MBA International | 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 

Why choose the MBA International?

• Because the programme is born out of the partnership between Católica Porto Business School, AEP, the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and ESADE Business School; 

• Because it is a truly international programme driven up by the study weeks in Spain and China;

• Because it is a programme designed for executives, tailored to their needs, and taught by high-quality academic staff with close links to the business world;

• Because it promotes social and professional relations between the School’s current students and its alumni thereby enhancing networking opportunities;

• Because it is a programme in which students get to develop a range of different across-the-board skills in a classroom environment and in mentoring sessions;

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).


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
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.

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.

Seminars on Management issues and practices
One of the programme’s main concerns is to provide students with an opportunity to get exposed to different dimensions of reality that may have an influence on their future.
The seminars will involve the participation of renowned guests who will share their views and experience on contemporary topics that are directly or indirectly related to management.
In compliance with the programme’s humanitarian spirit, the seminars will focus on social, political, scientific and technological topics, presented by each guest speaker and followed by a debate. At the end of the seminar cycle, students will be able to link the topics addressed to their learning throughout the programme.

Seminars on Ethics and Social Responsibility

Sustainable development · Social responsibility · Corporate governance · Business ethics 

The concern of the business world for environmental protection and social responsibility has become increasingly relevant. However, in line with what is advocated by Michael Porter, sustainability must be seen as a factor that “increases domestic competition” and even as a strategic business opportunity.
In this context, these seminars will be a space for joint reflection, debate and testimonial on the multiple business-world concepts and approaches to sustainable development, namely by advertising the best practices to manage and communicate social responsibility.

Seminars on Economy and Geopolitics

These seminars will address and debate topics that focus on globalisation and on the evolution of the international system, Power and international and regional powers, the global media system, energy, multilateral institutionalisation, etc. The aim is to encourage reflection and, through it, enhance students’ ability to grasp not only the fundamental concepts of geopolitics but also their “interpretative” relation to some of the major regional and global economic issues. Students will therefore be equipped with an analytical tool that will enable them to take part in decision-making processes in their professional contexts. 

Master Class
General & Global Management 

The Master Class is taught by Professor José Fernando Pinto dos Santos, combining all the knowledge acquired during the MBA International. This course is the last step in a long path preparing students for management in a global world. "One of the most interesting features of the globalised world is the fact that, increasingly, the competitive advantage of a company, its ability to create and appropriate wealth through superior performance, being the direct expression of the company's quality management - not the local context in which the company is inserted in.

“In a global world, it is not necessary to be a multinational firm to be a global firm. The staff of the managerial staff and the skills of each manager — your skills, ultimately — are what really matters. A manager’s contribution always comprises purpose and synthesis. Just like this seminar. Its purpose is to throw light on general and global management. “General” management, because what’s at stake here is the higher result of the whole firm; in other words, it is about achieving a collective performance that is superior to what would normally happen within the firm’s context. “Global” management, because the company’s context is understood as the whole world, as the joining of different but interdependent national contexts. The manager is thus faced with the biggest possible challenge. We will learn how the manager synthesizes context, strategy and organization, how his actions are a synthesis of rationality, policy and culture. In his actions he combines the leader with the entrepreneur and the manager. We will see how he tries to understand and cooperate with other distant and different managers. How he uses the world as a source of innovation. How he makes the world of so many into a better world.” 

José Fernando Pinto dos Santos 
Visiting Full Professor at Católica Porto Business School and Professor of Practice at INSEAD, in charge of the Master Class

Fábio Pitarma Matos

Fábio Pitarma Matos

Controlling, Finance & Accounting Group Leader

Bosch Security Systems

The MBA at Católica Porto Business School was an amazing experience that enabled me to develop my technical and social skills in a remarkable way. Thanks to this enhancement I’m now able to achieve one of the goals that drove me to choose the MBA International – to rise in my professional career to senior posts, especially in global and international contexts. One of the aspects that I appreciated the most was its academic staff. In addition to the knowledge derived from their vast professional experience, its members were permanently focused on practical and professional contexts and always available to help students with their work. The international weeks, particularly the one spent at ESADE, and foreign lecturers add an international dimension to the programme. This makes it possible for students to know different perspectives on management in different cultural settings which are crucial in the current business environment. The team spirit, fostered by the School and nurtured by the class throughout the entire programme, is a distinctive feature and constitutes one of its cornerstones. Either due to conviviality or as a result of moments of shared experience, the truth is that you end up finding a new family for life.” 
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Marta Pinto

Marta Pinto


Samsung Portugal

I decided to do the MBA for the reasons that I believe anyone should decide to do it. - exclusively professional ones. Being from a completely different area, the MBA offered me what is most demanded in the labour market today - differentiate myself and the service I provided. With a background in law and working in the area, an area that for imperatives of complexity is very focused on its own technical component, I saw the MBA as a way to expand horizons and gain other technical skills that approached me more to those I provided services for.

The truth is the MBA allowed me to meet those targets and acquire those technical skills (today I can talk to CFOs, commercials and marketers without appearing to speak different languages), but it went far beyond the aspect that I had allocated.

I was fortunate and privileged to attend the MBA in a year when the group of students was absolutely outstanding, with the most diverse experiences and backgrounds available for sharing and possessing soft skills that matched (if not exceeded) their technical skills. I learnt a lot in class, but also a lot outside it with each of the elements that composed and still composes (this group will stay forever) the 9th edition of the MBA of Católica.

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Sandra Cristiana Vieira do Rosário

Sandra Cristiana Vieira do Rosário

Direction Planning and International Management Control

Lassarat Group

Doing a MBA is something remarkable in our lives, and consequently, the goals must be clearly defined and the program choice is essential. In my case, the search for skills validation and knowledge acquired, in a career with several years of international experience, was what caused this demand. The program of the MBA of Católica Porto Business School was the one that seemed more fitting to me: the excellence of the Catholic brand, associated with the recognized and competent faculty, along with the important international aspect of the program, were the right ingredients.

The superiority of this program is visible from the beginning and in each moment course: the care in the selection interview, the permanent contact and the constant information of the whole process, culminate in a route ruled by exigency and rigor, but extremely challenging and rewarding.

Today, after learning new concepts, relearning others, looking at the same problems in a different perspective, I feel like a reborn, much safer, competent and capable professional. This, I am indebted to all the excellent faculty (because we have removed from the MBA what we want and the availability and support of each one is crucial), all the colleagues (today, friends) with whom I had the privilege of sharing the 10th edition and to all the other staff members, always friendly and welcoming.

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António Rodrigues

António Rodrigues

Engineering Manager

IPTE Factory Automation NV

The MBA of Católica Porto Business School exceeded my expectations and influenced in some way the decision to pursue an international career in order to apply my knowledge and experience in a different environment. I have to point out the quality of the faculty, the practical case studies developed inside and outside the classroom, allowing to better retain the concepts covered in the various subjects and the selection process and quality level of admitted students, allowing me to enrich my network and have contact with different experiments. The MBA programme is very well designed to meet the needs of businesses under the economic conditions that Portugal and the world are facing at present, training managers who are able to address these challenges. 

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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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Jorge Rocha

Jorge Rocha

Finance and Administration Manager

Grupo Valmet

The Católica Porto Business School's MBA was a great experience, with a great atmosphere between teachers, students and the whole school team. The motivating learning environment of high academic teachers and professional experience was a source of demand and rigour but also of sharing and inspiration, whichever dialogue and exchange of ideas. The course helped me to further my knowledge of finance, accounting, marketing and operations into a coherent whole, bridging the gap and raising innovation, something increasingly important to meet the daily challenges that international business management demand from us. I would also like to point out the international weeks, the partnership with Dynargie and activities organised by the school, all of which very well planned and very much appreciated by all. 

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Pedro Marques

Pedro Marques

Deputy Director

EDP Distribuição

All those wishing to pursue the MBA are special people. They are people who feel that they can play a major role in creating a better future. When the programme started, the country was going through a time of great economic difficulty. We soon understood that all of us should do our bit and be part of the solution, so we were always partners with the School in the search for better solutions. We are proud of what we have achieved.

The great diversity of backgrounds, experiences and ages of an Iberian class, paired with a sense of competition with history supported by exemplary teamwork turned our participation into an overall success. We all learned a great deal from each other, and more than a network of contacts, we have all become a family. We all learned a great deal from our masters. The faculty, national or foreign, with its solid and recognised academic background and experience in the business world made a difference by focusing on the transfer of a solid knowledge base to the detriment of sheer revenue.

All this was supported by a great amount of coursework, individual and as a group that was immediately applied to the real-world setting of some of us. A long-distance race, accomplished with much effort, but which led to victory in the end! These are the tests that make us stronger.

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You can make your online application here.

Required elements:

Application form, fully completed;

  • Diploma or certificate confirming the candidate’s academic qualifications;
  • Updated CV;
  • Two Letters of Recommendation;
  • An identity photograph;
  • A photocopy of the official identification document;
  • A photocopy of a certificate confirming the candidate’s proficiency in the English language;
  • GMAT scores (when applicable);
  • Personal Interview

After approval by the Admissions Committee of the evidence provided, the candidates will be called for a personal interview.



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