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Programa de Doutoramento em Estudos de Desenvolvimento



Prof. Doutor  FRANCISCO ANACLETO LOUÇÃ (Responsável)


Prof. Doutor  LUIS MAH


The PhD in Development Studies is a 3rd cycle program of studies that aims to provide high quality training and produce original research in the area of Development Studies, a field of interdisciplinary research of the process of economic, social and political changes in modern societies.

This PhD program was created in 2009 and accredited by the national agency A3ES in 2015. After 2017/18 this program became a joint PhD of ISEG (School of Economics and Management), ICS (Institute of Social Sciences), IGOT (Institute of Geographic and Spatial Planning) and ISA (School of Agriculture) of Universidade de Lisboa, with some changes in its content, recently approved by the national agency A3ES.

This programme is lectured in English, but it will offer tutorials both in English and in Portuguese. The PhD thesis may be written in Portuguese or in English.


What kind of themes can I study in the Program?

Research themes for the doctoral thesis and course units are grounded in a broad range of issues related to the development of contemporary societies and its methodological variables and analytical tools. The emphasis is on agriculture and contemporary agrarian transformation; poverty, inequality and equity issues; development  economics  and  aid  finance;  development cooperation, policy and political issues; geography and urbanization; migration and gender; security- development nexus; sustainable consumption, food production and ecosystem services; and modernity theoretical challenges to development.

These themes are explored in our PhD programme through course units related to the development of contemporary societies, including: theories of development and modernity, the policy and politics of development, sustainability transitions and a focus on urban development. As a Development Studies programme, interdisciplinary links are established between economics, sociology, geography, social and economic history, political science and law, thus providing an integrated perspective on development and sustainability issues in contemporary societies. A great attention is paid to the improvement of students´ skills on research methods and techniques required for development studies.

One of the programme orientations focuses on development issues in Portuguese- speaking contexts (Portugal, Brazil, East Timor, Portuguese-speaking African countries), given that research in these geographical areas offers a comparative advantage for participation in international research networks.


Anyone interested in obtaining advanced academic training and doing research with a view to working in jobs related to international and national development in the public sector, the private sector, or the non-profit sector. Out-going students can find employment in teaching and research posts, managerial and executive positions in international and national organisations, consultancy, training, research projects, journalism, planning, development projects, public policy planning and evaluation, and social projects and social policies.

This programme is lectured in English, but offers tutorial in both Portuguese and English. The PhD thesis may be written in Portuguese or in English.

Regime de Funcionamento

The PhD Development Studies is a three-year programme in which students must obtain a total of 180 ECTS (credits). It comprises:

  • Taught courses (60 credits ECTS);
  • Preparation, submission and defense of thesis (120 credits ECTS).

Courses are taught in the first year of the Program over 2 semesters. They are:

1st semester

  • Theories of Modernity and Development (9.0 credits ECTS)
  • Development Policy and Politics (7.5 credits ECTS)
  • Research Methods in Development Studies (6.0 credits ECTS)
  • Research Seminar I (3.0 credits ECTS)
  • Research Essay (4.5 credits ECTS)

2nd semester

  • Development in Transition (9.0 credits ECTS)
  • Topics in Development Studies (6.0 credits ECTS)
  • Elective Modules of Research Methods (6.0 credits ECTS)
  • Research Seminar II (3.0 credits ECTS)
  • Elective Unit (6.0 credits ECTS)

The classes will run at ISEG (that coordinates the Program) and at the other Schools (ICS, IGOT and ISA) according to the scheduled activities to be announced.


7000 euros


  • Iniciais: 25