To respond to the training demands of professionals in protected areas and nature conservation, EUROPARC-Spain and the Fernando González Bernáldez Foundation have designed a training program specifically aimed at managers in protected areas and in related professional fields, such as planning, land management, public use, rural development and nature conservation. The program is also open to those interested in orienting their career towards this professional field.

The ultimate objective of these training actions is to improve the effective management of natural spaces under criteria of sustainability and conservation.

MSc in protected areas

The MSc in Protected Areas is a postgraduate course organized annually since 2001 by three Spanish Universities (UAM, UAH, UCM) and the Fernando González Bernáldez Foundation, together with EUROPARC-Spain. It is aimed at protected areas rangers and managers who wish to further or update their skills, as well as at young graduates who are interested in a career in nature conservation and protected areas management

The course aims to give students the skills required for successful protected area and nature management. In order to do so it provides a broad training both in social and natural sciences. The course is organized as a full-time, one-year program (60 ECTS) divided into two terms and a field trip, from February to June and from September to December. Classes are held in Madrid, and are provided in Spanish. Its faculty combine university professors and researchers together with managers, consultants, and experts.

Course content

The course runs for two terms. The coursework is taught interactively ON LINE through lectures, seminars, workshops and discussions.

First term (January to June)
PART I: Presentation and conceptual basis
State of the art
Ecosystem management
Sustainable development and ecosystem services

PART II: Tools for management
Legislation, planning and management
Governance and socio-ecosystems in a changing world
Public use (visitors and tourism)

Field trip: Field trip (*Part III)

Second term (September to December)
PART II: Tools for management (cont.)
Participation and communication
Management capacities: monitoring, evaluation, team and personal skills, information systems

PART III: Case studies and integration
Global change, health, well-being and protected areas
Marine conservation and marine protected areas
Internships and final Master Thesis

Student internships are offered in protected areas, public administrations, NGOs, and consulting firms.  Students should complete a final Master Thesis. The thesis is designed to give practical experience of desk-based or field research and provide the opportunity to learn a wide range of skills that build upon those taught earlier in the course. The project will be supervised by a member of the Master’s faculty.

Graduates are ideally placed to work for protected areas, large international or small local NGOs and environmental consulting firms.

Further information (in Spanish) can be reach at the Spanish version of this website:

If you are interested in following the course, please contact