The Masters in History of the Portuguese Empire offers advanced training on the Portuguese expansion and its impact on the Asian, African and American societies with which the Portuguese interacted between the 15th and 19th centuries. This study programme, which was designed for distance learning, in a regime of e-learning, is intended for students and professionals from various scientific areas, but also for anyone interested in acquiring in-depth knowledge of the Portuguese colonial world in the early modern and contemporary eras.

Within the scope of this course, students will receive innovative and excellent training through the contents and methodologies offered. The Masters in History of the Portuguese Empire is taught by a highly qualified and historiographically up-to-date teaching staff. The scientific component of the course has overseen since the beginning by CHAM - Centre for the Humanities, a research unit of NOVA FCSH endowed with a substantial scientific critical mass in the area of Portuguese and European expansion, and with a significant internationalisation in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences. Since the academic year of 2016-17, the Masters has also incorporated the participation of lecturers and researchers from the Institute of Contemporary History, also from NOVA FCSH, with specific expertise in the field of the history of empires in the 19th and 20th centuries, European colonialism in Africa and decolonisation.

The syllabus of this course provides a theoretical and methodological framework for understanding not only the Portuguese colonial experience, but also the interactions and conflicts between Portuguese and non-European cultures. The course also includes comparative analyses between Portuguese expansion and those of other European powers – such as the Hispanic Monarchy, England and the United Provinces - a dimension which makes the training provided by this Masters even more enticing.


  • To provide scientific and academic training in the History of the Portuguese Empire;
  • To deepen the scientific and academic training in the comparative histories of the colonial empires;
  • To apply a trans-disciplinary methodology which is innovative in Global History;
  • To develop the necessary skills for the pursuit of future in-depth study;
  • To enhance internationalisation of academic and scientific activities with research networks in the European space, the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries and other regions, particularly those with intensive contacts with Portuguese expansion or who today have sizeable Portuguese-speaking immigrant communities.
  • To write scientific texts on the Portuguese Expansion within the theoretical framework of global history.

Curricular structure

Duration: 4 semesters Credits: 120 ECTS

The pedagogical method proposed for the Masters in History of the Portuguese Empire is taught using an asynchronous e-learning regime that seeks to promote a space of convenience for students. The main methodological procedures are:

  • virtual classes in which the teacher presents the contents through short videos;
  • online forums for interaction between teachers and students;
  • provision of various contents (powerpoints, printed sources, support texts, maps, bibliographical references and exercises);
  • preferably continuous assessment methods.