With free to minimal additional health costs, strong national health service support, and high life expectancy rates, it’s no surprise that Portugal is a key destination for those seeking quality healthcare. The country ranks in the 12th best spot out of 190 countries for the best healthcare, according to the WHO.

A strong driver of this success would be its commitment to quality education Let’s take a look at the best schools for public health in Portugal!

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Top Universities for Public Health in Portugal

1. University of Porto

The University of Porto Medical School is an excellent university for public health in Portugal that offers a Master’s course in Public Health in collaboration with the Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar. This partnership creates a learning plan that delves into national health issues and methods of environmental, psychosocial, or biological intervention in both preventive and curative approaches. For four semesters, students take on subjects such as epidemiology, biostatistics, and the social sciences for a holistic approach to health and wellness, exercised in both theoretical lectures and practice.

This course is well-recognized among current and aspiring health professionals in the region. Geared for international audiences, the course is taught in English and is backed by international partnerships with European health research and training associations for public health such as The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). With its renowned faculty and comprehensive roster of resources and facilities, students can be assured of a world-class education here in the university.

2. Nova University Lisbon

With more than 50 years of experience under its belt, the NOVA University of Lisbon through its National School of Public Health is the country’s premier institution for higher learning on public health. The School offers its threefold pillars of postgraduate studies, research, and value creation to improve public health in society. This is achieved through esteemed faculty, challenging programs which address the public health challenges of society today, and constant improvements and partnerships with health institutions and employers that witness the health situation on the ground.

To further their thrust for quality education on public health, the university offers a postgraduate degree course in this discipline. The Master’s in Public Health offers a comprehensive look into various disciplines which comprise public health, namely epidemiology, health economy, health promotion, policies and management, occupational and environmental health, among others. The course aims for students to develop an independent capacity for research and analysis of health issues while having a multidisciplinary approach to finding solutions. With a thrust for community and nation-building, the course leverages its partnerships with public and private institutions to provide relevant avenues for practice or evaluate current solutions and how they can improve.

The course is proudly accredited by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education, and provides excellent career opportunities in research, health institutions locally and internationally, and the like. Students are introduced to the theoretical lectures in their first year, and apply these to their thesis in the succeeding year. With their various methodologies and a high degree of mentorship between teachers and students, the NOVA University of Lisbon makes for an excellent choice for budding health practitioners.

3. University of Coimbra

The University of Coimbra is the oldest university and a top institution for public health in Portugal, taking pride in its holistic approach to education. As one of the pioneers in building a Faculty of Medicine, the university applies its avant-garde approach to education through the collaboration of core curriculum and clinical subjects, producing well-rounded graduates. Its strength lies in its postgraduate studies, specializing in many areas of the sciences. Furthermore, the university leverages its access to cutting-edge research and technological platforms to learning, coupled with avenues for practice through various services, institutes, and clinics, as well as the teaching hospital Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra nearby.

Under the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Coimbra showcases its prestigious Master’s degree in Public Health which is only available to 20 students each year. Across four semesters, the course aims to provide students of varied backgrounds with a technical and scientific primer on how to approach health issues in the areas of public health, community health, and disease prevention. The course takes on multidisciplinary sources hinged on medical and epidemiological science to aid in designing, implementing, and evaluating necessary health strategies.

Students undergo introductory subjects in their first semester, from Biostatistics and Informatics to even Philosophy and Sociology. The next semester delves more into health-related topics such as Microbiology and Parasitology, Environmental Engineering, and Nutrition in Public Health. These are coupled with more management-type courses as well such as Public Health Administration and Quality Control. The next two semesters are spent on a dissertation that will be defended for graduation.


4. Polytechnic Institute of Porto

It might seem odd for a polytechnic institute to have specializations in Public Health, but this is one of the many ways that the Polytechnic Institute of Porto stands out. The institute has a School of Health Sciences focused on research, education, and providing health science and technology services. Leveraging its stronghold in technology, the school can perform cutting-edge medical technologies such as biosignal analysis, biotechnological health processes, among others. Combining a knowledgeable faculty, modern infrastructure, and a culture of excellence, the Polytechnic Institute of Porto is poised to provide quality education to its students locally and abroad.

The Polytechnic Institute of Porto delivers an excellent public health program in Portugal and features 14 Master’s courses across various facets of health, including a Master’s in Clinical Analysis and Public Health. The school takes an in-depth analysis of public health specializing in two major areas, namely Microbiology and Public Health and Immunohemotherapy and Transplantation. These subjects focus on the root problem of health down to a cellular level and provide solutions that target the source of disease, as well as enable students to come up with preventive solutions through Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies. Moreover, students are also taught how to communicate these scientific findings to stakeholders of different contexts and apply learnings in one health discipline to other fields through research and practice.


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