The Master's degree

Remote Sensing is the process of collecting information about objects distant from the sensor. A wide range of information about the Earth’s surface and atmosphere can be obtained using data and images collected by sensors on board artificial satellites or aerial platforms. Remote Sensing has applications on a wide variety of fields, such as:

  • Mapping
  • Environment
  • Agriculture and Forests
  • Climatology and Meteorology
  • Oceanography
  • Biology
  • Geology
  • Geography and Spatial Planning, etc.

General Description

The Master’s degree in Remote Sensing offers advanced training in Earth observation techniques, taking advantage of the existing know-how at FCUP. With focuses in the analysis and use of geospatial data acquired by sensors deployed on space-borne or aerial platforms, the programme aims that the students acquire skills on the fundamentals of Remote Sensing.
It is expected that the masters in Remote sensing will be able to use this knowledge in the study of the planet and in solving problems in various fields of application. To this end, the Programme was organised with a common core of curricular units addressing fundamental subjects and a set of optional units that aim to teach specific skills in applications for the study of the ocean, agriculture and forests, coastal zones, climate change, etc.. Being unique in the country, this master's degree fills a lack of education on this area.

How it works

The master's degree has a duration of two years:

  1. a first year corresponding to a study programme of a set of curricular units (60 ECTS);
  2. a second year corresponding to a scientific dissertation or a professional internship (54 ECTS) plus a supporting curricular unit on scientific writing (6 ECTS).

The Master's degree runs on a concentrated schedule predominantly on Friday afternoons and on Saturday mornings, in order to allow the frequency of students from all over the country, including working students.

Teaching language: Whenever the MSc is attended by foreign students (non-CPLP) the classes will be taught in English.


    The FCUP MSc in Remote Sensing is a two-year programme organised as follows

    a) a study programme of 60 ECTS, corresponding to the first year, granting not a degree but an MSc diploma in Remote Sensing;

    b) a scientific dissertation or a professional internship with a final report of 54 ECTS and a supporting curricular unit of 6 ECTS, both carried out in the 2nd year.

The 1st year of the programme includes 45 ECTS of mandatory curricular units and 15 ECTS to be obtained through optional units covering a wide range of remote sensing applications, allowing students to make more focused choices, for example, in the study of the ocean or in terrestrial or multidisciplinary applications. Up to 6 of the 15 optional ECTS can be chosen from any of the courses offered at the University of Porto at the MSc level.

Due to schedule limitations, the set of optional units selected by each student is subject to approval by the Scientific Committee of the Programme. The choice of the optional units will take place at the end of the 1st semester, when students will be able to conscientiously make such choices.

Study Plan

Please consult the Study plan on the official WebPage.

1st Year

1st Semester

Name ECTS Teacher
Fundamentals of Remote Sensing6 M. Joana Fernandes
Digital Image Processing 6 André Marçal
Statistics Applied to Sciences and Engineering 6 Joaquim Costa
Ana Rita Gaio
Computation for Remote Sensing6Sérgio Crisóstomo
Nelson Pires
Mapping3 José Alberto Gonçalves
Airborne Sensors and Photogrammetry 3 José Alberto Gonçalves

2nd semester

Name ECTS Teacher
Geographic Information Systems6 Ana Cláudia Teodoro
GNSS Applications 6 Dalmiro Maia
Remote Sensing and GIS Software 6 Lia Duarte
Nelson Pires
Seminars in Remote Sensing6 M. Joana Fernandes
Options 15 ---

Note: Due to schedule limitations. In the end of the 1st semester, before choosing and enrolling in the various optional courses, the students should seek advice from the Scientific Committee of the Master's degree about the content of each course and the possible choices.

Options (2nd Semester)

Oceanic Applications
Name ECTS Teacher
Oceanic Submesoscale and Autonomous Observation Systems6 José Carlos da Silva
Ocean Colour and Sea Surface Temperature3 Clara Lázaro
Ocean SAR 3 José Carlos da Silva
Satellite Altimetry 3 M. Joana Fernandes
M. Clara Lázaro
Land Applications
Name ECTS Teacher
Biology Applications 3 Neftalí Sillero
Agriculture Applications3 Mário Cunha
Forest Applications3 José Aranha
SAR Interferometry3 Joaquim João Sousa
Multidisciplinary applications
Name ECTS Teacher
Coastal Applications3 Ana Cláudia Teodoro
Meteorology and Climate Change Applications 3 Isabel Iglesias
U. Porto Options 0 - 6 ---

2nd Year

1st semester

Name ECTS Teacher
Scientific writing and dissertation/ internship6Neftalí Sillero


Name ECTS Teacher
Dissertation/ Internship 54 ---

Career Opportunities

As this is the only MSc of this type in Portugal, it will respond to the needs of specialized staff in Remote Sensing.

The Masters in Remote Sensing will have unique competences to join public institutions or private companies of a technological nature, including space agencies (ESA, EUMETSAT, etc.), with activity in areas related to the exploitation of RS or GIS data, location-based services, thematic mapping, and many others involving the use of georeferenced data.

It is also expected that the graduates of this MSc will promote the technological development of the country through the creation of companies of a technological nature and some of them continue their studies for a PhD.

Intended Learning Outcomes

A Master in Remote Sensing should

  1. Possess in-depth knowledge in the scientific field of remote sensing, being able to apply it both in its professional applications and in scientific research;
  2. Be able to apply geospatial information from satellite or airborne sensors in solving new problems using the most appropriate methods and the most efficient RS and GIS tools;
  3. Know how to integrate knowledge, deal with complex issues, develop new solutions or give advice, including assessing the ethical, social or environmental implications and responsibilities of proposed solutions;
  4. Be able to communicate, in a clear and unambiguous manner, technical knowledge and conclusions of studies to be carried out, as well as their respective rationale, both to specialists in Remote Sensing and to the public in general;
  5. Consolidate competences that enable lifelong autonomous learning.

How to apply

Please consult the official webpage


The applications to the Master's degree in Remote Sensing should be done exclusively online trhough FCUP webpage.
The student should follow the steps:
  1. Logging in
    • If you are a old FCUP student , and you remember your access codes, please login. If you don't remember, please request new ones by sending an email to:
    • If you are a old UP student , from other Faculties, and you remember your access codes, please login. If you don't remember, please make a request here.
    • If you are new student at FCUP please make a request here.
  2. Application
    • At the FCUP webpage select the highlight "Candidatura", and next, in "Master Degree Application deadlines" select "Info and application".
    • Find the Master in "Remote Sensing" and select the option "Application".
    • Select "Apply".


Application Dates


MSc degree Director
Joana Fernandes

Academic Division of FCUP
Rua do Campo Alegre s/n, Edif-FC5, Sala-0.1
4169-007 Porto - Portugal
Phones: (+351) 220 402 030 /31/32/33/34/35

Entry Requirements

  1. Hold a higher academic degree in a study programme whose curricula provides students adequate scientific background for Remote Sensing: several branches of Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Informatics, Mathematics, Physics, Geophysics, Geology and related fields.
  2. Hold a foreign higher academic degree in one of the areas described in the previous paragraph.
  3. Hold an academic, scientific or professional curriculum that the scientific committee of the MSc Programme recognizes as sufficient to prove capacity to carry out this study program.

Selection criteria

  1. Candidates who hold a first degree in an appropriate field will be first selected.

  2. The selection will be performed following the criteria indicated below:

      1.1 - Academic curriculum (60%)

        1.1.1 - Sub-criterion 1: Training area (20%)
        • First degrees with study plans which include scientific background for Remote Sensing will be valued. Background in Mathematics (8%), Informatics / Programming (8%) and Physics (4%) will be considered.

        1.1.2 - Sub-criterion 2: First degree’s grade and adequacy (40%)

      1.2 - Scientific curriculum and professional experience (40%)

        1.2.1 - Sub-criterion 1: Technical and/or scientific publications and communications (15%)
        • The following aspects will be considered: number of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals (10%); other scientific papers (5%);

        1.2.2 - Sub-criterion 2: Participation in research projects (5%)

        1.2.3 - Sub-criterion 3: Professional curriculum (20%).

      • The duration and nature of professional activity in areas of relevance to the Master’s programme shall be considered, as follows: relevance of the professional activity (12%); duration of the professional activity (8%).

      In case of equal ratings the following criteria will be adopted:

        - First’s degree mark
        - Number of years of professional activity on a relevant field
        - Number of scientific papers
        - Participation in internships during the first degree, in Remote Sensing topics.
  3. Candidates who do not yet hold a first degree and / or have an academic, scientific or professional curriculum, which is recognized to prove capacity to carry out this Master’s programme by the competent scientific body, will be selected, according to the above criteria. In this case, the degree’s grade will be replaced by the weighted average of the performed courses, assigning a weight of 2 to the courses considered as relevant to this Master’s programme and a weight of 1 to the remaining ones.


Ana Bio Ana Rita Gaio Ana C. Teodoro
André Marçal Dalmiro Maia Isabel Iglesias
Lia Duarte Joaquim Costa Joaquim João Sousa
João Tasso Sousa J. A. Gonçalves José C. da Silva
José Aranha M. Clara Lázaro M. J. Fernandes
Neftali Sillero Nelson Pires Mário Cunha


MSc degree Director

Joana Fernandes


Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto

Address: Rua do Campo Alegre 790, 4150-171 Porto, Portugal

How to get to FCUP

Department of Geosciences, Environment and Spatial Plannings


Phone: +351 220 402 489

Academic Division of FCUP

Address: Rua do Campo Alegre s/n, Edif-FC5, Sala-0.1
4169-007 Porto - Portugal


Phones: (+351) 220 402 030 /31/32/33/34/35

Ana Maria Ferreira Bio


Ana Bio is a biologist who obtained her PhD at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, with a thesis on statistical species-environment modelling. Since then, her research interests evolved in the fields of data and image analyses and, more recently, underwater (bio-) acoustics. Presently, she is teaching the course Ecological Modulation and Coastal Management, of the master degree in Marine Sciences – Marine Resources, at the University of Porto (ICBAS). She is an Assistant Researcher at the CIIMAR Coastal and Ocean Dynamics group, her research focuses on coastal topo-morphodynamics and risk assessment, using remote sensing data from airborne photography and satellites and geographical information systems.

Ana Cláudia Moreira Teodoro


Ana Cláudia Teodoro is an assistant professor with habilitation at the University of Porto, Portugal.
She received her BS, MS and PhD degrees in surveying engineering from the University of Porto, Portugal in 1998, 2001 and 2007.
She is the author of more than 40 journal papers, more than 30 “Web of Science Conference Proceedings”, has written 8 book chapters and 1 book (ed.).
Her publications reflect her research interests in remote sensing, image processing and GIS area.

André Ribeiro da Silva Marçal

Página Web Pessoal

André R. S. Marçal, holds a PHD in Remote Sensing and Image Processing University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. He is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mathematics of the University of Porto, Faculty of Sciences (FCUP), where he has been teaching courses on fields such Image Processing and Analysis, Digital Signal Processing and Analysis, research in Remote Sensing and Image Processing. His research interests evolved a variety of topics in the fields of Digital Image Processing, Remote Sensing and Pattern Recognition, both from an algorithm development perspective as well as driven by specific applications (in Biology, Medicine, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences).

Isabel Iglesias Fernández


Isabel Iglesias Fernández holds a PhD in Physics by the University of Vigo since December 2010. Graduated in Physics – Specialization in Atmosphere and Environment by the University of Vigo since July 2006, she has also concluded masters in Applied Physics and Climate Sciences. She has taught several disciplines, including Fundamentals of Meteorology, Remote Sensing, Climate Change in the Ocean and Climate Models at the University of Vigo, and Physical Oceanography at the University of Porto, also participating in the course of Monitoring the Marine Environment by Satellite, organized by CIIMAR. Her research lines are centred in the following topics: applied and physical climatology, numerical modelling and oceanic, estuarine and coastal dynamics, extreme events, climate change, atmosphere-ocean interaction, and teleconnections.

José Alberto Álvares Pereira Gonçalves

José A. Gonçalves holds a degree in Surveying Engineering from the University of Porto, Faculty of Sciences (FCUP), a master degree in Geographical Information Systems and a PhD in Photogrammetry, from University College London. He is currently assistant professor at FCUP, where he teaches subjects in the fields of photogrammetry, GIS and map production. He is a collaborator of the ISPRS working group in Mobile Scanning and Imaging Systems for 3D Surveying and Mapping. As a member of CIIMAR his main research interests are in the application of photogrammetry and Remote Sensing for coastal monitoring.

José Carlos Pinto Bastos Teixeira da Silva


José da Silva holds a PhD in Oceanography at the University of Southampton (U.K.). He worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (U.K.) until 2000, when he was appointed as Lecturer at the University of Lisbon (Department of Physics). In 2010 he was appointed Associate Professor at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto. José is interested in many aspects of satellite oceanography, submesoscale and synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Da Silva is Guest Investigator at WHOI, Massachusetts, USA. He has co-authored more than 40 scientific publications indexed in the ISI web of knowledge.

Lia Bárbara Cunha Barata Duarte


Lia Duarte holds a degree in Engineering Sciences - Geographic Engineering, Master and PhD in Surveying Engineering from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP), respectively in 2017, 2011 and 2009. Since October 2011, she is a lecturer in the Department of Geosciences, Environment and Planning of the Territory of the FCUP where he teaches several curricular units in the area of Surveying Engineering, such as: Topography, Applied Topography, Cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Fundamentals of Geographic Information. She belonged to the Center for Research in Geospatial Sciences (CICGE) until 2014 and since 2015 she belongs to the Institute of Earth Sciences (ICT). Her research focuses in the development of applications in an open source GIS environment using the Python programming language.

Nelson Ribeiro Pires


With a first degree in Physics-Optics and in Engineering Sciences-Surveying Engineering, and a MSc degree in Surveying Engineering, Nelson is currently finishing the PhD Programme in Surveying Engineering at University of Porto with the research topic in Satellite Altimetry, specifically the Sea State Bias, a geophysical altimetric correction caused by the influence of local sea-state in the altimetric radar pulse. Past and recent research, includes subjects in tropospheric delays from GNSS for application in Coastal Altimetry, aerial and close-range photogrammetric studies with drones for coastal monitoring and map production, multi-spectral and SAR-imaging remote sensing for ocean wind-generated waves and ocean dynamics.

Maria Clara Lázaro


Clara Lázaro is an assistant professor at Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto (FCUP). She holds a PhD in Surveying Engineering from FCUP. She has expert-level knowledge on Satellite Altimetry applied to Oceanography. Currently, her research focuses on studying the sea level variation using Satellite Altimetry and on the development of methodologies for the computation of an improved wet troposphere correction for Coastal Altimetry. Clara has been involved in many national and international research projects. She was nominated in 2014 as a Management Committee Member from Portugal, for the e-Cost Action entitled “Evaluation of Ocean Syntheses” (EOS).

Maria Joana Fernandes


Joana Fernandes holds a PhD in Remote Sensing by UCL, University of London, UK. She is an Assistant Pr/thofessor at the University of Porto, Faculty of Sciences (FCUP), where she has been teaching courses on fields such as Remote Sensing, Geodesy and Hydrographic Surveying. Director of the PhD in Surveying Engineering of FCUP from 2012-2017. Her research is mainly in the field of Satellite Altimetry with focus on coastal altimetry and altimetry over inland waters, range and geophysical corrections, in particular the wet tropospheric correction. Leader of the Portuguese team in several research projects, mostly funded by ESA, such as, COASTALT, CP4O, Sea Level CCI, SCOOP and SHAPE.

Neftalí Sillero

Personal Web Page

Neftalí is a scientific researcher at Research Centre on Geo-Spatial Science (CICGE-Centro de Investigação em Ciências Geo-Espaciais) of the University of Porto. His areas of interest are in the application of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems in the spatial modelling and cartography of the distribution of amphibian and reptile species. His PhD work with satellite imagery from Landsat 5 are evaluated as a useful data source for calculating potential distributions versus data appearing in published maps. He compare predictive models of species distribution from published map variables and remote sensing variables in a area (Salamanca province, Spain) with known ecogeographical information. In the future, those results could be extrapolated to remote areas, where environmental variables mapping are very scarce or do not exist. In relation to cartography of herpetofauna, he worked in the Atlas of Portugal and Spain, applying the Geographical Information Systems to construct more reliable and secure databases and to produce the species maps automatically.

Ana Rita Pires Gaio


Ana Rita Gaio is an assistant professor at Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto (FCUP).

Joaquim João Moreira de Sousa


Joaquim João Sousa is an assistant professor at Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro.

José Tadeu Marques Aranha


is an associated professor at Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro.

Joaquim Fernando Pinto da Costa


Joaquim Costa is an assistant professor at Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto (FCUP).

Dalmiro Jorge Filipe Maia


Dalmiro Maia is an invited assistant professor at Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto (FCUP).

João Tasso de Figueiredo Borges de Sousa


João Sousa is an assistant professor at Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP).

Mário Manuel de Miranda Furtado Campos Cunha


Mário Cunha is an assistant professor at Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto (FCUP).