It’s no secret that a medical degree literally comes with a hefty price tag. But it will appear to be a lot more affordable if you choose Portugal as the destination for your medical education. Medical schools in the country charge lower tuition than the medical schools in most other European countries. The cost of living in Portugal is also one of the lowest in Western Europe. The country ranks 35th among all countries in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2018. So, you can expect to receive quality education here. The only problem though is that English is not the language of instruction in any of the Portuguese medical schools. But if you are already proficient in Portuguese, or are willing to learn the beautiful language, you should check out our list of the six best medical schools in Portugal.
Top Medical Schools in Portugal
1. University of Algarve
Established in 1979, the University of Algarve (UAlg) is a public university in the southern Portuguese region of Algarve. It has two campuses, the Gambelas Campus and the Penha Campus, both situated in Faro, the southernmost city in the country. It has over 9,700 students, with around 830 academic staff tasked with the responsibility of teaching them. More than 60 nationalities are represented at the campuses. The university offers more than 140 academic programs through its eight faculties and schools.
UAlg’s medical program is known as Integrated Master in Medicine. The program is administered by the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine. It runs for a period of six years, and uses Portuguese as the language of instruction. UAlg ranks among the world’s top 600 institutions in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 by Subject: Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health.
2. Universidade do Porto
Universidade do Porto, or the University of Porto (U.Porto), is a Portuguese university with over 400 academic programs. It was founded in 1911 by merging institutions like the Polytechnic Academy of Porto and the Medical-Surgical Academy. The public university has three campuses, referred to as Polos, scattered across the city of Porto. It consists of 14 faculties and one business school. Its total enrolment stands at nearly 30,000.
At this one of the best medical schools in Portugal, the Integrated Master in Medicine program is run by the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICBAS) based at the Polo I in downtown Porto. The degree is earned over the course of six years, or 12 semesters, on completion of 360 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 by Subject recognizes U.Porto as one of the top 250 medical schools in the world.
3. Universidade da Beira Interior
Universidade da Beira Interior, or the University of Beira Interior (UBI), came into being in 1979. It has four campuses or Polos, each located in the city of Covilhã. Its student population is north of 6,800, who are taught by nearly 700 teaching staff. The public university offers over a hundred programs at undergraduate and graduate levels through its five faculties.
UBI offers the Integrated Master in Medicine program through the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Department of Medical Sciences. The six-year, 360-ECTS program uses Hospital Centre of Cova da Beira, Hospital of Amato Lusitano, Hospital of Sousa Martins, and several health centers as learning facilities. Like UAlg, UBI too claims a spot among the top medical schools in Portugal in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 by Subject.
4. Universidade de Coimbra
Universidade de Coimbra, or the University of Coimbra (UC), began its journey in 1290 as the first university in Portugal. It was originally established in Lisbon, and went through several relocations before finally settling in Coimbra in 1537. The public university has primarily three campuses – Campus I, Campus II, and Health Sciences Campus – positioned in different parts of the city. Its academic programs include 36 bachelor’s, 110 master’s, and 71 Doctoral options. Its total enrolment stands at over 24,300. The university has eight faculties and four teaching and research centers, employing over 1,800 academic and research staff. It is the alma mater of neurologist António Egas Moniz, the first Portuguese to win a Nobel Prize.
UC’s Integrated Master in Medicine program, like the ones mentioned above, is also organized in line with the Bologna Process. As a result, it runs over the course of six years, consisting of 12 semesters. The program is administered by the Faculty of Medicine (FMUC), which is based at the Health Sciences Campus in the city’s Celas neighborhood. The campus is in a close proximity to the University of Coimbra Hospital, one of the institutions where students get in direct contact with patients during the last three academic years of the program. UC ranks between 251st and 300th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019: Medicine.
5. Universidade de Lisboa
Universidade de Lisboa, or the University of Lisbon (ULisboa), has been around since 1911. It is the country’s most populous university, with a student population of nearly 48,000. Of them, over 7,000 are international students hailing from 106 countries. The total number of academic staff is north of 6,000. The public university is organized into 18 schools and institutes, based in nine campuses spread throughout the Lisbon metropolitan area. It offers more than 750 diploma, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.
At ULisboa, the Faculty of Medicine runs the Integrated Master in Medicine program. At the end of the third academic year (completion of 180 ECTS) of the six-year program, students earn a bachelor’s degree in Basic Medical Studies. At the end of the sixth academic year (completion of 360 ECTS), they receive a Master of Medicine degree. ULisboa is one of the best medical schools in Portugal, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019.
6. Universidade do Minho
Universidade do Minho, or the University of Minho (UMinho), began its journey in 1973, being named after the province of Minho that was dissolved later in 1976. It consists of three campuses, two of which are sited in the city of Guimarães, and one in Braga. It has over 19,000 students, including nearly 2,500 international students. The public university employs 1,300 teaching staff to offer a wide variety of academic programs through its 12 schools and institutes.
UMinho’s School of Medicine, which was created in 2000, oversees the Integrated Master in Medicine program. Students are awarded Bachelor in Medicine and Basic Sciences degree at the end of the first three academic years. And at the end of six years, they receive a Master’s degree. The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019 lists UMinho among the world’s top 500 medical schools.
I hope that this article on best medical schools in Portugal was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarship Page!