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Article Details


Master Degree in Sleep Sciences Medical Faculty - Lisbon, Portugal

Paiva, Teresa, 5/1/2007

The Master Degree is a post graduate course on Sleep Sciences and Sleep Medicine aiming to provide teaching on the basic fields of Sleep Sciences organized by the Medical Faculty of Lisbon


1.      History

The first course started in 2005. Three courses have been organized so far; the first in 2005 with 18 students; the second in 2006 with 15 students and the third in 2007 with 20 students.


2.      Description and Objectives

            It provides detailed and updated information on the main fields of Sleep Medicine. Furthermore students are introduced to applied research in the field; they must demonstrate the capacity for doing it in the Master Degree Thesis. It has 3 Semesters duration: during the first two semesters the students have a theoretical and practical teaching; the third semester is dedicated to a research project that will constitute the Master Degree Thesis.


3.      Teaching Targets

The main teaching targets are:

Sleep functions, physiology and regulation

The sleep wakefulness continuum and circadian regulation

Sleep, Age and Gender

Practice on sleep recordings and on the quantitative evaluation of the sleep stages.

Genetics, Epidemiology and Semiology in the Sleep Medicine.

Sleep disorders classification.

Diagnostic criteria and the therapeutic solutions of the main Sleep Disorders

Sleep in Medical, Neurological and Psychiatric disorders

Dreaming: normal and pathologic

Identification of the Sleep and Sleep Disorders impact upon the individuals and

the society.


4.      Teaching modalities

            The Course uses different teaching modalities in order to provide a large scope of opportunities while assuring high quality teaching


4.1.   Workshops. The Workshops are meetings open to other students that, in a short 1 or 2 days period, provide teaching by world recognized specialists in the field. Therefore the first aim of these compact meetings is to have high level professionals as reference to the students, while presenting updated results and sharing their experience. Furthermore students must show they are able to raise questions. At the end of each workshop there is an evaluation and an assessment period.


4.2.   E-learning. E-learning is a fundamental tool of modern teaching. During these periods students may adjust knowledge formation to their own pace, with the supervision of a tutor, when required. The e-learning tool used has been developed by an European project, ENN-ICS, and validated by professionals and students in three different countries: Portugal, Germany and Sweden. It is implemented in three languages: Portuguese, English and German. The learning tool includes a content management system, a learning management system implemented by professionals in the field.


4.3.   Practical learning. Practical learning includes “hands on” learning of Polysomnography and other Sleep recordings, in order to teach scoring rules and basic physiology of EEG and non-EEG variables.


4.4.   Journal Club. Journal club implies team discussion and team presentation of a set of articles representing breakthroughs or polemics in the field. Furthermore students may choose their own articles for presentation. Each three person team will discuss the article, so that one presents it, one is against it and the other in favour.


4.5.   Self learning. During the Self learning period the students must study and analyse bibliography considered basic in the field of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Sciences and prove to the teachers that they know and understand them.


4.6.   Virtual collaborative learning. In this period students are required to solve specific problems in collaborative work via the internet.


4.7.   Thesis. The Thesis is a self limited research project performed at a recognized sleep laboratory or sleep research group, having as supervisors a recognized scientist and / or a Professor of the Medical Faculty of Lisbon. The research must be original but feasible in one semester (maximal 1 year).


5.      Evaluation

      Students are evaluated by tests, journal club presentations, continuous evaluation and by the thesis.


6.      Faculty

            The Faculty includes the Council, Permanent staff and tutors and foreign experts.

            The Council has the following members:

            Prof Teresa Paiva, MD, PhD (co-ordinator)

            Prof Lopes da Silva, MD, PhD

            Prof Mário Andrea, MD, PhD

            Prof Óscar Dias, MD, PhD


7.      Language

            The official languages are Portuguese and English.


8.      Access and Admission

            Candidates must have an Academic Degree with a classification of at least 14 in a scale of 20, attributed by a University recognized by the Portuguese University, Universidade de Lisboa. One of the following backgrounds is possible:

Medicine, Psychology, Biology, Nursing, Biomedical Engineering, Human Motricity, Pharmaceutics, Biochemistry, Genetic Engineering, Neurophysiology and Cardiopneumology and other related fields.


9.      Information

The Master degree site is: www.fm.ul.pt/MD-Sleep. The email is gmd.ifa@fm.ul.pt


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