Course Details - Sectorial Programmes | Católica Porto Business School

Message from the Programme Director

A number of recent studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between quality of management and the level of development achieved by the different countries. Portugal does not look good in the picture. We knew this was so as far as development is concerned and now we are learning that it is also true for management.  

This MBA’s ultimate ambition is to make a contribution, however small, to change this state of affairs by offering top-level international education and training to a selected group of young professionals without ever losing sight of two priorities: small and medium-sized companies based in northern and central Portugal, which are exposed to international competition and constitute, after all, two inseparable realities. These SME’s, as well as the problems and challenges that they are faced with, are what we wish to see reflected in our programme. The increase in demand by large companies also indicates that ours is a many-faceted product that meets the needs of larger businesses, which in turn use the programme to expand their network of contacts to managers of SME’s, a crucial aspect of any MBA. 

Many good and bad examples of SME’s and large firms can be found in Portugal that are worth taking a look into: how they are organised, their strategy, their practices, their successes, their mistakes and how they address challenges and opportunities. We offer training and teaching methods that are well-anchored into reality and are led by a prestigious, highly-qualified and experienced faculty capable of reconciling empirical data with the latest theoretical developments in the different areas that are relevant to management. Our teaching methods are in line with the best practices of top-level international business schools, and this led the MBA International programme, its methods and content, to be accredited by AMBA. 

The MBA International presented here is a programme that has benefited from the involvement of AEP, the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a partnership that has helped to establish the programme’s reputation within the business community. We have a responsibility to offer these companies top-level international education and training and provide their managers with the necessary skills to operate in global markets. This, for us, is a point of honour! Time and, most importantly, the way students who have successfully completed the programme have been welcomed in the business world tell us that those who decide to take it on can rest assured that they have made a good investment. In education and training, as well as in management, quality does pay off! 

Alberto Castro 
MBA International Programme Director 

Programme's Purposes
  • To educate and train management professionals that meet the needs of Portuguese firms while focusing on achieving recognition in international markets. 
  • To develop each student’s technical skills by capitalising on their professional experience; 
  • To gain an understanding on the domestic, international and global business environment in which the different companies operate, and on the organisational structures that suit each case; 
  • To develop strategic critical thinking based on a systemic approach to the organisation; 
  • To prepare students for a more effective performance in leadership roles; 
  • To further sense of initiative, encourage risk taking and develop entrepreneurial skills;
  • To enable greater understanding of risk management and sustainable management, as well as the social impact of business activities; 
  • To develop teamwork, communication and conflict-resolution skills;
  • To promote the development of soft skills and foster lifelong learning;
  • To promote social and professional relationships among ESADE and Católica Porto alumni.
Who attends

Professionals with diverse training and experience and coming from various sectors of activity with a common experience in the business world, and wishing to strengthen or acquire management skills.

The MBA International is aimed at managers and staff of companies and institutions who seek to raise their level of skills and meet the following admission requirements:

  • Holder of an officially acknowledged academic degree;
  • A minimum of five years’ work experience;
  • Good command of the English language;
  • Preference is given to candidates who have completed the GMAT test – Graduate Management Admission Test (this requirement is not mandatory).

Programme Outline

Welcome and Homogenisation period

In the context of the MBA International, the welcome period is a critical and often decisive moment in the running of the programme as a whole. Católica Porto Business School takes special care to make sure that this period goes forward smoothly and sets clearly defined targets for it: welcome, introduction and integration of students in the School and in the programme’s ambitions.
The homogenisation period is intended to equip participants — coming from different educational and professional backgrounds — with a set of concepts and techniques that make up a common denominator deemed essential to gain learning in Management. Those concepts and techniques are:

  • Accounting Fundamentals
  • Economics Fundamentals
  • Basic Management Tools    

Mandatory Subjects
The MBA International’s syllabus comprises 322 hours of mandatory core courses. Students will have to participate in a management game. At the end of the programme they still need to present a business plan developed with the support of our experts in the various areas.

Elective Courses
Students may select from a broad range of elective courses the combination that best suits their interests up to a total of 106-120 hours. Course availability depends on timetable clashes and on a minimum number of students registered. 

Students’ assessment is made both in the compulsory and optional subjects through individual examination, individual and / or group work, depending on the proposal of each professor. To the final mark of each subject, other complementary elements are also taken into account, such as attendance, participation and commitment of the student in class and in the preparation and presentation of cases and the work performed.

The completion of the MBA involves holding an applied final project, individual or in group, in which students demonstrate, integrate and make a critical analysis of the knowledge acquired throughout the course as well as the completion of a Business Plan that will be monitored by our specialists in each area.


The MBA International is an intensive, highly demanding, postgraduate programme delivered in a classroom-based setting. Sessions take place on Fridays, from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm and on Saturdays, from 8:30 am to 13:00 pm. Students may occasionally be asked to attend classes on Saturday afternoons. 

The programme runs for 17 months and was designed to provide students with all the right conditions to develop the skills that will enable them to undertake any managerial roles in an ever-changing market. 
It comprises 725 hours of lectures and out-of-classroom activities that include visits to firms and are distributed as follows: 

  • 42h Welcome and Homogenisation Period
  • 322h Compulsory core courses
  • 120h Elective courses
  • 85h Skills Portfolio 
  • 24h Seminars on Ethics and Social Responsibility and on Economy and Geopolitics 
  • 14h Master Class
  • 20h Seminars on Management Topics and Practices 
  • 40h International Week in China
  • 40h International Week in Barcelona
  • 18h Company visits 


17 months – September 2018 to February 2020.

There is the possibility of attendance and completion in two consecutive editions in the case of manifest incompatibility of working life of students with the intensive pace of the course, if it is declared and established at the time of registration.

Fridays from 8:30 to 19:00 and Saturdays from 8:30 to 13:00
The MBA International is a postgraduate level program, intensive and highly demanding, in which attendance is mandatory. In this sense, the entire organisation and operation are designed to allow students – most of them active workers - intense participation.


Fridays 8.30am to 9pm and saturdays from 8.30am to 1pm

Programme Director

Alberto Castro


Católica Porto Business School
International Weeks

University of Saint Joseph - Macau
Divided between Macau, Zhonshang and Hong Kong, this week aims to raise awareness of the economic, social, political and legal reality of one of the world's major powers. This week is a result from a partnership with the University of Saint Joseph and it aims to reinforce the business environment understanding of the visited cities.

ESADE - Barcelona
The week in Barcelona places emphasis on a firm’s overall situation. The aim is to provide students with an interactive experience that incorporates the most relevant concepts of Strategic Management through a business simulation game. The activity is monitored by ESADE’s teaching team, which will coach students and help them to look at the different business options from a strategic standpoint. 

To this end, and in accordance with the rules of one of the most widespread computer simulation programmes used in major international Business Schools, students will be challenged to take part in a virtual management game where they will practise decision-making while managing a company set in a global context. During this interactive experience of strategic simulation each player will call on the most advanced management concepts to make decisions in fields as diverse as finance, marketing, production and human resources involving different firms with a range of products and geographical interests that do not always coincide but that compete against each other. Their aim is to ensure that their company achieves the best possible results within the context of a strategic simulation interactive experience in which they will have to use advanced management concepts.  

Skills Portfolio

Managers are increasingly distinguished by their ability to develop their sensitive side with the help of topics that are complementary to a more technical dimension — the so-called soft skills — and to look at their progress and at their personal and professional goals from a critical standpoint. 

Under the Soft Skills portfolio, Dynargie takes on this double challenge in a 49-hour course, using different methodologies and working in plenary sessions and in sub-groups. The following topics are addressed:

  • Presentation Skills
  • People management
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Negotiation
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Change management

At the end of these modules, students get to test the knowledge and the tools acquired in an integrated way in a competition called “Soft Skills Simulator — Mood Explosion”. Their challenge is to manage a seven-people team and assess results with the help of three indicators: team performance, team motivation and compliance with budget.

This programme also includes a Mentoring process, carried out in sub-groups, which begins with the analysis of each student’s individual profile and continues with personalised sessions conducted by a specialised consultant for the duration of the MBA.

Sandra Cristiana Vieira do Rosário

Sandra Cristiana Vieira do Rosário

Directorate for Planning and International Management Control

Lassarat Group

An MBA is an important event in our lives and, for this reason, our goals must be clearly defined and choosing the right programme is key. In my case, I was driven by the wish to validate the skills and knowledge acquired along a career with several years of international experience. The Católica Porto Business School’s MBA programme was the one that seemed to me to be more compatible with my needs: the excellence of the Católica brand combined with its competent and recognised faculty and the programme’s strongly international component were the right ingredients.

The superior quality of this programme is visible from the outset and is present at all times: the care paid to the selection interviews, the permanent contact and constant provision of information about the whole process culminate in a path that while marked by rigour and accuracy it is also extremely challenging and rewarding.

Now that I have learned new concepts, relearned others and viewed the same problems from another perspective, I feel reborn as a professional, much more confident and much more capable and empowered. I certainly owe all this to the excellent faculty (because we can use the MBA to the best advantage and their support and willingness are crucial), to my classmates (who are my friends today) with whom I have had the privilege to share the 10th edition and to the entire school staff, always friendly and welcoming.

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Carla Cunha

Carla Cunha


Caixa Geral de Depósitos

I have a degree in Business Management and Administration from Católica Porto Business School and I believe it is vital to update knowledge and upgrade the skills that are needed to perform duties in the field of management. Católica was my first and only option due to its undeniable value and recognition, from the faculty to the administrative support staff.

Because I am fully convinced that the only way to enhance my Organisation’s competitiveness is to invest in training and in the development of human capital, I chose the MBA as a way to foster new career development capabilities.

The school selects the group in a particularly careful way, the latter consisting of elements with a variety of academic backgrounds and different work experiences. Conviviality and knowledge sharing foster my development as an element of a team and allow me to turn differences into opportunities. In addition to technical skills, the programme is strongly committed to the development of personal skills, which are a valuable asset in one’s personal and professional evolution.

At a time of financial and political turmoil, the MBA boosted my confidence and flexibility to cope with unforeseen incidents. Aware of this learning, I am prepared to accept and embrace new challenges, strengthen my role with regard to relationship management, information sharing and motivating working teams.

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Fábio Pitarma Matos

Fábio Pitarma Matos

Controlling, Finance & Accounting Group Leader

Bosch Security Systems

Católica Porto Business School’s MBA programme was an exceptional experience that allowed me to enrich my social and technical skills in an extraordinary way. Thanks to this self-improvement I am now able to achieve one of the goals that led me to choose the International MBA in the first place – rise to higher levels in my professional career, especially from a global and international perspective. The faculty was, for me, one of the most valuable aspects of the programme, not only because of the vast knowledge and extensive work experience shown by its members, but also for their strong focus on the practical and professional contexts and their great willingness to help students.

The international weeks, particularly the one at ESADE, and the foreign teaching staff add an important international complexity to the programme enabling students to perceive the distinct facets of management in different cultural contexts, which are crucial in the current business context. The team spirit instilled in the group and experienced by its members throughout the programme is distinctive and fundamental inasmuch as it allows us to gain a new family for life, both for the time spent together and for the sharing of experiences.

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Victória Machado

Victória Machado

Chief Financial Officer


My decision to attend an MBA in Católica Porto Business School was based in order to enhance skills and knowledge in the areas of Management. This objective was fully achieved. Today I feel more prepared to face new professional challenges in the future. The retained experience in trips to São Paulo and Barcelona only further enriched my final result of the MBA which was certainly a good choice! 

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Marta Pinto

Marta Pinto


Samsung Portugal

I decided to do the MBA for the same reasons as any other individual would – exclusively for professional reasons. Coming from a totally different field of expertise, the MBA offered me what is most looked for in labour market today – to differentiate myself and to differentiate the service that I provided. As a holder of a degree in law and working in that area, which due to its complexity focuses significantly on the technical component, I saw the MBA as a way to broaden horizons and develop other technical skills that would bring me closer to those I was providing services to.

The fact is that the MBA has enabled me to achieve those goals and acquire those technical capacities (today I am able to talk to CFOs, business managers, and marketeers without having the feeling that we speak different languages), but it also went far beyond the scope I had initially assigned to it.

I had the privilege and the luck of attending the MBA with a group of unique students coming from widely different backgrounds and with very diverse experiences, which they were willing to share, and with soft skills that matched (and exceeded even) their technical skills. I learned a great deal both in and outside class, from each one of the classmates that were and are part of the 9th edition of Católica’s MBA.

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Jorge Rocha

Jorge Rocha

Finance and Administration Manager

Grupo Valmet

Católica Porto Business School’s MBA was a fantastic experience lived in a great atmosphere between faculty, classmates and the entire school staff. The stimulating learning environment and the highly experienced faculty, both academically and professionally meant rigour and strictness as well as sharing and inspiration in which dialogue and the exchange of ideas prevailed. The programme helped me to complement my knowledge of finance, accounting, marketing and operations in a coherent whole, closing loopholes and sparking innovation, factors which are increasingly important to meet the daily challenges posed by international business management. I should also like to underline the importance of the international weeks, the partnership with Dynargie and the events and activities organised by the school, all of them carefully planned and highly appreciated by everyone.

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António Rodrigues

António Rodrigues

Engineering Manager

IPTE Factory Automation NV

Católica Porto Business School’s MBA has exceeded my expectations and to some extent it has influenced my decision to pursue an international career and use all my knowledge and experience in a different setting. I must emphasise the quality of the faculty, the topical practical cases developed inside and outside the classroom, enabling us a better grasp of the concepts addressed in the different courses, the selection process and the level of the admitted students, which allowed me to enhance my networking and to know distinct experiences. The MBA’s curriculum is very well put together to meet the needs of businesses in the face of the current economic environment in Portugal and worldwide and to train managers who can address these challenges.

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You can make your online application here.

You can also deliver your application personally at the administrative offices of the school or mail to:

Católica Porto Business School
Rua Diogo Botelho, 1327
4169-005 Porto

Elements for Application:

  • Duly completed application form;
  • Detailed CV;
  • An updated photograph;
  • Identification Document photocopy / Taxpayer Card;



Registration fee: €700  
Tuition fee: €17.000

  • Payment in full: €16.500 (September) 
  • Payment in 3 instalments: €6.000 x 2 + €5.000 (September / February / July)
  • 15 monthly payments: €1.150

The VAT in effect at the time will be added to these prices.

Early Bird policy

Registrations completed before the first week of June will benefit from an additional discount. Please contact us for further information.


  • All the support material, including adopted books for some courses.
  • Two assessment periods per course; 
  • Travel and accommodation expenses of International Weeks. 

Special Conditions

Former students of Católica University benefit from a 5% discount on tuition fee.

AEP Members will have a discount of: 
AEP Associate plus Card - 7%
Associated AEP card - 5%


Executive Coordinator:

Sara Carneiro Pacheco
Tel: +351 226 196 260 | ext. 401


João Pedro Lima
Tel: +351 226 196 260 | ext. 409

Contact us