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 of Bioethics (IB) was created by the Superior Council of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in July 2002, with the commitment to extend and adapt the research work in Bioethics to new developments in science and technology.