The third cycle of studies, leading to the doctorate degree, follows two models:
- The traditional "tutorial" model of research under the direct and individual orientation of one or sometimes two professors or researchers, in order to present and defend a thesis. Its duration is at least four semesters;
- The new model, introduced in 2003/04, in which research is preceded by a curricular part: the PhD program. These PhDs with a program have a normal duration between six and eight semesters and confer between 180-240 ECTS credits.
The Institute for Political Studies intends to be a strategic project of long reach and long duration. In an era in when knowledge tends to be the key to development, this Institute naturally assumes itself as a project for the future which seeks to be useful to Portugal and to the Portuguese-speaking world.