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1997 - 2017
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© TU München (TUM)
© TU München (TUM)
© TU München (TUM)

Program at a Glance

Degree name: Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Description:  Life Science Economics and Policy
Duration 4 semesters, full time study; 120 ECTS-credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System)
Course structure: 10 compulsory courses, 6 elective courses, 1 excursion, research project or internship, colloquium, and thesis
Language: English
Campus: Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany

Is this program for me?

Are you interested in agriculture, the biological sciences, economics, and how they integrate in policies and regulations for industry and government; in regulatory affairs; in research; in topics like globalisation and food security; or are you planning a career in the corporate life sciences? Are you passionate about innovation, solving challenging problems, or risk management? If yes, then this program will equip you for the above.

Possible employment opportunities are: a specialist leadership position such as Regulatory Affairs in industry (e.g. food processing, biotechnology), or in international organisations such as: the World Bank; the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); the European Commission (EC); the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), or as a consultant, or a researcher in an academic or private institution.

Why the program?

Background
The life science sector, inclusive of agriculture, food processing, and biotechnology, provides us with, inter alia, food and beverages, and raw materials for clothing and energy. Global challenges like food security, climate change, environmental degradation, and the growing demand for energy, food and raw materials require innovative solutions with appropriate regulatory frameworks and policies.
The globalisation of the world economy and the trend of increased vertical integration within value chains have increased the demand by firms for employees who have the skills to assess the impacts of changing policy frameworks and standards on their markets.

Proficiency in English is essential for employees to work in this international environment.

The answer
The M.Sc. Life Science Economics and Policy integrates issues of economics and policy with the life sciences, and equips graduates with in-depth knowledge to work on important challenges, some examples of which are described below.

  • Determine the impacts on society and the environment of regulatory policies of the natural sciences.
  • Independently analyse the economic impacts of policy changes, and present them to the public in an easy-to-understand format.
  • Evaluate and develop company strategies in response to changes in policy frameworks.
  • Evaluate the economic outcomes of new policies, and make policy recommendations.
  • Independently formulate research questions and translate them into research projects to find answers to these inquiries.

Learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes are strived for: a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles of research methods; economic theory and modelling; data collection and analysis; and of the latest developments in contemporary research. Social competencies and skills are developed to equip graduates to operate with self-confidence in their future professions.

How is the program structured?

The program runs for four consecutive semesters. It starts in the winter semester with courses covering a broad spectrum of topics that form the program’s foundation, culminating in the fourth semester with the colloquium and thesis. Apart from the compulsory courses, there is a wide choice of electives in both the social and natural sciences. The program’s basic structure is outlined below.

First (winter) semester: 4 compulsory courses; 1 elective.

Second (summer) semester: 4 compulsory courses - 1 is the excursion - and 2 electives.

Third (winter) semester: 2 compulsory courses - 1 of which is either a research project or an internship - and 4 electives.

Fourth (final summer) semester: thesis and colloquium.

Compulsory vs. elective courses

Please note: of the 7 electives, students must choose at least 2 courses from each of the social sciences and the natural sciences; students may also choose 1 elective outside of these fields (e.g. German as a foreign language).

For examples of possible subject choice combinations, please consult the program’s website.

Which courses are offered?

Compulsory courses

  • Life Science Economics & Policy
  • Agribusiness Governance
  • Human Resource Management for Agriculture & Related Industries
  • International Commodity Markets & Trade Policy
  • International Environmental Policy & Conflict Resolution
  • Production & Risk Management
  • Value Chain Economics
  • Applied Statistics & Econometrics
  • Mathematics for Economists & Business

Electives from the social sciences (at least 2 must be chosen)

  • Advanced Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
  • Consumer Economics & Policy
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Development Economics
  • Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
  • Food Economics
  • Organizational Behavior, Theory, & Development
  • Network Analysis & Management
  • Research Project International Horticultural Science: Economics & Management
  • Regulatory Economics & Policy
  • Sustainability Marketing & Sustainable Consumption

Electives from the natural sciences (at least 2 must be chosen)

  • Agriculture Technology Systems
  • Aquatic Ecology & Conservation*
  • Fisheries Management*
  • Beverage Engineering
  • Energy Conservation & Alternative Energy Resources
  • Functional Food
  • Host – Parasite Interaction
  • Land Use Systems from a Global Perspective
  • Material Flow Management & Application
  • Modeling, Sensing & Control in Life Science Applications
  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Plant Breeding & Seed Production
  • Quality of Food Crops
  • Transgenic Livestock in Agriculture & Biomedicine

* Must be taken together as they are half courses

Exchange programs

Students have the opportunity of completing a semester at an international, partner university. The details of such a voluntary arrangement are published on our website.

What are the admission requirements?

The educational requirement is an above average qualification in one of the following in the social- or natural sciences: Bachelor’s, “Diplom” or Master’s degree, or the equivalent. Applicants are expected to have the following commensurate basic knowledge in economics and business administration: micro- and macroeconomics, accountancy, marketing and strategic management, and proven proficiency in English.

For more information please visit the program's website. 
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