Specialised Artistic Courses

Specialised Artistic Courses - areas of Visual Arts and Audio-visuals, Dance, Music and Theatre - are an education path which provides specialised training to young people who show skills or talent for entry and progression in a path of artistic studies, in which social, scientific and artistic skills are developed, whilst, simultaneously, the basic and/or upper-secondary level of education is obtained.

Specialised Artistic Courses in the areas of Dance and Music are a basic education pathway (Ordinance No. 65/2022, of 1st February), and an upper-secondary education pathway (Ordinance No. 229-A/2018, of 14th August). Some schools offer an Introduction to Dance and Music in the 1st cycle of basic education.

The Specialised Artistic Course in the area of Theatre is a basic education path (Ordinance No. 65/2022, of 1st February).

Specialised Artistic Courses in the areas of Visual Arts and Audio-visuals are an upper-secondary level path (Ordinance No. 232-A/2018, of 20th August).

In the area of Music (basic and upper-secondary level), Specialised Artistic Courses can be attended in an integrated, articulated and supplementary regime, and in the areas of Dance and Theatre, in an integrated and articulated regime:

  • Integrated regime - students attend all components of the curriculum at the same educational establishment;
  • Articulated regime - the teaching of the subjects of the specialised artistic education component is ensured by a specialised artistic education school and the remaining components by a general education school;
  • Supplementary regime - attendance is restricted to the specialised artistic training component of the study plans for basic Music courses or to the scientific and artistic training components in upper-secondary Music courses.

Basic Level Specialised Artistic Courses (2nd and 3rd cycles) aim to provide students with general training and specialised artistic training in the areas of Dance, Music or Theatre.

Upper-secondary Specialised Artistic Courses have a duration of three years and are organised into the following four training components:

  • General Training – structured in subjects common to all courses; it aims to contribute to the construction of students’ personal, social and cultural identity;
  • Scientific Training – structured in two up to four subjects; it aims to provide scientific training consistent with the area of the respective course;
  • Technical-artistic Training – structured in two up to five subjects, aimed at acquiring and developing a set of technical and artistic learning, knowledge, aptitudes and skills necessary for the intended skills profile;
  • Work-based learning (areas of Visual Arts and Audio-visuals and Dance) – is preferably carried out in companies or other organisations, or through the simulation of a set of professional activities relevant to the vocational qualification to be acquired.

These courses culminate with the presentation and defence of a project before a jury, called the Artistic Aptitude Test (AAT), in which the technical-artistic skills and knowledge developed during the training are demonstrated.

For whom?

Specialised Artistic Courses may be the most suitable for those who:

  • have a vocation in artistic areas (Visual Arts and Audio-visuals /Dance/Music/Theatre) and seek to develop their skills or artistic talents;
  • seek solid training that will allow them to pursue a profession in the respective artistic field and/or intend to pursue further studies.

What is the certification?

Basic Dance, Music and Theatre courses confer level 2 of qualification of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and the corresponding level of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) – Ordinance No. 782/2009, of 23rd July.

Upper-secondary artistic courses in the areas of Visual Arts and Audio-visuals, as well as Dance, confer level 4 of qualification of the NQF/EQF. Upper-secondary Music courses confer level 3 of qualification of the NQF/EQF.

Completion of a basic education Specialised Artistic Course is dependent on obtaining a level 3 or above in all the subjects of the specialised artistic training component.

Completion of an upper-secondary Specialised Artistic Course is dependent on passing all the subjects of the course, work-based learning (when applicable) and the Artistic Aptitude Test.

Access the Diploma and Certificate templates here, pursuant to Ordinance No. 194/2021, of 17th September. This Ordinance is intended to dematerialise, standardise, gather and regulate, in a single diploma, the existing diploma and certificate templates. Diplomas attest to the completion of basic or upper-secondary education. The certificates record the subjects and/or STTU/CU attended and their respective classifications, the projects carried out within the scope of the Citizenship and Development component in upper-secondary education, as well as a broad range of projects, initiatives and activities in which students participate. The diplomas and certificates are made available to their holders by the schools, through electronic means, being issued in electronic form through the SIGO system. Certificates and diplomas are also available in the Documents Exchange of the ePortugal portal and in the documents area of ??the Qualifica Passport, when applicable. Whilst the issuance of diplomas and certificates through the SIGO system is not operational, they are issued by schools using the base models available in editable format, with access via the link indicated below. For this type of issuance, the SIGO system assigns a sequential number to the diploma or certificate, an alphanumeric code and a QR Code. After their issuance, the documents are uploaded to the SIGO system and their authenticity can be verified through the documents area of ??the Qualifica Passport. 

Access the Diploma and Certificate Templates previous to the entry into force of Ordinance No. 194/2021, of 17th September here.


Specialised Artistic Courses may function in:

  • school groups and schools in the public network that are not part of a school group;
  • private and cooperative educational establishments.

Consult the available courses and schools here.


To support schools, teachers, students and the rest of the school community, we provide a comprehensive set of information, resources, guidance documents and other materials, in order to enrich and enhance the teaching and learning processes for this training offer. Find out more information here.