus. This period also provides training in research methodologies and other complementary skills. Towards the end of the taught component of the Programme, candidates must prepare and publicly defend their thesis project. During the remaining part of the Programme (comprising five further semesters), candidates must complete their research under the guidance of their supervisor, culminating in the preparation and defence of their doctoral thesis. The Programme is internationally oriented. Its main language of instruction is English.

In 2014, FCT, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (the national funding agency for science, research and technology) awarded the NOVA School of Law Third Cycle Programme the prestigious FCT PhD programme status. It is thus far the only public higher education institution to have been bestowed with this distinction in the field of legal studies. FCT’s generous funding of this Programme has allowed NOVA School of Law to award over 50 research grants to some of its most talented doctoral students. Year upon year, we attract a talented, multicultural cohort of candidates from all corners of the world. This funding also allows a good portion of our annual student intake to carry out their research full-time. This has proved to be an essential element in the creation of a vibrant and close-knit community of doctoral students, who are active in many of NOVA Law School’s research initiatives.

The Programme admits 25 doctoral candidates each academic year. Numbers are low and therefore admission into the Programme is highly competitive, as NOVA School of Law seeks to ensure that every doctoral candidate is afforded sufficient individualised attention and supervision.

Coordination

Cristina Queiroz

Margarida Lima Rego

Luís Duarte d’Almeida

Panel of Scientific Advisers

Ángel R. Oquendo

Ángel R. Oquendo

Arno-R-Lodder

Arno R. Lodder

Cláudia Lima Marques

Cláudia Lima Marques

George-Bermann-Headshot

George A. Bermann

Prof.-Raquel-Barradas-de-Freitas

Raquel Barradas de Freitas

Hyland-scaled

Richard Hyland

sgarben

Sacha Garben

Thom-Brooks

Thom Brooks

Scientific Commission

President: Cristina Queiroz | Board Members: Margarida Lima Rego (taught component) | Luís Duarte d’Almeida (research phase)

Objectives

The main goal of the Programme is to provide advanced training to promote state-of-the-art academic research. In the process, the programme prepares the next generation of highly-qualified legal professionals to enter the market ready to face the challenges of our time and to pursue a career in academia. As well as fostering knowledge creation across all legal disciplines, the programme encourages an interdisciplinary and international approach to legal studies. It familiarises candidates with new technologies and research techniques, promotes team-based research and collaboration in all fields of the law, and creates networking opportunities with other national and international academic institutions.

Timetable

This course is taught during working hours.

Certification

Study CycleDegreeA3ES DecisionNumber of YearsPublication of the A3ES decisionDGES registration numberRegulation/Study Plan

Law

Docotor

accredited

6

R/A -Ef 3194/2011/AL03

Regulations for 3rd Cycles Studies

Code of Good Practices| Regulation for the Award of the Title of European PhD | FAQs

Testimonials

The PhD Programme in Law at NOVA School of law has a very innovative, international and practical approach and gave me the opportunity to sharpen my academic thinking on a broad range of legal aspects. Furthermore, the programme has been highly complementary to my path as a Lawyer. I feel incredibly lucky to be part of the NOVA School of law community of doctoral students, and I would not recommend any other programme.
Maria Beatriz Brito
NOVA School of Law PhD Student, Lawyer at CMVM, Researcher at CEDIS
NOVA School of Law’s PhD Program has exceeded all my expectations: the sharing of ideas with colleagues from different nationalities and with different interests, the possibility of becoming a member of a high-quality I&D Centre, the free access to almost unlimited resources, the feeling of permanent companionship by the Law Faculty and by its Professors are some of the main points that are worth highlighting.
Miguel de Azevedo Moura
Assistant Professor, NOVA School of Law. Legal Consultant

Curricular Plan

+ 2023/2024

1st Semester ECTS
Mandatory 
Law & Society (Legal History/ Sociology/ Anthropology/ Legal Theory) 10
Methodologies of Legal Analysis (Legal Writing/ Law, Science, and Technology/ Law & Economics) 10
Elective
Criminal Law 10
International Law 10
European Law 10
Public Law 10
Private Law 10
Law, Politics & Security 10
Procedural Law 10
2nd SemesterECTS
Mandatory 
Methodology of Legal Research10
Scientific Publication10
SPEED Presentation*10
3rd Semester ECTS
Mandatory 
Discussion of the Thesis Project 25
Elective
Attendance of any NOVA Doctoral School courses 5
4th to  8th SemestersECTS
Mandatory 
PhD Thesis150

*Considering that it is not possible for all students to complete the SPEED presentation in the 2nd semester of the 1st year, as stipulated in the syllabus, the course is available in all semesters (1st and 2nd) for student enrolment.

NOVA University’s Doctoral School is available to our doctoral candidates. Aimed at the university’s PhD students and their supervisors, its purposes are:

  • Contribute to the excellence of doctoral training at NOVA
  • Provide cross-disciplinary and complementary training to PhD candidates and their supervisors
  • Promote interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research;
    Share best practices in doctoral programmes
  • Foster cross-institutional cooperation at both national and international levels
  • Encourage research collaboration between students and professors at NOVA.

+ 2024/2025

1st Semester ECTS
Mandatory 
Law & Society (Legal History/ Sociology/ Anthropology/ Legal Theory) 10
Methodologies of Legal Analysis (Legal Writing/ Law, Science, and Technology/ Law & Economics) 10
Elective
Criminal Law 10
International Law 10
European Law 10
Public Law 10
Private Law 10
Law, Politics & Security 10
2nd SemesterECTS
Mandatory 
Methodology of Legal Research10
Scientific Publication10
SPEED Presentation*10
3rd Semester ECTS
Mandatory 
Discussion of the Thesis Project 25
Elective
Attendance of any NOVA Doctoral School courses 5
4th to  8th SemestersECTS
Mandatory 
PhD Thesis150

*Considering that it is not possible for all students to complete the SPEED presentation in the 2nd semester of the 1st year, as stipulated in the syllabus, the course is available in all semesters (1st and 2nd) for student enrolment.

NOVA University’s Doctoral School is available to our doctoral candidates. Aimed at the university’s PhD students and their supervisors, its purposes are:

  • Contribute to the excellence of doctoral training at NOVA
  • Provide cross-disciplinary and complementary training to PhD candidates and their supervisors
  • Promote interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research;
    Share best practices in doctoral programmes
  • Foster cross-institutional cooperation at both national and international levels
  • Encourage research collaboration between students and professors at NOVA.
Objectives and Structure of the Curricular Units

Tuition Fees

 

In master’s degrees and doctorates, the tuition fee for part-time students corresponds to 65% of the tuition fee owed by full-time students.

*Tuition fees as deliberated by the General Council on 14 December 2022

**Applicable only if the course is not terminated inside the established deadline.

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 the situation of not having completed the previous course by September, in the cases of admission conditioned on its completion, allows the refund of the amounts paid for the tuition fee. In these cases, the applicant must prove the situation by a declaration of the home institution until the end of September. Amounts other than tuition fees (fees, school insurance and administrative costs) are not refunded.

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.

*Paypal payments are validated automatically; Multibanco payments will be validated up to 48 hours after the payment

Financial Discounts

Students who choose to pay the annual tuition fees in a one-off payment receive a 5% discount on the amount to be paid.

Payment by instalments

 
Annual tuition fees for the taught component and non-curricular phase

The annual tuition fees for the taught component can be paid in 10 instalments

  • 10 instalments: 1st instalment of 20% of the total amount paid at the time of enrolment, and the remaining amount in 9 instalments paid between the 1st and 10th of the months of September to May.

 Tuition fee for an additional non-curricular semester

Tuition fees for the non-curricular phase can be paid in 4 instalments.

  • 4 instalments: 25% of the total amount paid at registration, remaining instalments:
      • 1st semester: between the 1st and 10th (October, November, January);
      • 2nd semester: between the 1st and 10th (March, April, May).

Tuition fees for the non-curricular phase
Fees are paid in full at the time of registration.


Merit Awards

The number of awards is established annually by the Board of NOVA School of Law. Merit Awards are awarded to:

  • Candidates whose final average admission to a 3rd cycle of studies at NOVA School of Law, according to assessment and ranking by the appropriate jury, is equal to or higher than 70 points (on a scale of 0/100) and who enrol and attend this study cycle at NOVA School of Law, benefit from an award in cash corresponding to 50% of the tuition fee for the taught component of the Doctorate.

In the non-taught phase of the Doctorate, in each academic year, three prizes for academic merit are awarded to students from NOVA School of Law. These awards presuppose the completion of the academic phase within the stipulated time.

  • The best student of the taught component who continues and attends the non-taught phase benefits from an award in cash corresponding to 100% of the tuition fee paid, corresponding to the non-taught phase of the PhD, if the average is equal to or greater than 18 points (on a scale of 0/20);
  • The second-best student of the taught component who continues and attends the non-taught phase, or to the two best students, if the 1st does not achieve an average of 18 or more, benefits from an award in cash corresponding to 60% of the tuition fee paid, corresponding to the non-taught phase of the Doctorate;
  • The third-best student of the taught component who continues and attends the non-taught phase benefits from an award in cash corresponding to 40% of the tuition fee, corresponding to the non-taught phase of the PhD.

Scholarships for Access to Study Cycles at NOVA University Lisbon

The Scholarships for Access to Study Cycles are available to students of the three study cycles, being students of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, nationals or stateless persons, foreigners with tax residence in Portugal or with refugee status, who are in a situation of financial need and who do not benefit from the scholarships awarded by the Directorate-General for Higher Education, or whose value proves to be insufficient.

Full scholarship details here.

Emoluments/Charges and Taxes Fees

  • Application fee: 51.00€
  • Administrative costs per registration/enrolment (each year): 35.00€
  • Institution insurance (each year): 3.00€
 

In master’s degrees and doctorates, the tuition fee for part-time students corresponds to 65% of the tuition fee owed by full-time students.

*Tuition fees as deliberated by the General Council on 14 December 2022
**Applicable only if the course is not terminated inside the established deadline


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 of the application must also be paid.

Refund of the tuition fee is only possible where the previous course has not been completed by September, and is conditioned by its completion. In this case, the applicant must give proof of the situation through a declaration from the home institution, before the end of September. Amounts other than tuition fees (fees, school insurance and administrative costs) are not refundable.

Payments must be made via Visa, PayPal, MBWay or Multibanco payments, through NetPA. The system validates payments in a few minutes, maximum. 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 payment dates are not respected.

 

Payment by instalments


Annual tuition fees for the taught component and research phase

The annual tuition fees for the taught component can be paid in 10 instalments

  • 10 instalments: 1st instalment of 20% of the total amount paid at the time of enrolment, and the remaining amount in 9 instalments paid between the 1st and 10th of the months of September to May.

Tuition fee for an additional Research Phase semester

  • 4 instalments: 25% of the total amount paid at registration, remaining instalments:
      •  1st semester: between the 1st and 10th (October, November, January);
      • 2nd semester: between the 1st and 10th (March, April, May).

 

Merit Awards

The number of awards is established annually by the Board of NOVA School of Law. Merit Awards are awarded to:

  • Candidates whose final average admission to a 3rd cycle of studies at NOVA School of Law, according to assessment and ranking by the appropriate jury, is equal to or higher than 70 points (on a scale of 0/100) and who enrol and attend this study cycle at NOVA School of Law, benefit from a monetary award corresponding to 50% of the tuition fee for the taught component of the Doctorate.

In the reasearch phase of the Doctorate, in each academic year, three prizes for academic merit are awarded to students from NOVA School of Law. These awards presuppose the completion of the academic phase within the stipulated time.

  • The best student of the taught component who continues and attends the research phase benefits from a monetary award corresponding to 100% of the due tuition fee, corresponding to the research phase of the PhD, if the average is equal to or greater than 18 points (on a scale of 0/20);
  • The second-best student of the taught component who continues and attends the research phase, or to the two best students, if the 1st does not achieve an average of 18 or more, benefits from a monetary award corresponding to 60% of the due tuition fee, corresponding to the research phase of the Doctorate;
  • The third-best student of the taught component who continues and attends the research phase benefits from a monetary award corresponding to 40% of the due tuition fee, corresponding to the research phase of the PhD.

 

Scholarships for Access to Study Cycles at NOVA University Lisbon

The Scholarships for Access to Study Cycles are available to students of the three study cycles, being students of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, nationals or stateless persons, foreigners with tax residence in Portugal or with refugee status, who are in a situation of financial need and who do not benefit from the scholarships awarded by the Directorate-General for Higher Education, or whose value proves to be insufficient.

Full scholarship details here.

 

Emoluments/Charges and Taxes Fees

  • Application fee: 51.00€
  • Administrative costs per registration/enrolment (each year): 35.00€
  • Institution insurance (each year): 3.00€

Applications

2024/2025

Length 8 Semesters

240 ECTS

Taught in English

Entries: 25 places

1st Phase of Applications:

  • Submission of applications: From 1 to 29 February 2024
  • Results publication: Until 21 March 2024
  • Registration of admitted applicants: from 8 to 18 April 2024

2nd Phase of Applications:

  • Submission of applications: From 23 April to 3 May 2024
  • Announcement of placements: until 21 May 2024
  • Complaint about placements: From 22 May to 4 June 2024
  • Enrolment: From 5 to 19 June 2024
  • Registration for Curricular Units: From 19 to 26 July 2024

Admission Requirements

  • Holders of a master’s degree or legal equivalent;
  • Holders of a specially relevant academic, scientific or professional curriculum recognized by the Scientific Board as denoting equivalent capabilities to those holding a master’s degree.
  • Minimum knowledge of the English language equivalent to level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Selection Criteria

Candidates shall be selected on the basis of their merit, having regard to the following parameters and respective weighting:

  • Academic curriculum vitae (40%);
  • Scientific curriculum vitae (publications, other indicators of scientific production and proven research experience) (15%);
  • Relevant professional curriculum vitae (5%);
  • Provisional research plan, which should present a research topic or question in its theoretical, methodological and bibliographical contexts (25%);
  • Academic letters of recommendation (10%);
  • Fluency in languages relevant to the proposed research areas (5%).

Submission of Applications (Online):

Online submission of the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Motivation letter (maximum 300 words)
  • Copy of the course(s) certificate(s)
  • Copy of the citizen card or passport (for foreign nationals)
  • Digital copies of scientific papers deemed relevant to the application;
  • Certificates of proficiency in English (if available)
  • If you are an International Student, declaration, under oath, that the applicant does not have Portuguese nationality, nor is covered by any of the exceptions of no. 2 of Article 2 of Regulation no. 687/2020, of 20th August, which under the terms of Decree-Law no. 36/2014, of 10th March, excludes him/her from the International Student status – Declaration of Honour | International Student
  • For applicants presenting an identification document with a nationality other than Portuguese or EU, declaration, under oath, that the applicant has Portuguese nationality or is covered by one of the exceptions of Article 2, no. 2 of Regulation no. 687/2020, of 20th August, which under the terms of Decree-Law no. 36/2014, of 10th March, excludes him/her from the International Student status – Declaration of Honour
  • Declaration under oath on the status of finalist (in case the previous academic degree is not finished by the application date) – Declaration of honour for applications conditional on completion of degree

After submitting the application, the candidate must pay the fee according to the references indicated (€51, which can be paid via Multibanco, MB way, Paypal or Visa). The application will only be sent for assessment once payment has been made.

Applications that are not accompanied by all the documents or for which the application fee has not been paid will be rejected outright.

Optional elements for the application form:

Candidates may submit a request for accreditation of academic training and professional experience obtained prior to entering the study cycle. Accreditation processes take into account the level of credits corresponding to previous training, and under no circumstances will accreditation be allowed for further studies in a study cycle for training undertaken as part of a study cycle at a lower level of qualification. For the purposes of accreditation, the candidate must fill in a specific form and attach all the relevant documentation. When the request for accreditation is made at the time of application, accreditation is not a sufficient condition for admission to the study cycle and only takes effect after admission and only in that same study cycle.

If there is any doubt about the documentation presented, particularly in the case of documents obtained abroad, recognition may be requested by the local Portuguese consular agent and/or legalised by the Apostille system under the terms of the Convention on the Abolition of the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Acts (better known as the Hague Convention), signed in The Hague on 5 October 1961, with the exception of documents issued by Higher Education Institutions in European Union countries.

Whenever the above-mentioned documents are in a foreign language other than Spanish, French, English or Portuguese, you must provide a translation of them. The translations must be duly certified by the relevant authorities.

Documents required

Deadline for submission of the course completion certificate in accordance with point “Copy of the certificate of completion of the course(s)” for successful candidates: 30 September 2024.

Application fees

The fee payable for the application is €51 (fifty-one euros), which will not be refunded if the application is excluded or not selected. This information does not dispense with consulting the 2024/25 tuition fees notice, available on the NOVA School of Law website, as well as the NOVA fees table in force for the academic year.

Applications available through the NOVA School of Law applications portal.

Readmissions

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.

Requirements:

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 | School Year 2023/24:

 

2nd Semester

Submission of the application

From 8 to 19 January 2024

Enrolment and Registration for Curricular Units

From 29 January to 2 February 2024

Deadlines for submission of applications | School Year 2024/25:


1st Semester

Submission of the application

From 01 to 05 July 2024

Enrolment and Registration for Curricular Units

From 02 to 06 September 2024

2nd Semester

Submission of the application

From 13 to 17 January 2025

Enrolment and Registration for Curricular Units

From 27 to 31 January 2025

Instructions for submitting the application (online):

The application is submitted online through NetPA by filling in a form and uploading the necessary documents, namely:

  • Online submission of a simple digital copy of the citizen card or passport (international applicants)
  • Payment of the application fee through the PayPal, Visa, MBway or Multibancoreferences on the system: 70.00€ (non-refundable), validated by the system in few minutes.

Incomplete and/or unpaid applications will be automatically rejected.

Fees and Emoluments

Application Fee: 70,00€

Note: All due tuition and other fees should be checked in the course’s webpage, as well as in the tuitions annual order and NOVA fee’s table.

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

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 NOVA School of Law.

Applications through the NOVA School of Law applications portal

Clear all your doubts

We are at your disposal to answer any questions you may have about studying at NOVA
School of Law.

Please do not hesitate to contact us by email: admissions@novalaw.unl.pt