NOVA Law School



The NOVA (New) University of Lisbon Faculty of Law was founded in 1996 by Professor Diogo Freitas do Amaral. In its current by-laws, NOVA describes its mission as fostering cutting-edge legal scholarship and training in Portugal, particularly in relation to emerging areas, through research and state of the art teaching methods.

The 1st Cycle (Bachelor Degree) comprises eight semesters and covers, in addition to legal subjects, several others drawn from the social sciences and humanities, including history, philosophy, economics, sociology of law and anthropology. The course thus provides opportunities for interdisciplinary studies alongside a classical legal education. It also allows for a wide variety of elective subjects. The richness and variety of these offerings is one of the hallmarks of the NOVA Law School curriculum.

For the 2nd Cycle (Masters), the Faculty offers 9 master's degrees, some in Portuguese and others in English. Some focus on conventional legal areas; others on contemporary problems. They include a Master's Degree in Forensic Law and Arbitration; others, such as the Masters in Law and Management, Law and Financial Markets, Law and Security, Law and Economy of the Sea address (with a strongly interdisciplinary focus) emerging areas. Two other Masters courses in this category - namely the Master in Law and Technology and Master in Social and Innovation Law - will be offered for the first time in 2019-2020.

In addition to a taught component, NOVA Master's degrees are concluded either by writing a dissertation, or by undertaking a work project or an internship at an approved national or international organisation.

All these courses include a wide variety of electives. The richness and variety of optional courses on offer at NOVA Law School is a core feature of its curriculum.

Throughout the academic year, the Faculty also offers an interesting and varied set of non-degree courses, which can be taken independently or as a complement to students' 1st, 2nd or 3rd Cycle training. In creating these offerings, the Faculty has collaborated with several external institutions such as the UMAC (Unit of Mediation and Monitoring of Consumer Conflicts) as well as other UNL Faculties - in particular NOVA SBE (in relation to its Masters in Law and Management) and NOVA IMS (concerning its Masters in Law and Financial Markets).

In relation to its 3rd Cycle (PhD), three programmes are offered: a PhD in Law, a PhD in Law and Security and, in partnership with Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas and the Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas (Universidade de Lisboa), a PhD in Gender Studies. These programs are strongly geared towards a dialogue with the broader legal community, and include public discussion fora, in Portuguese and English. A core feature of this is NOVA's Seminar on the State and the Study of Law, which encourages a dynamic and broader discussion of the work of doctoral students, extending beyond the traditional seminar format and individual research.

A large number of the subjects offered as part of all cycles are taught in English. This has allowed for a significant increase in the number of Erasmus students coming to NOVA Law School. It is also appreciated by Portuguese students as a vital pathway to the global job market, where English has become the international language of communication.

In terms of academic research, CEDIS (Centre for Research in Law and Society) brings together many of the research efforts of the Law School's professors and PhD students, and also hosts several competitively-funded research projects.

More detailed information can be found on the NOVA Law School's webpage, which is updated periodically, and available in Portuguese and in English:

Mobility students

A- Mobility within the Faculty

As an alternative to FDUNL optional subjects, First Cycle students may attend courses (up to 15 credits) offered by other UNL departments.


B- International mobility

1.       ERASMUS programme (students from abroad)


1.1.            Students selected by their home institutions to take part in the ERASMUS programme are sent a learning agreement, an application form, a Portuguese language course pack, and a study plan by post;

1.2.            New students are invited to attend a welcome session where they are given an English version of the FDUNL ERASMUS Guide and offered advice on courses and other relevant academic matters;

1.3.            A Faculty card is issued by the Adademic Office and given to incoming students upon registration. Every student is also issued an official email account.

1.4.            Students receive an ERASMUS Student Mobility certificate upon completing the programme.


2. ERASMUS programme (FDUNL students abroad)

2.1. All materials relevant to prospective ERASMUS students are available online at (go to “Courses” and click on “Erasmus”);

2.2. The External Relations Office provides information on host universities;

2.3. Calendar

(i) The application procedure opens in November and the Faculty organises a special session directed at prospective ERASMUS students where details of the programme are explained and internal registration forms circulated;

(ii) A final selection of students, of which host institutions are immediately informed, takes place in February/March.


3. European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC)

European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA)

The Law Faculty of Universidade Nova de Lisboa is a member of the EIUC, located in Venice. It joins another 40 European universities in this academic endeavour which is supported, among other institutions, by the European Union.

One of the activities organised by the Centre is the Summer School on Cinema and Human Rights, but the Centre’s main teaching programme is the E.MA (European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation), an intensive one-year advanced master’s programme on the indivisible links between human rights, democracy, peace, and development.

E.MA students attend classes in Venice during the first semester and spend their second semester writing a dissertation in one of the participating universities (two institutions for each EU member-state). FDUNL has been welcoming E.MA students in the last few years (the maximum number is 4 students each year), and several of its own graduates have successfully completed the programme. We are joined in this project by the Law Faculty of Coimbra, which is responsible for the admissions procedure.

Further information on EIUC and E.MA, is available on

Academic authorities

  • Directora Mariana Franca Gouveia
  • Presidente do Conselho Científico Jorge Bacelar Gouveia
  • Presidente do Conselho Pedagógico Ana Prata
  • Administradora Mafalda Santos

Admission and enrollment

Application forms must be submitted to the Academic Office along with a copy of the student’s identity card (BI), tax number, health record and one passport-size photograph.

Practical information


1. Services

a) Free, full, on-site access to the library collection;

b) A high proportion of the collection is available for borrowing;

c) Legal research services are provided to both academic staff and students;

d) An inter-library loan service is available (including access to the British Library and the Jacques Delors Documentation Centre collections).

2. E-Resources

a) Readers have access to the library's automated catalogue containing a selection of 234 periodicals, 8900 monographs, and 4500 journal analytics;

b) The following legal databases are available: Legix 7 (European Law resources); Digesto; Diário da República Eletrónico; Celex; Westlaw (US legal periodicals); and other national databases, including official ones such as the database of the Ministry of Justice;

c) The library website offers links to both Portuguese and international legal portals.

Other equipments

Students have a fully equipped IT Room at their disposal.

Interchange programs

ERASMUS is, at present, the only exchange programme administered by the Faculty.


Career guidance and advice for students is provided by the Students Association (AEFDUNL), with the support of the Faculty.


Student grants from the SAS (Serviços de Ação Social) are available, and there are a number of scholarships offered by CEDIS, a research centre funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT).

Language courses

A good working knowledge of English or German is required. Access to the First Cycle is conditional on evidence of adequate language skills, which must be provided before the students’ fifth semester.

Food services

All students have access to the various SAS-run cafeterias on campus.

Special needs facilities

Special facilities are available for disabled students and those with special needs.

Extracurricular activities

The Faculty is pleased to offer its students a range of cultural activities, such as poetry readings, theatre trips, exhibitions and even drama workshops.


Student association

AEFDUNL was founded in 1997 (26th November) and its first president was André Miranda. Its mission is to represent and stand for the rights and interests of students and has, over the years, worked to contribute to a richer, more supportive and rewarding student life. It is currently led by Guilherme Costa.

ALUMNI FDUNL is an association of former Faculty students. It was created in 2004 by the Faculty’s first graduates. Its aim is to assure a tighter link with those who are part of the Faculty’s heritage with view to reinforcing its prestige and encouraging a dialogue between past and present.

Registration may be made online by filling in a form available at (please follow the link to “Comunidade/Alumni/Registo de Antigos Alunos”).

Other information

The SAS (Serviços de Ação Social da Universidade Nova de Lisboa) offer student accommodation on campus (Residência Alfredo de Sousa) and in Lumiar.

School calendar

2º Semestre: 01-02-20 -> 30-07-2020

1º Semestre: 01-09-2019 -> 31-12-2019