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Doctoral Program in Spatial Planning

The Doctoral Programme is offered by the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Oporto and the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra. The programme is designed to foster advanced knowledge in the field of spatial planning, aiming at explaining, resolving and supporting future public policy agendas. It combines three principles as follows: the definition of a set of core competences in advanced knowledge on spatial dynamics, spatial planning and applied scientific research; the emphasis on specialised areas of knowledge associated with the existing research skills found in both schools; and a flexibility principle, allowing the adaptation of curricula to the specific needs and characteristics of candidates.


As stated in their Statutes, the mission of both schools comprises the education and training of engineering professionals of international level, sustained in research and development of excellence with a regional focus but with globally recognized quality, contemplating the scientific, technical, ethical and cultural aspects of universities’ extension practices. The doctoral Programmes in general, and the Doctoral Programme in Spatial Planning in particular, are key tools for activities of schools, in the prospect of fulfilling that missionIndeed, they are essential to support the scientific research projects and the technological innovation processes in which the schools are currently engaged.

The objectives set up for DPSP are not only consistent with the educational, scientific, and cultural projects of the associated schools, they are instrumental for the schools to accomplish their goals-  in their absence, they would be unable to develop the scientific research and technological innovation activities that these projects contemplate in a prominent position.

Fields of Specialization

The curricular units chosen were selected taking into account the profile that is desired of a PhD in Spatial Planning, which includes advanced knowledge of contemporary spatial dynamics, advanced knowledge of spatial planning as a field of public intervention, and advanced knowledge of research methodologies (justifying the mandatory curricular units chosen). The selection of the optative curricular units corresponds to the recognition of more specialized fields of research, in the field of spatial planning, that both schools have been developing, through the research of the Doctoral Programme’s teachers, particularly in the context of research projects in the context of European Union and of FCT.

Professional Abilities

The completion of the Doctoral Programme in Spatial Planning will allow students to acquire the following knowledge, skills, and competences:

a) Advanced knowledge of the contemporary spatial dynamics, and of planning theory.

b) Advanced skills to develop research contributing to the expansion of knowledge, while respecting the requirements of academic quality and integrity.

c) Advanced skills to analyze from a critical perspective, assess, and summarize new and complex concepts.

d) Advanced competences to communicate scientific results to their peers, other members of the academic community, and the general public.

e) Advanced competences to promote technological, social, and cultural progress both in an academic and/or a professional context. 


Informações Secretariado: Cláudia Correia

Email: pdpt@fe.up.pt

Tel: 225081903

General information

Official Code: 5851
Director: Fernando Brandão Alves
Assistant Director: Paulo Conceição
Acronym: PDPT
Academic Degree: Doctor
Type of course/cycle of study: Doctoral Degree
Start: 2012/2013
Duration: 3 Years

Study Plan

Involved Organic Units


  • Doctorate in Spatial Planning (180 ECTS credits)
  • Advanced Studies (3rd cycle) in Spatial Planning (60 ECTS credits)

Predominant Scientific Areas

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