Frequently Asked Questions

Here you shall find the answers to the most common questions we receive from prospective students.
If you have further questions you can ask us directly at



I have a graduation in X
(X!= Software background). Shall I be accepted?

While desirable, it is not mandatory to have a previous software engineering degree. We favour candidates from the area, but we also value your professional experience.

Therefore, even if you do not have such background,  your application shall be considered and valued. You shall only be starting from a less favourable position than another candidate with experience and a degree in the area.

One of our best students was Physics graduate, so we have no reasons to believe that you must!  have a degree in software.

I am a recent graduate and I do not have professional experience. Shall I be accepted?

The MSE program has been designed for professionals with at least five years of software development experience. The reason is that we do think that you need to have struggled with real-world problems to be open to a reflexive approach to technical, human and organizational problems. Moreover, we do believe that character and drive is what makes the difference, and we expect that you show that in the Motivation Letter and at the interview.

What is the application calendar and number of positions?

For the 2023/24 academic year there are three application phases:

1st phase: from 01/03/2023 to 31/03/2023: 5 positions.
2nd phase: from 01/06/2023 to 14/07/2023: 15 positions.
3rd phase: from 01/09/2022 to 13/09/2022: 5 positions.

If you apply to one phase and you are not selected (because other applications are ranked above yours), you are invited to be enrolled in the following phase without additional costs.

Students that are selected in the 3rd phase can attend classes immediately even before the administrative enrolment process is closed.

You can access more information here.

Is there any financial support?

The MSE does not have any scholarships by itself but there are other opportunities. You can find information on financial support here.

Moreover, there are plenty of projects that open research applications for students in a competitive basis. The students will be informed of these when they open. These scholarships are competitive, do not assume a-priori that you will get one.

Alternatively, there is currently a high need of software developers, and you will easily find a job position in the software industry in Coimbra. We can put you in contact with our Industry partners. Ensure that your student visa allows for working in Portugal. Note that a scholarship involves normally a much lighter load than having even a part-time time job, so it might be easier to complete your studies.

Program organization

When do classes start?

Classes follow the standard academic calendar of the University of Coimbra: the first semester starts in early September and terminates by the end of January. The second semester goes from February to mid-June.

Therefore the MSE classes for the next academic year will start in early September 2023.

Is it possible to attend the MSE program remotely?

The MSE has been organized to address the needs of working professionals, so a remote, online participation is possible: classes are delivered after-labour (from 18-20h), live streaming is provided and the classes are recorded for asynchronous viewing. Course readings and contents are also made available online. Tests and deliverables are submitted through the University academic platform.

There are however a few moments we demand that students participate on Campus: the first week of classes (Bootcamp) so that everybody gets to know each other in person, and the End-of-Semester Presentations, that occur at the end of each of the four semesters.

Therefore yes, it is possible to attend the program remotely; in fact we currently have MSE students working and residing in the UK, France and Switzerland.

You should also consider moving to Coimbra and getting an IT job in our dynamic local software industry. We have a red-carpet application process with our Industry partners.

Tuition fees

How much does it cost?

The tuition fees are 4.000 euros total (one year) for Portuguese nationals, and 7.000 euros for international students. The full program has two semesters.

Tuitions are due in a monthly basis. International students pay the first three months in advance.

There might be financial support for international students. Check here.

If I only get Portuguese nationality after my application, will I be charged as an international student?

This issue has been raised by Brazilian students with Portuguese ancestors, in their process of acquiring Portuguese nationality.

While you cannot prove that you are a Portuguese national you are charged as an international student. As soon as you get Portuguese nationality you request the status change (it’s a simple form) and from than on you are billed as a Portuguese national. Payments made before that date are due and cannot be changed.

To infinity and beyond

Can I pursuit a PhD after the MSE?

Definitely yes! The successful completion of the MSE allows access to third cycle (PhD) courses, namely the PhD in Sciences and Technologies of Information (PDCTI) of DEI/FCTUC, as long as the enrolment rules are fulfilled. 

A very interesting example of that path was a former brilliant MSE student from China who followed into her PhD degree with a full scholarship from one of our Industry Partners.


Is there any help to get a visa or residence permit for international students?

This issue has been mostly raised by Brazilian students.

After being accepted you can ask for a residence permit. The University of Coimbra has a dedicated body, Casa da Lusofonia, that can help you with getting the residence permit, finding a room, and all kind of support you might need to move to Coimbra from abroad.