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 origin of UCP dates from October 13, 1967, when it joined the Faculty of Philosophy of Braga as the first institution, which had been operating in the city since 1947. The Regional Center of Braga was born on October 25, 1999, with the purpose of consolidating and to develop the presence of the Portuguese Catholic University in the region. The Regional Center of Braga currently offers 9 degrees, 21 master's degrees and 6 doctorates, distributed by its faculties.