Objectives and competences

The Master's Degree in Paleobiology and Fossil Record is an interuniversity master's degree that is mainly taught in English. Students will learn scientific and methodological principles to develop their research capacity and professional practice in different areas of paleontology.

This master's degree is directed at graduates in different areas of life sciences and environment sciences (geology, biology and the environment, among others), and humanities graduates (history and archeology, among others) who are interested in paleontology. The minimum requirement for taking the master's degree is level B2 English (equivalent to First Certificate).

Career opportunities for graduates include teaching, work in research centres, museums, centres and companies that manage and disseminate natural heritage, companies that prospect and manage geological resources, consultancies and companies that supervise works (protection of paleontological heritage), and geological mapping. 

Basic information

TypeMaster's degree
Faculty or schoolFaculty of Earth Sciences
Branch of knowledge
  • Earth sciences
Mode of delivery
  • Blended learning
Length of course1 academic year
Course detailsIndicators
Open pre-enrolmentNo
Open enrolmentNo
Lead to doctoral studiesYes
Admission for applicants not holding a degree qualificationNo
Main universityUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Universitat Barcelona
  • Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP)
Bridging coursesYes

Objectives and competences


This master's degree gives continuity to undergraduate studies with the aim of providing students with the necessary skills to develop research in palaeontology at postgraduate level, preparing them to develop a doctoral thesis in this field and/or facilitating their professional insertion, for example in palaeontological heritage management companies or in biostratigraphy consultancies.

Students will be able to identify the main actors and vectors involved in fossilization processes, and will engage in the resolution of geological and/or biological problems related to palaeontology, such as palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, the evolution of biotas, biostratigraphy and palaeoclimatology.

Students will acquire a multidisciplinary understanding of palaeontology, through the inclusion in the curriculum of subjects and contents that go beyond the classical separation between disciplines.

This master's degree also aims to provide students with the theoretical and practical tools necessary to integrate the different levels of information (scientific, technological, social, educational, etc.) needed to address problems related to biological evolution and extinction that affect today's society. The course makes efficient use of new communication technologies and distance education tools, adapting them to the established objectives.


  • DCapacity to independently acquire information from palaeontological publications in order to develop a synthesis.
  • Capacity to apply a logical and coherent protocol of analysis to plan and develop a palaeontological study and solve a specific problem.
  • Capacity to carry out teamwork for the resolution of multidisciplinary fossil-based problems.
  • Capacity to convey clearly and unequivocally a practical case study in a professional report in the field of palaeontology.
  • Capacity to contribute to the development of palaeontology projects with ethical responsibility and with respect for human and fundamental rights, diversity and democratic values, as well as the principles of universal accessibility and design for all, in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Capacity to identify and evaluate inequalities based on sex and/or gender in the field of palaeontology.

Access and admission

Applicant profile and access requirements

Recommended applicant profile

The master's programme is intended for graduates from various disciplines in earth sciences, life sciences and environmental sciences (such as geology, biology, environmental sciences, etc.), as well as humanities graduates (history, archaeology, etc.) with an interest in palaeontology.

Access requirements and conditions

General requirements
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Official Spanish university degree.

  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.

  • A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.



Pre-enrolment calendar

Required documentation

Selection criteria


Course curriculum

Subjects and course plans

Distribution of credits

Compulsory 48
Optional 0
Compulsory placements 0
Compulsory final project 12

List of subjects

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: BC for admission to the Master's Degree in Paleobiology and Fossil Record
Estratigrafia Optional 6
La Vida a la Terra Optional 6
Paleontologia 1 Optional 6
Planeta Terra Optional 4

Bridging courses

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: Paleobiology and Fossil Record
Introducció a la Paleontologia Compulsory 6
Paleobiologia Continental Compulsory 15
Paleobiologia Marina Compulsory 9
Pràctiques en Paleobiologia I Compulsory 12
Pràctiques en Paleobiologia II Compulsory 6
Treball Final de Màster Compulsory 12

Previous years


Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.

There is an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 500 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. An educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.

Institutional information

Career opportunities

What can you work on ?

Career opportunities for graduates include teaching, work in research centres, museums, centres and companies that manage and disseminate natural heritage, companies that prospect and manage geological resources, biostratigraphic consultancies, companies that supervise civil Works (protection of the paleontological heritage), and geological surveys.

Data from the university system in Catalonia

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