The PhD programme in Geology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has a long history, going back to 1991-1992, though doctoral theses had been read at the department of Geology even before that year. The programme has undergone all the reorganisation processes for the third cycle and now fully fits in with Royal Decree 99 of 2011, and has been approved by ANECA (the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain) in the MEE2011-0492 pathway to excellence award of the Ministry of Education.

The PhD programme aims to train researchers in several fields of geology in accordance with the research lines of the department of Geology and collaborating bodies.

From the beginning, this PhD programme has had the support of the former Miquel Crusafont Institute of Palaeontology, today known as the Catalan Institute of Palaeontology, which is at the highest  international level in Vertebrate Palaeontology.

The Master's degrees linked to the PhD programme in Geology are: Reservoir Geology and Geophysics (inter-university UB-UAB); Mineral Resources and Geological Hazards (inter-university UB-UAB); Palaeontology (inter-university UAB-UB), and Nanotechnology and Materials Science (inter-institutional UAB-CSIC). This link is no obstacle to the admission of students from other universities or countries, with qualifications  in geology and palaeontology, and who meet the requirements for access to PhD studies.

Candidate profile

Studies in geology, Earth sciences, palaeontology and other related areas, such as environmental science, among others.

Professional opportunities

This PhD programme provides the following principal career options:

  • Exploration and exploitation of mining, energy and water resources.
  • Geotechnics applied to civil engineering.
  • Geological and environmental risk prevention.
  • Geological Mapping.
  • Geological and environmental consultancy.
  • Applied Palaeontology.
  • Conservation of cultural heritage.
  • Management and conservation in museums.
  • Research in different areas of geology.
  • Teaching geology at different levels, including university level.

The above activities can be carried out in companies working in mining, oil, gas, hydrogeology, construction, environment, consultancy, etc., in several kinds of public institutions, such as public geological services, universities and research centres, museums, secondary schools, etc., or in non-governmental organisations.

Objectives and justification

The PhD programme in Geology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona aims to train up researchers and other professionals in the different fields of geology and palaeontology who are equipped to work in businesses or institutions. As the last and highest stage of academic training, it leads on to tasks of exploration, research, production, management, R&D+I, etc., depending on the characteristics of each post, in a variety of careers, as seen below.

Students' doctoral theses will fit into one of the seven  research lines proposed, and will be supervised by one of their teachers. However, it is possible to propose thesis topics that do not strictly belong to the established lines, but whose originality and topicality make them suitable for acceptance. Likewise, the supervision or co-supervision of a particular doctoral thesis can be entrusted to other lecturers or professionals if this is considered appropriate in view of their prestige and the thesis topic.


Joan Reche Estrada


Secretary of Geology Department
Phone 93 581 30 22


Number of places available: 10
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:
Catalan, Spanish, English
Organising universities and institutions:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

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