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This page aims to provide information, and answer the most frequently asked questions regarding the dissertation process.

A) What are my options for dissertation supervision?

At CATÓLICA-LISBON there are two possible options for dissertation supervision – you can choose to follow a Dissertation Seminar or an Independent Process.

B) What is a Dissertation Seminar?

A Dissertation Seminar is a small group of students that work around a common topic, all supervised by one faculty member, who will be their advisor.

Dissertation Seminars are effective because they are specifically designed and structured to follow your entire dissertation process, and to ensure that you receive continuous feedback and support during the development of your final work.

Seminars usually last three to four months, and throughout this time you will have instructor-led sessions, group discussions and individual meetings. You will also have the chance to present parts of your work, allowing you to receive feedback from both your advisor and your colleagues.

This is the recommended process for all MSc students.

C) What do I need to do if I want to follow a Dissertation Seminar?

The list of seminars offered will be available here.

We recommend that you look at the syllabi of the seminars, to determine which will interest you the most. At this point, you can contact the professors responsible for the seminars with any questions or concerns that you may have before enrolling.

Enrollment will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis via a form. In the enrollment form, you will be presented with the complete list of seminars in alphabetical order, and we’ll ask you to drag and drop them into your order of preference. You will then be enrolled according to your preferences.

D) When do Dissertation Seminars start?

The syllabi for seminars will include a tentative schedule, allowing you to plan your other enrollments.

E) Where can I find the definitive schedules and room numbers for my Dissertation Seminar?

This information will be on the Calendars & Timetables page, as well as on the Notice Board that is outside the Master Student Affairs Office.

F) What is an Independent Process?

Students that decide to follow an Independent Process are responsible for determining their topic and finding a CATÓLICA-LISBON professor that will advise their work.

An Independent Process is usually much more demanding as it doesn’t provide the structure that a seminar would. As a result, it is usually only attempted by students that want to write their dissertation about a subject that is not covered in any way by one of our seminars.

This process is not recommended for MSc students.

G) What do I need to do if I want to follow an Independent Process?

You will need to find an advisor and submit a Dissertation Proposal signed by both you and your supervisor.

You can find a recommended template for the Dissertation Proposal here.

If you are away and therefore unable to submit it to us in person, you can send us a scanned version via email (, as long as you ensure that it has been signed.

The deadlines to submit your Disseration Proposal will be available here.

H) Can I write my dissertation while abroad?

You are expected to be in Lisbon for your dissertation semester.

Please note that writing your dissertation away from the school is possible only in one scenario.  The following conditions need to be satisfied:

  • You are following an independent process
  • You have secured a faculty member who will supervise your dissertation development
  • The supervisor is aware and willing to supervise your work / progress remotely.  This needs to be indicated and acknowledged by the supervisor in the dissertation proposal for independent process.

Please keep in mind that a dissertation is a major undertaking.  Developing and finishing it on time becomes unlikely if you are not following a seminar, and if you are receiving supervision remotely.

I) Can I take courses during my dissertation semester?

You can enroll for up to two courses per trimester (or two semester long courses). This limit applies only to courses, and does not include workshops or technical modules.

J) What is the Research Methodologies Workshop?

The Research Methodologies Workshop is a mandatory component of your study plan.

This workshop aims to provide an overview of research methodologies, offering a set of skills that will allow students to write up a project that improves understanding of a significant managerial or academic problem.

For this reason, it is recommended that you participate in the workshop at the beginning of your dissertation semester.

The Research Methodologies Workshop is usually offered in September, February and June (dates here).

K) What are the 4 LERNE Sessions?

LERNE is the Laboratory of Experimental Research iN Economics and Management, an innovative center which allows the undertaking of behavioral studies of consumers and their decision processes.

MSc Students are required to participate in 4 LERNE Sessions, as your contribution to the highly rated research produced by our school.

You can find more information about the LERNE Sessions here.

To enroll, please access the LERNE platform here.

Please note that this requirement will take at least three months to complete.

L) What happens after I submit my dissertation?

The final step of your program is your dissertation defence, after which you will be granted your MSc Degree.

To defend your dissertation you must fully complete your study plan and settle your treasury situation by the deadlines that can be consulted here.

We are not allowed to schedule your defence if you are missing a requirement of your study plan (no matter how small), or if you have any payments pending after the deadline.

M) What will I have to pay during my dissertation semester?

During your dissertation semester, you will pay the last five tuition fees, as well as the final settlement for additional ECTS (if applicable).

You will be subject to additional fees if you decide to delay the submission of your dissertation (more information in the Dissertation Guidelines).

A delayed defence due to missing study plan requirements will only involve additional fees if you complete these requirements in a new academic year.

N) For information regarding:

  • Recommended resources
  • Formatting rules
  • Word limit
  • Referencing and plagiarism
  • Delivery
  • Defence procedures
  • Conclusion of the MSc program

please consult our Dissertation Guidelines.