The Doctoral Programme is supported by the Internal Quality Assurance System (IQAS) and by a system specific to the programme. The criteria used are in line with the criteria and procedures necessary to carry out the accreditation of doctoral programmes proposed by the Madri+d Foundation.

Programme Quality Assurance System

The Quality Policy of this Doctoral Programme, being an official degree given at the ETSI Agronomy, Food and Biosystems of the UPM, is registered and depends on the guidelines of the Centre in terms of Quality and therefore, on its Internal Quality Assurance System (SAIC). This system is based on the European guidelines, the Institutional Quality Programme (UPM), the evaluation processes, the improvement plan, as well as on the contributions of all stakeholders involved in the training programme of the Doctoral Programme.

The specific system of the Doctoral Programme in Rural Development Project Planning and Sustainable Management is made up of a series of criteria and procedures whose final objective is to guarantee the quality of the training and services received by students and to promote continuous actions of revision and improvement of the programme. The mechanisms and procedures of this system are defined below, which make it possible to monitor and evaluate the development and results of the programme throughout each academic year and to determine the appropriate actions for improvement. It is a monitoring and assessment system made up of two fundamental elements: an information system and a self-assessment system.


The information system makes it possible to generate, collect and file all the information necessary for the correct monitoring and evaluation of the programme. This information system is based on five elements: a database where the basic data of the Master's and Doctorate are collected for each year; a survey of graduates; a continuous individual evaluation carried out by the students to assess the classes received; the Thesis reports and the participative workshops with students and lecturers.

Basic data

The Technical Secretariat of the Master's and Doctoral Programmes compiles every year in a database the basic information of the programme regarding:

  • Pre-registered, admitted and enrolled students.
  • Participation of students in the proposed activities.
  • Participation of students in mobility programmes (with information on the type of programme and duration of stays in months).
  • Graduation rate: percentage of students who complete their studies in the time foreseen in the syllabus (d) or in one more academic year (d+1) in relation to their entry cohort.
  • Drop-out rate: percentage ratio between the total number of students in a new entry cohort who should have obtained the degree in the previous academic year and who have not enrolled either in that academic year or in the following academic year.
  • Efficiency rate: percentage ratio between the total number of theoretical credits of the syllabus for which the set of students who graduated in a given academic year should have enrolled throughout their studies and the total number of credits for which they actually had to enrol.
  • Duration of studies (average duration, in years, that students enrolled take to complete the necessary credits).

Graduate student survey

The alumni survey allows information to be gathered about the future of the students who complete the Master's and Doctoral programmes. The survey opens up the possibility of suggesting improvements to the programme, and they are asked for information about their current employment situation, the tasks they carry out in their job and their degree of satisfaction with it.

Continuous individual assessment of students

At the end of each classroom-based subject, students complete a survey that allows them to assess (from 0 to 5) their prior knowledge of the subject taught, and to evaluate the classes received in terms of content, teaching methodology and procedures used, documentation, and presentation by the lecturer. They are also asked to evaluate the coordination work in each subject and a section is included for them to enter any observations they wish to make. This information is collected and entered in a spreadsheet that allows the average of the evaluations given by the students for each class to be taken and summaries to be made for each of the subjects and modules of the programme. This provides information on the students' opinion of each of the Master's sessions given by the different lecturers on the programme and guest lecturers, as well as the PhD research period. The immediacy of this type of survey allows students to have very recent feedback on the classes given and provides very interesting information with a view to proposing improvements for the following academic year.

Thesis Report

On the day of the delivery of the Thesis, each student must provide this report to the Technical Secretariat. This report includes the follow-up of meetings between the supervisor and the student; and a questionnaire addressed to the latter to assess the work carried out with the supervisor during the completion of the thesis.
In this report the student assesses the work of the supervisor; the adequacy of the research carried out with the expectations foreseen; the possible mobility that may have been necessary (centre, place, duration, financing...), as well as the laboratory or field work that may have been necessary for the research; the results of the research (articles, communications to congresses, patents, registrations...); the possible limitations that may have arisen; and everything that the student considers may be of interest for the monitoring and improvement of the tutorials and conditions for the completion of the thesis.

Participatory workshops

Two participative workshops are held at the end of the course. The first one with the students who have taken the subjects of the programme; the second one with all the lecturers and academic managers of the programme, including the Academic Committee of the programme and its Technical Secretariat. The workshops last about two hours each and are organised using participatory techniques that allow the following aspects to be discussed in an agile and dynamic way:

  • General assessment, in terms of weaknesses and strengths that most stand out from the training period.
  • Assessment of the face-to-face period in each of its subjects.
  • Assessment of the tutorials.
The first of the workshops with the students aims to hear the students' own voices, as well as to listen to their proposals for improvement in order to incorporate them into successive editions of the programme. This information - together with the rest of the information generated by the information system described above - is collected and analysed in an evaluation report that is sent to all teachers and academic managers. Within a few days, when there has been time to study the report, the second workshop is organised. In it, teachers and academic leaders of the programme discuss the results obtained and their suggestions are incorporated in the evaluation report.


Self-evaluation system

The self-assessment system consists of defining a series of elements of the programme that are considered key to its good functioning. These aspects guide the reflection carried out by all those involved in the programme within the Internal Quality Assurance System (IQAS) designed. Once these key aspects have been defined, self-assessment is channelled mainly through participatory workshops and meetings of the programme's Academic Committee.
The final version of the evaluation report comes out of the last workshop held with lecturers and those involved in the programme. This is analysed by the programme's Academic Committee at its meeting at the end of the academic year to analyse the results of the evaluation and decide on the improvements to be made to the programme. At this meeting, each of the key aspects of the programme are analysed in detail and definitive proposals for improvement are made. At the annual meeting of this Committee, at the beginning of the academic year, the guidelines for implementing the definitive proposals are drawn up, the implementation of which is organised by the Technical Secretariat through coordination meetings with lecturers and academic authorities to implement the actions and improvements that have been deemed necessary.


The information collected through the information system is mainly aimed at obtaining information on the performance of a set of key aspects and allowing reflection on them. These key aspects of evaluation are:


The monitoring and evaluation of this key aspect draws on the information from the information system described above. It includes the evaluation of the adequacy of the programme's objectives and the teaching given, in terms of subject content, teaching methodology and procedures used, documentation, and presentation by the lecturers. It also includes the evaluation of the results of the student assessment system and compliance with timetables and calendars.

System for publishing information on the programme, its development and results.

Different channels are envisaged so that interested parties can find out about the existence of the programme and access relevant information about it. Thus, on the one hand, the channels provided by each participating university are used, which each year publishes a paper list of the postgraduate programmes it offers and also includes this information on its website. On the other hand, the channels available to the UPM departments involved in the Master's and Doctoral programmes are used: both their websites and notice boards. Brochures are also designed to disseminate the programme among the university community, professional associations and institutions related to the programme's subject matter. Finally, a web page was designed for the programme itself, connected with the collaborating entities, and with those networks for the dissemination of postgraduate programmes that are considered appropriate at a national and international level.
There are also access routes to internal information for students and teaching staff on the programme. The website has a restricted access area that can only be accessed by the teaching staff, students and academic managers of the doctoral programme. This is where the digital platform for the development of the planned teaching is located. It is a space where programmes, compulsory reading material, further reading material, teaching materials, operating rules, as well as any other information that may be relevant to the objectives of the programme can be found through the MOODLE platform. This space can be used to develop forums and any other online teaching methods that may be envisaged. The Technical Secretariat is responsible for supervising the programme's website and for collecting the necessary information from teachers to keep information on the programme, its development and results up to date.

Participation in mobility programmes

The information system designed provides information on the participation of students in mobility programmes during their training period. The information collected makes it possible to know for each year the number of students who have participated in a mobility programme. It also allows to know the funding bodies, the duration of the stays and the centres where the stays have taken place.

Other information of great interest is the students' evaluation of their stays. This is very valuable information for teachers and tutors of the programme in order to take it into account when guiding students in future courses.

Attention to suggestions and complaints

In addition to the institutional procedures in force at the UPM through a Complaints, Suggestions and Compliments Mailbox, this programme provides the following channels for receiving suggestions and complaints:
  • The postal address of the programme's Technical Secretariat;
  • Telephone number and opening hours for receiving suggestions and complaints;
  • E-mail address for receiving suggestions and complaints.
These procedures and means are published on the programme's website and in the information given to students after their enrolment in the programme.
All suggestions and complaints must state the identity of the person making the suggestion or complaint, their connection with the programme and the means by which they wish to receive a response to their suggestion or complaint. Within a maximum period of 7 calendar days, the Technical Secretariat will inform the applicant of the actions taken in relation to the suggestion or complaint. The Secretariat keeps a file of the suggestions or complaints received by post or e-mail, as well as the actions taken to deal with them.

Academic and scientific production and its dissemination

This aspect includes all forms of scientific or academic production, understood as the generation of knowledge resulting from the activities carried out under the programme, and its availability to third parties. The information system designed makes it possible to know the publications made, the contributions to scientific-professional meetings, and the scientific-technical documents registered in the industrial or intellectual property.

Job placement of students graduating from the programme and satisfaction with the training they have received

The survey of graduates is carried out one year after the student has finished the corresponding programme and allows us to find out their satisfaction with the training received and their employment situation, the type of work they do and their degree of job satisfaction.
In addition to this survey, the more informal contact with graduates is also very important. This contact provides very interesting information on the labour market insertion of the graduates in the programme.
You can contact us at the following email:

Where we are

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería
Agronómica, Alimentaria y de Biosistemas

Campus Ciudad Universitaria
Avenida Puerta de Hierro, 2 - 4
28040 Madrid, Spain

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Schools and Department

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica, Alimentaria y de Biosistemas
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería  de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural
Grupo de Investigación Gesplan
Grupo de Investigación Silvanet

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Collaborating institutions

IPMA International Project Management Association
Asociación Española de Dirección e Ingeniería de Proyectos
Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura
Università degli Studi di Catania
University College Cork
Sup Agro Montpellier
Wageningen University and Research