The European Master’s programme in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Policy Analysis (AFEPA) aims at providing a high quality education in designing and assessing public policies targeted to the agricultural and food sector as well as the rural environment. This Master’s programme responds to the increasing need to better understand and anticipate the various and often complex socio-economic and environmental effects of these policies either in a functioning market economy as in the European Union or in economies in a development or transition phase. The AFEPA programme offers a two-year academic curriculum with integrated and advanced theoretical, methodological and empirical courses in economics and quantitative methods as well as in agricultural, food and environmental sciences, agricultural and trade policy, environmental and natural resource policy, rural development policy and agribusiness management and market analysis. To connect theory and methodology to practice, a problem solving project is developed and presented as a master thesis at the end of the two-year curriculum.
The AFEPA progamme is jointly organised by four main partner European universities: the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) in Milano, Italy, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Sweden, the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn (UBonn) in Germany, and the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium. The partnership also includes three associated partners: the Pontifica Universidad Catolica (PUC) in Chile, the University of Alberta (UAlberta – pending to final approval) in Canada and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Spain. These seven partner universities are recognised worldwide for the quality of their educational programme and scientific achievements in agricultural, environmental and economic sciences.
The 120 ECTS credit points required to obtain the Master’s degree of the AFEPA programme are structured into three blocks: a minimum of two semesters of studies (55 ECTS) at a first main partner university, as well as two semesters of studies (60 ECTS) at a second main partner university, and two joint summer schools (5 ECTS) at partner universities. Some of the ECTS credits can also be earned from an associated partner university during the second academic year of the programme.
The language of instruction and examination is English for most of the courses in the partner universities. Some of the courses at UCL are taught in French while all the courses at PUC are taught in Spanish. At UCL it is, however, possible to establish an academic programme of courses that are all taught in English.
The resulting Master’s degree is awarded as either a double or a single degree from the AFEPA main partner universities.
This European Master’s programme is accessible to candidates holding a bachelor degree or a recognized equivalent academic degree with a minimum of 180 ECTS or 3 years university study from an accredited institution, with sufficient undergraduate training in economics and agricultural or environmental sciences, with an excellent scholastic average and with fluency in English. Knowledge of the local language at any of the European universities is not a requirement but can be an advantage as it facilitates every-day life at the local universitiy and provides more choices of courses to take. Knowledge of Spanish when attending PUC is, however, a requirement.
Recipients of the Master’s degree of the AFEPA programme are well qualified to understand the fundamentals of public policies oriented to the agricultural and food sector, rural areas and natural resources, develop and use quantitative methods to perform rigorous socio-economic and environmental assessment of these public policies, and provide sound and relevant policy recommendations for a more sustainable development of this sector and rural areas. They are qualified to take responsibilities in international, national and regional agencies, non-governmental organisations, consultancy firms, professional organisations and private companies.
Main area: Social sciences (including economics)
Second area: Agricultural and forestry sciences
Third area: Geography, earth and environmental studies