This MSc course will give participants a deeper understanding of co-operatives, sustainable development and the agri-food system. This is a unique course, with a very strong practical emphasis and will equip participants with the organisational and management skills needed to make innovative contributions to the development of local economies, with particular emphasis on co-operatives, social enterprises and food businesses in Ireland and overseas. It is aimed at graduates from a wide range of disciplines who wish to pursue careers in sustainable development and innovative practice leading to positions in the food sector (ranging from local food enterprises to large multi-nationals), local and international rural development, shared and collaborative economy, NGOs, innovative community businesses including co-operatives and social enterprises, local and regional enterprise development, corporate social responsibility, policy formulation and analysis.
The MSc in Co-operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development is delivered over 12 months and includes a placement opportunity.
This course is the only one year Masters of its kind which fully integrates co-operative approaches into the study of sustainable development and agri-food. It is especially practical, both in work placements and in the skills you learn. It will prepare you to work in organisations that deal with current and future socio-economic and environmental challenges including climate change, collaborative economies, and sustainable rural communities.
Participants can complete their Practice-Based Research Project either in Ireland or abroad, depending on their interests.
Graduates can expect to work in Co-ops and other third sector organisations (e.g. social enterprises, voluntary organisations, charities); international, non-governmental (NGOs) and business development organisations; Rural development policy and support (e.g. animation); consultancy (in agri-food, rural development, third sector); local economic development/enterprise development staff through local authorities and consultancies; local food marketing and branding; corporate social responsibility roles in food and other industries.
Occupations associated with [MSc Co-Operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development]
Research, Policy advisory roles, Local food marketing, local and international development roles, corporate social responsibility roles, co-operative advisory role as well as management.
What are our graduates doing?
Graduates can expect to work in a wide range of areas such as agri-food businesses (including co-operatives and artisan food enterprises), local government, NGOs (Irish and International), consultancy, research and policy analysis, social enterprise and local development agencies (e.g. LEADER).
Cattolica’s Cremona campus (part of Piacenza-Cremona campus) boasts one of the world’s most renowned teams of Agriculture academics, scientists and researchers; a team at the forefront of food innovation and technology, whose expertise extends to developing tracking systems for any product transported across the European Union. If you would like to study for a graduate qualification in the world’s fastest growing industry, then a beautiful city in the heart of the Italian food valley will open your doors to the world.
The Agricultural and Food Economics program will prepare students to analyze the Agri-food system and to operate in the various functional areas of businesses and organizations. The program will develop your professional knowledge and skills with regards to:
● Analyzing traditional problems relating to agricultural markets and food, evaluating the implications of Agri-food and commercial policies
● Managing the liberalization processes and rules of free competition also within an international context
● Analyzing the behavior of final consumers with respect to agricultural and food products
● Understanding the different sectors of the Agri-food system, the vertical relations and the coordination of the various phases of the system (e.g. agriculture, food processing, and food retailing)
● Managing emerging issues in agricultural and food production, including the safety of foodstuffs and the environmental impact of agricultural activities, the role of quality, information and traceability, the management of technical innovations, in particular biotechnology, and of the industrialization of agriculture
● Dealing with corporate and logistical problems that affect business functions according to the peculiarities of agri- business companies.
Graduates from the Agricultural and Food Economics program have various professional openings in:
● Agri-food corporations (multinational food companies, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), retail chains)
● Professional associations of agricultural and food companies service and consultancy firms for agricultural and food companies
● Entrepreneurial activities
● Academic or applied research
● International organizations
First year credits
● Management basics (8 ECTS/CFU)
● Technology for food health and safety:
○ Principles of food protection (5 ECTS/CFU)
○ Principles of food hygiene (5 ECTS/CFU)
● Economic fundamentals of the Agri-food system:
○ Economics of the Agri-food system (6 ECTS/CFU)
○ Agricultural and food legislation (4 ECTS/CFU)
● Quantitative methods:
○ Applied statistics for the Agri-food system (6 ECTS/CFU)
○ Applied agricultural and food economics (6 ECTS/CFU)
● Industrial organization (8 ECTS/CFU)
● Financial accounting and business evaluation (6 ECTS/ CFU)
● Seminar on Theological issues
Second year credits:
● Agricultural and food market institutions (6 ECTS/CFU)
● Agricultural and food marketing (6 ECTS/CFU)
● Economics of agricultural and food markets (8 ECTS/CFU)
● Business planning and control (6 ECTS/CFU)
● Strategy and leadership (6 ECTS/CFU)
● Optional courses:Suggested optional courses:
● Topics in Agricultural and Food Economics I (4 ECTS/CFU)
● Topics in Agricultural and Food Economics II (4 ECTS/CFU)
● Cultura e Lingua Italiana (Italian Culture and Language) (only for non-Italian students) (2 ECTS/CFU)
Selected students can attend one or two semesters in the following partner universities:
● Technische Universität München
● University of California, Davis
● University of Connecticut
● North Dakota State University
● Iowa State University
● Wageningen University
Cremona is located in the Lombardy Region, which in itself has over 53,000 agricultural businesses and contributes €113 billion to the Agri-food industry revenue. It is also the most advanced region in Italy with regards to biotechnology, with 78 companies operating in the sector.
The course is organized by SMEA Postgraduate School at Università Cattolica. The School has almost 30 years of experience in graduate education, advanced scientific research and extension, in the field of agricultural and food economics and business.
Studying Agricultural and Food Econom- ics in Cremona will give you the precious opportunity to combine the high stan- dard education delivered by our faculty and the managerial approach developed during internships and seminars with distinguished agribusiness company managers. Graduates from the Agricultural and Food Economics program have various professional openings in:
Università Cattolica offers its students the opportunity to study abroad, both during regular terms and the summer. Our exchange and summer programs allow students to earn credits while studying abroad in one of Cattolica’s prestigious partner institutions.
The Rome Business School’s Master in Agribusiness Management is the ideal academic course for professionals seeking a world-class degree programme in these disciplines, leading to a successful global career in the agro network field (production, seed and crop, harvest and stock in agriculture, market of commodities, food supply chain, food and wine business).
With the Rome Business School’s international perspective, the programme offers a unique learning experience and a global professional exposure, enabling participants to study in one of the best cities of the world or online. The programme’s quality teaching and networking services all contribute to make it the perfect fit for anyone who is looking to rise to the top in the world of farming, food production, or in the start-up agribusiness system.
In particular, on completing the programme, participants will be able to:
- Understand the characteristics and trends of the agri-food market and the role played by the farmers, industrialists, and their representatives in the organizations.
- Recognize the intersection of agribusiness with other areas of economic and social concern, such as economic development and new ways of production and business diversification (organic farming, biofuel, biogas, circular economy, etc…).
- Identify and manage the characteristics of the main food businesses and develop effective managerial strategies.
- Develop a comprehensive business plan for agri-food corporations.
- Utilize the most advanced marketing techniques to promote businesses and organizations.
- Manage the financial dimensions related to agricultural activities.
- Understand and utilize project management techniques for agricultural businesses.
- Manage the agri-food supply chain.
- Learn about the start-up ecosystem related to agribusiness.
- Master the use of new technologies within farmer or industrialist organizations and the most advanced production tools and channel.
- Learn about the international organizations operating in the agribusiness sector and the international policies and support linked to this economic sector.
- Meet farmers or food producers that changed their companies by taking new and radical approaches.
The Rome Business School’s Master’s Degree in Agribusiness Management is structured in:
- 6 months of Lectures + Additional Activities
- 6 months of project work
- Company visits