Study in Portugal

Living in Portugal

Portuguese Education System

The Portuguese school system can start as early as three in what is known as Early Childhood Education, which is not compulsory. School attendance is compulsory from grades 1 to 9 (from 6 to 15 years of age), which is called “Basic Schooling” and is divided into three cycles:

  • 1st cycle – from 6 to 10 years of age
  • 2nd cycle –from 10 to12 years of age
  • 3rd cycle –from 12 to 15 years of age

After successfully completing the 9th grade, students who want to go on to higher education study for three years at a high school, where they choose their main area of study, as well as following some compulsory subjects such as Portuguese Language, a foreign language and Physical Education. Other academic options include technical colleges offering a variety of technical courses leading to a diploma. Both options prepare students for entry into higher education at universities and polytechnics, according to the area of study.

As Portugal is now complying with the Bologna Process, most first degree courses are three years with a further two years study leading to a Masters degree. The evaluation scale used in Portugal after “Basic Schooling” is from 0 to 20, 10 being the pass mark.


 Updated 04.08.2014