One of the most over-asked questions in planning to study abroad is, “Why should I study in a country when there is obviously a language barrier?” This question has undoubtedly popped up in every international student’s mind seeking higher education abroad. Luckily, with the integration of internationalization in higher education, many countries like Portugal are now offering English-taught programs intended for international students.

It is a given fact that the quality of education in the country is one of the best in Europe. Almost all schools in higher education are in strict compliance with the country’s quality assurance in education. This ensures that all courses and programs offered are of the highest international standards. With a multicultural environment and an increasing number of programs from different academic disciplines delivered in English, many students are now interested in studying in Portugal.

This article lists some of the most respected Portuguese schools that offer academic programs entirely lectured in English. This information will be beneficial, especially for students wanting to obtain a degree in Portugal.

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Top English Taught Universities in Portugal

1. Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (Politécnico de Leiria)

The city of Leiria, where the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria is situated, is an excellent English-taught university for students looking for an affordable place to study and live in Portugal. Although typically, the living costs will depend on the individual’s specific needs, it is still lower compared to other cities in the country.

The institution has a welcoming academic environment for international students. It has a range of English-taught study programs from bachelor to master’s levels. One of the most desirable bachelor’s degrees in the academic discipline of Computer Science is Games and Multimedia program. This is currently the only undergraduate program being offered in the institution. It is a six-semester program that is fully taught in English. At the master’s level, the School of Technology and Management provides the most English-taught programs. In the Engineering department alone, there are four master’s programs available for international students: Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Product Design Engineering, and Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Moreover, the Department of Management and Economics offers an International Business degree program. And lastly, other master’s programs from other departments offer Graphic Design and Sustainable Tourism Management programs.

2. Catholic University of Portugal (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)

Internationalization has always been encouraged inside the campus of the Catholic University of Portugal. The university has been accepting students coming from different backgrounds. Due to its growing number of international students, this diverse university provides several distinct English-taught programs from various areas of study.

With its continuous effort in providing the best education, the university only offers innovative and comprehensive study programs. For example, in the School of Business and Economics in Portugal, one of its top English-taught bachelor’s programs, Business Administration, will give students a unique multinational experience during their last year in the university. Students will have several options on which to complete their program. They may choose one of the following: 1) spend one semester with a partner international business school and have a customized curriculum for one semester in the university, 2) spend two semesters at a partner university, 3) spend the remaining two semesters in two different international business schools, 4) pursue a double degree program at Grenoble Ecole de Management in France or 5) add two more years for a double-degree at the University of San Diego. Whatever option a student chooses will give them an exceptional international experience upon completing the program. Moreover, many English-taught programs are offered at the master’s and doctoral levels. The university also provides similar one-of-a-kind opportunities to students completing their last year of the program.

3. NOVA University of Lisbon (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa)

All degree programs at NOVA University of Lisbon are registered and have passed the strict accreditation process in higher education. This guarantees that top-quality education is prioritized and still progressing. While the university’s initial focus is to be a globally acknowledged university by promoting English-taught programs concentrated at the graduate levels (2nd and 3rd cycle), it is also worth noting that selected bachelor’s programs are open to international students.

At the bachelor’s level (1st cycle), the schools that provide all lectures in English are the Information Management School with programs such as Data Science, Information Management, and Information Systems, and the School of Business and Economics offering Economics and Management programs. Due to the ever-increasing number of international students, there are numerous graduate programs offered in the university, from Humanities to Social Sciences, Information Management to Business and Economics, and many more. These study programs generally accept only a limited number of students every school year. Hence, it is best to inquire at the university as early as possible to have a high chance of admission.

4. ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)

For most foreign students, the favored place to pursue an education is in the country’s capital city. It is perceived that universities and institutions in the capital city provide high-quality education. Living in a cosmopolitan city like Lisbon implies that everything from needs to wants are easily accessible. The ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon is a fitting example of this. This university is ideal for aspirant students who want to study in Lisbon with primary interests in Humanities, Applied Science, Social Science, and Formal Science.

This excellent university in Portugal  offers most of its bachelor’s programs in Portuguese, with only one program entirely taught in English. The BSc Management program is a three-year program only offered at the undergraduate level. This may be a letdown to most prospective students; however, the university’s graduate level offers numerous English-taught academic programs. Master’s and Ph.D. degree programs vary from Business Administration, Marketing, Economics, International Studies, and Psychology, to name a few. Remember, international students outside EEA/EU member states must go through a special admission contest to be admitted to these programs. In contrast, students residing from any EEA/EU member states will have a different criterion depending on the admission requirements of each department.

5. European University of Lisbon (Universidade Europeia)

The European University of Lisbon is one of the few private-owned universities in Portugal that deliver English-taught programs. The university’s primary mission is to produce global professionals with an entrepreneurial mindset. This commitment encompasses the whole student body, including international students.

The university is well-known for offering comprehensive and innovative programs in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Its department offer programs in English from bachelor, double-degree, master, and doctoral level. Other diverse educational programs intended for international students include Games & App Development, Design Global, and Psychology programs at the bachelor’s level. Management and Design & Visual Culture programs at master’s level. And Design program at the Ph.D. level. Students should also grab the opportunity to enroll in the university’s “employability program” to acquire the necessary skill set needed in different industries and the labor market.


I hope that this article on Best English-taught Universities in Portugal was helpful. To know more information on how you can study in Europe, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.