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Course content

MSc Management Economics and Consumer Studies

The Management, Economics and Consumer Studies programme deals with the interrelationships between producers, consumers and society-at-large. We offer specialisations for students with a Social Sciences background as well as a technical Life Sciences background.

Programme summary

During the programme, students will study the dynamics in the agro-food chain involving suppliers, producers, retailers and consumers; focusing on how they affect each other and how they affect, and are affected by, the economy and society. The domain of this programme is business and all the components of industry including production, distribution and final use or consumption. It covers managerial, economic, sociological and environmental aspects – internal and external – of households and businesses in the Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world, in both developed and developing countries.


Within the MSc Management Economics and Consumer Studies you can choose from four specialisations. Each specialisation trains you to become an expert in that field.

Management Studies
This specialisation includes several options. Students can investigate and analyse the strategies and operations of companies in production and distribution networks as well as the dynamic decision-making processes involved in production. Alternatively, you may choose to focus on the various aspects of marketing and consumer behaviour in business, agribusiness and the food industry. It is also possible to acquire expertise in facility management, information systems, operations research (logistics), information management or quantitative decision modelling.

Consumer Studies
This specialisation allows you to study the behaviour, lifestyles and consumption patterns of consumers and households. Students will acquire insight into the economic and sociological aspects of consumers and households, and the factors determining consumption behaviour and patterns. Alternatively, the role of communication between the various actors in the food chain or consumer technology can be studied.

Economics, Environment and Governance
Students analyse the economic behaviour of various participants in the agricultural sector and rural areas in developed countries or study the pivotal role of agricultural and rural development in low-income countries. You can also specialise in Public Administration and Policy if you are interested in the governance of complex problems in domains of sustainable agriculture, climate change or water management. If students are more interested in environmental issues, they can focus on the economic or policy aspects of national and international environmental problems or the processes of environmentally-induced social change in modern industrial and developing societies.

Management, Innovation and Life Sciences
The goal of this specialisation, especially designed for students with a life science background, is to integrate technical and managerial knowledge. Examples of how this interaction can be of optimal use are complex innovation processes in production, logistics or market development. These processes have a high technological character in which innovation plays a central role and for which good communication and managerial skills are necessary. Three different profiles can be studied within this specialisation: innovation management, innovation in decision support and economics, and innovation in operations management.

Your future career

Graduates have career prospects as managers, consultants, researchers and teachers in the public or private sector. Career opportunities are found within financial institutions, marketing agencies or in the field of consumer affairs. Also, alumni work as policy makers in government agencies or non-profit organisations, in development and innovation in life science related businesses or organisations.

Alumnus Bart Zwartjes.
Innovate a new chip flavour, assist in expanding an encyclopedia made by consumers (Wikipedia), or write a review of a purchased product. These are just a few examples of co-creating as a consumer. Co-creation is a joint effort by company and consumer and companies have a lot to gain by this. Namely, 50-70% of all product innovations fail at market entry. Co-creation allows companies to offer products and services that meet consumer needs better. But why would consumers spend their free time helping out companies? Currently Bart works as a consultant for Cap-Gemini advising businesses on how to make successful use of co-creation.

Related programmes:
MSc International Development Studies
MSc Food Quality Management
MSc Applied Communication Science
Health and Society (specialisation)
MSc Development and Rural Innovation.

Visit the MSc Management Economics and Consumer Studies page on the Wageningen University & Research website for more details!






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