The educational system

The Portuguese Educational System is divided into different levels of education. It starts with Pre-school Education, with an optional cycle from the age of 3 to 6. It continues with Basic Education, which comprises three sequential cycles:

  • 1st 4-year cycle (from the age of 6 to 10);
  • 2nd 2-year cycle (from the age of 10 to 12);
  • 3rd cycle, with a duration of 3 years (from the age of 12 to 15).

Secondary education corresponds to a 3-year cycle, from the age of 15 to 18. It includes several types of courses:

Scientific-Humanistic Courses, Professional Courses, Specialized Artistic Courses, Teaching and Training Courses, Learning Courses.

There are 12 years of compulsory schooling, with several alternatives for completion.

Higher Education comprises university education and polytechnic education. It is structured according to the Bologna principles, and is aimed at students who have successfully completed Secondary Education, in its different types of courses, or who have a legally equivalent qualification.

There is a large diversity of training modalities aimed at young people and adults. 

To learn more about the Portuguese education and training system:

Directorate-General for Education - information on the educational offer for secondary education that only grants school certification, namely the study plans for Scientific-Humanistic Courses

National Agency for Professional Qualification and Education - information on double certification offers for young people and adults (educational and professional), such as Professional Courses, Education and Training Courses, Learning Courses, Specialized Artistic Education Courses, and Technological Specialization Courses.

Employment and Vocational Training Institute – information on Learning Courses

Directorate-General for Higher Education – information on higher education.

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