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InformationCourse/CS accredited by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES).

The Doctorate Course in Physiotherapy arises from the need for advanced scientific training in the area of Physiotherapy for which, until its creation, there was no specific response in the national Scientific and University system. The Physiotherapy Doctorate Course takes place at the Faculty of Sports of the University of Porto (FADEUP) and in the laboratories of its Research Centers, in partnership with the Escola Superior de Saúde do Politécnico do Porto. Several guest professors from multiple national and international higher education institutions and clinical entities collaborate with the teaching of the Doctorate Course in Physiotherapy.

From an organizational standpoint, the Doctoral Course in Physiotherapy consists of two academic semesters with a mandatory curricular component (60 ECTS) followed by four semesters of a research component and preparation of the doctoral dissertation (120 ECTS). The first two academic semesters have the central objective of providing students with theoretical and practical knowledge in the basic areas necessary for a solid scientific training and that will enable students to develop autonomous lines of research and/or solid clinical practice in Physiotherapy deeply supported by the most recent and high-quality scientific evidence.

The central objective of the four subsequent semesters is to provide the student with the development of practical scientific skills within the scope of a specific scientific topic in close collaboration with a supervision team that will support them on the path to developing autonomy and scientific independence.

From a legal standpoint, the Physiotherapy Doctorate Course was created by order No. 13169/2011, published in Diário da República, 2nd series, No. 189, of 30th September 2011, and accredited by the Council of Administration of the Higher Education Assessment and Accreditation Agency. The Physiotherapy Doctorate Course is registered by the General Directorate of Higher Education under no. R/A – Cr 157/2011.


The Doctorate Course in Physiotherapy main objective is to provide students with a solid theoretical and practical knowledge foundation that is essential for the production of high quality and rigorous scientific knowledge in the general area of health sciences and, in particular, in the area of Physiotherapy, always guided by a high professional rigor and ethical conduct. Consequently, the Doctorate Course in Physiotherapy culminates with the preparation of an original Doctoral dissertation that testifies the candidate's ability to produce original, novel and differentiated scientific knowledge, based on processes of high methodological rigor and respect for the fundamental ethical principles that guide scientific activity, particularly in the context of health sciences. It is intended that students who successfully complete the Doctorate Course in Physiotherapy demonstrate a degree of scientific autonomy that allows them to actively contribute to expand the frontiers of knowledge in the Physiotherapy area, to the dissemination of this knowledge among the general public and on its scientific and professional community, thus contributing to improve the quality of healthcare provided to the population within the scope of Physiotherapy.

Professional Abilities

It is intended that students who successfully compete the Doctorate Course in Physiotherapy have specifically developed the following skills:

  1. Critical thinking and enquiring attitude towards the existing body of knowledge
  2. Ability to design, organize, manage, and implement scientific research projects autonomously or in conjunction with a research team, which includes the ability to:
  1. Recognize the existence of multiple research possibilities when facing a scientific problem
  2. formulation of research problems and objectives
  3. definition of valid and testable scientific hypotheses
  4. evaluate, systematize and decide on the most appropriate conduct to follow for the implementation of a scientific study
  5. identify and select appropriate sources of information
  6. critically analyze new and complex ideas
  7. master or develop valid data collection instruments
  8. prepare different kinds of documents of scientific dissemination aimed at different audiences, such as abstracts of scientific projects for oral or poster presentation, preparation of scientific manuscripts, progress reports of a scientific project, dissertations or seminars
  9. preparation of scientific research projects for obtaining competitive funding

  1. Ability to contribute in a differentiated way within multidisciplinary work teams;
  2. Critical thinking, curiosity, and lifelong evidence-based learning habits.


1- Candidates that can apply for registration and enrolment in this course:


  1. a) holders of a master degree or a 2nd cycle of studies in the area of physiotherapy or in areas of the health sciences, or holders of legally equivalent qualification;


  1. b) holders of a graduation degree in the areas mentioned in (a) holders of a relevant curriculum recognized by the Scientific Committee of the course as attesting the capacity to carry out this cycle of studies;


  1. c) holders of degrees equivalent to those referred above by foreign universities, after curriculum evaluation.


2-Candidates must have a good domain, spoken and written, of the English language.


Academic Year 2023/2024

Tuition Fee

-National Students and International CPLP (Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries) Students

  • Full-Time ¤2.750;
  • Part-Time

International Students

  • Full-Time ¤3.500;
  • Part-Time

Other fees:

  • Registration fee ¤100;
  • School Insurance ¤2.

General information

Official Code: 5847
Director: Jorge Mota
Acronym: DF
Academic Degree: Doctor
Type of course/cycle of study: Doctoral Degree
Start: 2012/2013
Duration: 6 Semesters

Study Plan


  • Physiotherapy (180 ECTS credits)
  • Doctoral Course in Physiotherapy (60 ECTS credits)

Predominant Scientific Areas

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