University Fernando Pessoa was recognized as a public interest organization by the Portuguese State in July 1996 and it is the result of a pioneering higher education project initiated in the 1980’s with the creation of two higher education institutes that provided its structural basis. Today, the University is organized within three faculties (Health Sciences, Human and Social Sciences, Science and Technology), one School of Health Sciences and one autonomous unit (Ponte de Lima College). Being a foundational University, UFP has never been market oriented. It has managed to develop into a solid private higher education institution with a strong academic focus and a constant concern with quality maintenance and improvement in what concerns a highly qualified teaching staff, physical infrastructures and equipments and its teaching, research and extension project.
The mission of University Fernando Pessoa is to provide high quality education services and to be an internationally recognized European teaching and research university, contributing for the promotion of private higher education as a public good, associated with private benefits and based on the over-arching principle of public responsibility. The University understands that it has a key role to play in the scientific, cultural, social and economic development of the society and aims at continuously strengthen its position as a member of the international community of scholarly institutions.
A degree in Architecture and Urbanism has been included in this project in 1998, and, since then, it has gradually strengthen its presence in the history of this institution.
On a logic of consolidation and continuity of the course strategy, as well as to ensure a greater comparability with other European curricula and hence the possibility of easier mobility of its students, in 2005 started the process of adapting the existing course to the “Bologna Process” later authorized on the 20th of July, 2006. In this process, the previous degree in Architecture and Urbanism was replaced by the new Integrated Master’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism, that is, it was replaced by a single integrated five-year cycle that culminates on the preparation and on the public presentation of a Master’s thesis. If the student wishes to discontinue his studies after the first three academic years (six semesters) he can obtain the degree in “Surveying and Construction Design” and then he will be entitled to exercise professional activity in the areas of technical design or topography.
The Integrated Master’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism of the University Fernando Pessoa was added to Annex V, point 5.7.1. of the Directive 2005/36 / EC in December 2010.