As an official academic program, the Master in Conservation Techniques of Biodiversity and Ecology of the URJC It is valid throughout the European Higher Education Area. It provides the skills and knowledge necessary for the development of research activities in the field of Conservation Biology and Ecology, as well as training for activity in companies and green entrepreneurship. It is coordinated from the Biodiversity and Conservation Area of the URJC, recognized among Spanish universities as one of the three best in the discipline of Ecology according to the prestigious Shanghai Academic Ranking. Likewise, its teaching staff includes the participation of researchers from the CSIC (National Museum of Natural Sciences and Royal Botanical Garden) and professionals from leading companies in the environmental sector such as Ferrovial, Gaia and Creando Redes. The ranking of Master's degrees prepared by the newspaper El Mundo has highlighted it among the five best in its field.
The Master is organized into four Teaching Modules: one on Methodological Bases (scientific writing, field sampling, experimental design, modeling, spatial analysis), another on Biodiversity (terrestrial tetrapods, invertebrates, birds, lichens, bryophytes, and other taxonomic groups, which also includes a subject on Phylogeny and Systematics), a third on the study of Ecological Processes (community assembly, plant-animal interactions, micro-macro evolution, biology of global change, genetic restitution of populations, ecotoxicology) and a fourth optional module especially designed for Business Training (ecological restoration, economics of natural capital, entrepreneurship). This last module aims to facilitate the employability of students in large corporations, small and medium-sized companies, and public and private institutions, as well as to stimulate self-employment and green entrepreneurship.
Students can start research through innovative Master's Thesis with the maximum guarantee of success, or channel their skills and knowledge through business professionalization. Throughout the course they will acquire methodological training for: scientific writing and the preparation of technical reports, planning of sampling and monitoring systems, advanced design of experiments; methodologies for statistical and mathematical analysis of data (particularly for spatial analysis and modelling); molecular biology and genetic techniques applied to conservation; methods of analysis and development of models in populations and communities; methodologies and tools for the characterization of environmental quality and the determination and mitigation of stress on individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems; scientific knowledge on natural capital and ecosystem services; foundations of ecological restoration; and initiation to business entrepreneurship.
Many graduates decide to continue their training in URJC's doctoral program in natural resource conservation and obtain pre-doctoral contracts to specialize in the study of ecological and evolutionary issues. Others choose to join the business world. All of them agree in making a very positive assessment of the training and the treatment they receive each course.