University Master's Degree in Paleobiology and Fossil Record

Develop the professional skills needed to study and interpret fossils and the history of life from a technical, scientific and communicative viewpoint

Content Official Master's Degree in Paleobiology and Fossil Record

Ideal student profile

Students will be admitted without the need to take training supplements if they are graduates in Geology, Marine Science, Natural Science or Geological Engineering.

Students will also be admitted if they are graduates in the field of Bioscience and Environmental Science, or in the field of the Humanities (with knowledge of archaeology or palaeoanthropology) or Engineering (except Geological Engineering). For these profiles the coordinator of the master’s degree may establish up to a maximum of 12 ECTS credits in training supplements when, in accordance with their prior studies, students need to complete them.


  • Identify fundamental concepts in paleontology.
  • Recognise the fundamental methods used in palaeontology.
  • Identify the main groups of microfossils, invertebrates and ichnofossils in the marine geological record.
  • Identify the main field and laboratory methodologies and techniques used in vertebrate palaeontology.
  • Identify the main stages of the evolution of marine biota from certain fossil associations.
  • Identify the main groups of fossil organisms in continental environments.
  • Characterise paleo-environmental changes in the fossil record.
  • Recognise advanced methods and techniques in the analysis of fossilised fauna and flora.
  • Identify analysis techniques applied to the paleobiology of vertebrates.


  • Summarise the most important aspects of one's own research and convey them to an audience that is specialised in the field of paleontology.
  • Select the most appropriate analyses or experiments to solve a posed problem.
  • Define a problem on the basis of active debate in palaeontology.
  • Apply fossils to solve problems in relation to biostratigraphy.
  • Integrate knowledge provided in a multidisciplinary setting into palaeontology (geology, geochemistry, stratigraphy, biology) to solve complex problems.
  • Convey the knowledge acquired in a text/video/oral presentation, both for a specialised and non-specialised audience.
  • Relate different perspectives of the same object in cross-section for integration in a three-dimensional vision.
  • In two and three-dimensional diagrams, represent the reconstruction of a paleoenvironment that combines information from the depositional context with paleoecological information.
  • Use specialised computer programs to resolve palaeontological studies.
  • In an environment that simulates the professional one, analyse the problems associated with the recovery of fossils and their management in museum collections.


  • Demonstrate capacities for the independent acquisition of information from palaeontological publications in order to produce a summary of the most important points.
  • Apply a logical and coherent analysis protocol to plan and conduct a palaeontological study and solve a specific problem.
  • Work in a team to solve multidisciplinary fossil-based problems.
  • Clearly and unequivocally convey the development of a practical case study in a professional report in relation to palaeontology.
  • Conduct palaeontological projects while demonstrating ethical responsibility and 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.
  • Identify and assess sex/gender-based inequalities in the field of palaeontology.