Institute of Science and Environment

The PhD Programmes are research-oriented degrees aimed to develop advanced theoretical and practical research skills in a specific area of knowledge. PhD candidates complete main modules in research methods and foundation knowledge in their proposed research field, and then work with a supervisor to complete their PhD thesis.

PhD candidates are expected to develop an original scientific work that contributes to a significant theoretical advance in the field. The main objective of the programme is to prepare highly qualified professionals, capable of developing R&D activities in private and public organisations or to develop an academic career.

Course Structure
Students complete the curricular part of the programme during the first year, which is composed of the following 5 modules:

  1. Methodologies of Investigation
  2. Methods and Techniques for Quantitative Research
  3. Methods and Techniques for Qualitative Research
  4. Integrative Research Seminars
  5. Specialist Studies and Reading Programme

During the first year students are also required to prepare a thesis proposal. The approval of the proposal and completion of all the modules is a requirement to progress to the thesis-writing stage of the programme.

This is the major part of PhD students’ studies. Working directly under an academic supervisor, the student independently completes an original and significant research project. Students cannot start their thesis until the work proposed and supervisory arrangements have been approved by the university.

Course Duration
3 to 5 years full time / part-time (evening) programme

Teaching Medium
English / Portuguese / Chinese

Total Number of Credits for Graduation

NAPE Campus

Programme’s Government Approval (in Chinese and Portuguese only) (Click here)

September to July

Weekly Schedule
Once per week from 19:00 to 22:30

Key Features

  • Research-oriented programme supported by highly-qualified internal and external researchers from various areas of knowledge and fields of specialization.
  • Training in research methods and theoretical concepts in the first year of studies and development of a PhD thesis in a specific field of specialization in the following years.

Coordinator's Message

The USJ Science and Environment section aims to provide a research-based teaching environment for students from all levels of study. Our research topics are in the broad area of Natural Sciences and Environment with an emphasis on Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Environmental Sciences.
Our staff are active researchers that participate in both local and international research projects. The topics of the projects are diverse, covering both basic and applied research. An emphasis is put into research focused on the major challenges that modern societies are facing, such as sustainable development, protection of ecosystems, biodiversity management, pollution control, climate change, or health and aging. A new MSc. degree in Environmental Sciences and Management is under development to supplement our post-graduate Ph.D. programme in Science. In addition, we provide support in the area of Science and Environment for modules from undergraduate and graduate programmes of other areas of studies (e.g. Architecture, Psychology, Education). We are also actively enrolled in Science promotion projects and activities as part of our mission of disseminating scientific knowledge near the general population.

We strive to promote a dynamic research environment where students are not mere observers but active participants in the projects. The strong connection between students and researchers fosters an exciting study environment where students can enjoy learning about science while developing solid research skills.

Prof. David Gonçalves

Typical Career Options

  • Research and Development for private and public organizations
  • Academic careers


Taking a PhD in Science (Biology) at USJ provides me with a wide experience in various fields other than the knowledge acquired throughout the course such as the possibility of participating in international research networks and gain training in advanced research skills. I do enjoy the time I spend here in USJ as well as the people sharing the same facilities, which enables me to widen my horizons of knowledge in other fields of study as well as mine. Thank you USJ…

Pedro Vieira (Student)

Study plan & description of modules

Please click on any specific module to see its description.


Year 1
0.00 credits