The University of Madeira was born with the Law Decree no. 319-A/88, in September 13 1988. The first Regulatory Commission intended to compose a new “cultural-scientific project” facing the “exhaustion of the conventional model of University”.

In the lecturing year of 1989/90 the prime year of the Sports and Physical Education degree began its activity. The extinction of Madeira’s Higher Education School and the subsequent creation of the Integrated Centre of Teachers Formation by the law decree no. 391/89, on November the 9th, went from the initial formation for Early Childhood Educators and Basic Schooling Teachers to the ambit of the University.

With the academic year of 1990/91 came signs of major steps given by most degrees in this University, like Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and Languages and Modern Literatures, with its’ variants of Portuguese studies, Portuguese and French studies, Portuguese and English studies, Portuguese and German studies, Portuguese and Spanish studies, English and German studies and finally French and English studies.

The Management degree as well as the Systems and Computer Engineering degree began in 1992. Through the Integration Protocol, on September 30th 1992 onwards, Madeira’s Higher Institute of Arts (ISAPM) was then integrated in the University of Madeira under the name Madeira’s University Arts and Design Higher Institute (ISAD/UMa).

With the University of Madeira’s Statutes homologated by the Minister of Education, Prof. Dr. Marçal Grilo, on May the 13th 1996 and consequent election of the University’s responsible for the following two years, the University of Madeira entered a new and crucial phase in its life.
Ten years later, Portuguese laws concerning Higher Education faced deep changes. As such Universities had now more autonomy thus defining strategies in order to differentiate themselves from other Universities, creating mechanisms to raise their financial incomes, for their internationalization, and for the establishment of partnerships both with companies and with society in general.

Law no. 62/2007, of September 10, brought deep changes to the organization and governing of High Education institutions. UMa, the youngest Portuguese University, adopted an organising model based on the interaction between organic units, vertical structures named Competence Centres and finally horizontal structures of education, innovation and service providers. The Institution’s restructuring process was started on 2008/09 and on the present academic year UMa faces the conclusion of several stages of this process.

The University of Madeira has approximately 2700 students in the 1st cycle, 612 students in the 2nd cycle and circa 50 students in the 3rd cycle. UMa offers a wide range of 21 degrees in diverse areas such as engineering, science and technologies, health, economics, management, arts, humanities and education. UMa has also 17 MA degrees and 12 PhD degrees.


Located in Funchal, Madeira’s University is constituted by the Rectory’s building (at Jesuits College), by the University Campus (at Caminho da Penteada), by the Halls of Residence and the Student Affairs Office (both at Rua de Santa Maria) and finally by Quinta de São Roque (at Rua Dr. João Abel de Freitas).

Academic Calendar

The academic calendar is divided into two semesters. Classes begin in the end of September and are interrupted by Christmas, Carnival and Easter holidays as well as exam seasons.

Besides classes, exams and holidays, the academic year also includes: the Freshmen Reception, the solemn opening of the academic year, Madeira’s monumental academic serenade, Caruncho Week and the University’s anniversary.