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Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco (Polytechnic University of Castelo Branco)

School of Applied Arts

Portugal Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

IPCB is a public higher education institution whose mission is to provide citizens with high-level qualifications, to produce and disseminate knowledge and to provide its students with cultural, artistic, technological and scientific training within an international framework.

IPCB values the activity of its teaching, research and non-teaching staff, stimulates the intellectual and professional training of its students and graduates, promotes effective mobility at national and international level and participates in research and development activities, the dissemination and transfer of knowledge, as well as the economic valorisation of scientific knowledge.

IPCB contributes to the public understanding of the humanities, the arts, science and technology, promoting actions to support the dissemination of humanistic, artistic, scientific and technological culture. The realisation of the institution's mission aims to:

– Carrying out cycles of studies aimed at awarding academic degrees, as well as other post-secondary courses, post-graduate training courses and others, under the terms of the law; – Creating an educational environment suitable for the development of its mission;

– Carrying out research and supporting and participating in scientific institutions; – Transferring and economically valorising scientific and technological knowledge; –

Carrying out professional training and knowledge updating activities;

– Providing services to the community and supporting development from a perspective of mutual appreciation and regional development; – Cooperation and cultural, scientific and technical exchange with similar institutions, both national and foreign;

– Contributing to international cooperation and bringing people closer together, especially with Portuguese-speaking countries and European countries, within the scope of IPCB's activity;

– Producing and disseminating knowledge and culture. The IPCB is also responsible, under the terms of the law, for granting equivalences and recognising academic qualifications and degrees.

International Role

The IPCB has a policy of networking synergies with several Portuguese institutions, namely with the Universidade Aberta and the Rede A23 consortium, which brings together several polytechnics and with which it has several joint courses at undergraduate, master's and doctoral level, as well as research centres. It also runs courses in association with Portuguese and foreign universities.

In terms of international cooperation and mobility agreements, it has relevant protocols and projects in various countries such as Macau, Brazil, Timor, among others. It is currently a member of the European University Alliance – BAUHAUS4EU:



National Role

The School of Applied Arts (ESART) is well integrated into the higher education network, collaborating with its counterparts.

ESART is characterised by its active contribution to local and regional development in terms of the enhancement of built and natural heritage, as well as culture and quality of human life, and business competitiveness.

It has actively participated in knowledge development and transfer projects and co-management projects with associations, companies and local and regional government bodies.

Main Focus

The study cycles at Bachelor's Degree in Design level aim to train students to carry out professional design activity in a specialised area, seeking to correlate two different dimensions:

Graphic design with audiovisual design

Interior design with equipment design

Fashion Design with Textile Design

In the case of master's degrees in design, these are intended to specialise students in one area and at the same time give them the ability to develop integrated projects.

Faculties and Departments

Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco (Polytechnic University of Castelo Branco) has six School:

School of Agriculture

Escola Superior de Artes Aplicadas (School of Applied Arts – ESART), which has an Art and Design department and a Music and Performing Arts department.

School of Education

School of Health Dr. Lopes Dias

School of Management

School of Technolgy

Bachelor Level Programs

List of BA in fine arts of the Escola Superior de Artes Aplicadas (School of Applied Arts – ESART) of IPCB*:

Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Audiovisual Design (Three-year duration)
Bachelor's Degree in Interior and Equipment Design (Three-year duration)
Bachelor's Degree in Fashion and Textile Design (Three-year duration)

Bachelor's Degree in Music

* We haven't listed courses outside the arts and design here. IPCB has many others.

Master Level Programs

List of MA in fine arts of the Escola Superior de Artes Aplicadas (School of Applied Arts – ESART) of IPCB*:

Master in Graphic Design (Two-year duration) – Course in association with the University of Lisbon
Master in Interior and Furniture Design (Two-year duration)
Master in Fashion and Textile Design (Two-year duration) – Course in association with the University of Lisbon

Master's in Music Education

* We haven't listed courses outside the arts and design here. IPCB has many others.

Research Activity and Main Areas

The research centres on ESART's teaching areas: Communication Design, Interior Design, Equipment Design, Fashion Design and Textile Design.

A investigação passa pelo Rethink – Research Group on Design for the Territory which has has as primary objective the development of applied research projects, with a methodological focus in the triad Territory, Design, and Process, promoting and valuing Culture, Material and immaterial Patrimony, Identity, Sustainability and the society.

The Group develops research that is geared towards the enhancement of territory and innovation through design, whether concerning a geographical place or through the methodology or processes applied to the projects, using research in design and research for design practice.



The same group organises the EIMAD — International Meeting of Research in Music, Arts and Design (https://eimad.ipcb.pt/).

Since 2008, our school has been publishing the Convergences – Journal of Research and Arts Education (https://convergencias.ipcb.pt/).

Doctorate Level Programs

Until 2024, Portuguese law prevents us from awarding doctoral degrees.We were part of the consortium for the international doctorate "Dottorato di Ricerca in Ambiente, Design e Innovazione".
We currently have a regional partnership on the PhD in Media Arts with the University of Beira Interior.

Application Deadlines

1st call

from January to March

2nd call 

from May to July 

More: https://internacional.ipcb.pt/en/

Teaching Languages

Normally portuguese, complemented with english.

Semester Dates

1st semester – from september to january

2nd semester –from february to june

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

It's a very quiet city and easy to get around on foot or by public transport.

The cost of living is quite low compared to the national level.


Bachelor: 509
Master: 99

Exchange Students

Incoming: 28
Outgoing: 35

Teaching Staff

Professors: 32 design
Lectures: 2
Other permanent teachers: 18
Part-time Teachers: 14

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