Programme Structure

The 120 ECTS credits required to obtain the Master’s degree of the AFEPA programme are structured into three blocks:

  • a minimum of two semesters of studies (60 ECTS credits) at a first main partner university
  • two semesters of studies (54 ECTS credits) at a second main partner university (including Master thesis)
  • two joint summer schools (6 ECTS) at partner universities

Major / Minor
Besides the mandatory courses of 30 ECTS credits in theory and methods, optional courses can be selected to form a major of 30 ECTS credits or a minor of 15 ECTS credits in the following thematic fields:

  • Agri-food and trade policy
  • Environmental and natural resource policy
  • Agribusiness and market analysis
  • Market and consumer research
  • Development policy

An internship at an associated non-academic partner organization between or during the first or second year of study can also be taken for a 6 to 15 ECTS credits depending on the main partner university.

The language of instruction is:

  • English for: all the courses at SLU, UBonn and UCSC, most of the courses at UCLouvain and UPC
  • French for: some of the courses at UCLouvain
  • Spanish for: most of the courses at PUC

Examination can be organized in English at all partners.

A full list of all courses can be found here.
The core courses provide the students with a shared background in microeconomics (including consumer theory, producer theory, general equilibrium theory and welfare economics) and quantitative methods (including statistics and econometrics).
The optional courses broaden and deepen the students’ empirical and theoretical knowledge directly relevant for the economic analysis of agricultural, food and environmental policy issues.
Supplementary courses may be in any other discipline recognized by the AFEPA Management Board to deepen or broaden the academic curriculum. Examples of such courses are Ethics, Environmental Law, Trade Law, Finance, Public Policy, Sociology, Statistics and Geographic Information System courses. Language courses are recognized with a maximum of 5 ECTS credits.
The Master’s thesis shall draw on and deepen subjects covered in the courses of the AFEPA programme. It has to be submitted and presented orally by the student at the end of the second year of studies. Students may adopt a theoretical or empirical approach, but are encouraged to address a concrete policy issue. Students can spend a shorter exchange study period (one quarter) for writing their thesis as part of their second academic year. The master thesis topic needs to be in correspondence with the 2nd year university if a associated academic partner is involved.

Both at the end of first and second years all Master’s students are gathered at one of the partner universities for a summer school consisting of a two-week programme of presentations, workshops, lectures and field trips. During the first summer school (at the end of the first academic year) students present in English a tentative research proposal for their Master thesis. This research proposal contains a research question with some specific testable hypotheses, a method to test these hypotheses, the dataset that would be eventually used, the anticipated results and conclusions, an outline of the thesis and a bibliography. On this basis students are allocated a thesis supervisor at the institution where they spend the last semester of their master programme. In addition one member of the faculty at one of the other participating institutions is associated with the thesis project. Students have thus the opportunity to receive comments and suggestions from at least two faculty members as the work on their thesis progresses.