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Master in

Agro-food marketing

Next edition: 1st part: 25 September 2017 – 1 June 2018 / 2nd part: September 2018 – June 2019

Master in

Agro-food marketing

Next edition: 1st part: 25 September 2017 – 1 June 2018 / 2nd part: September 2018 – June 2019

Interest of this Master

Agro-food marketing, in constant evolution, plays a vital role in the outcome and the coordination of business policies and management processes within the agro-food system. Agro-food marketing is also a fundamental threshold in economic development and its scope greatly increases as economic development and consumer incomes rise. Inappropriate marketing structures for agricultural and food products and the lack of up-to-date information about modern marketing techniques, both in the food industries and in the public sector, has been one of the causes limiting development in many geographical areas.

Although in many cases this economic sector has not been treated separately from other economic sectors, some unique economic and policy features of the agro-food sector require special expertise.

New trends in food production and consumption are greatly influencing marketing strategies. Nowadays the knowledge of the consumer preferences and attitudes is of outstanding importance, and food quality and safety is not just a requirement but an opportunity for adding value and differentiating products. Furthermore the environmental considerations and the development of new products are becoming increasingly relevant for improving competitiveness and reaching new markets. All these changes are taking place in a framework of globalization and within the scope of the possibilities offered by current information and communication systems.

This Master presents a global vision of the marketing components adapted to the agro-food sector, and integrates the most recent developments of business marketing principles applied to food products with traditional agricultural commodity marketing, placing special emphasis on the international dimension of strategies.

The programme is delivered in an international and interprofessional environment, with a large number of experts from different countries and prestigious public and private institutions in the field of agro-food marketing invited to participate as lecturers, thus enriching the content of the programme and guaranteeing the exchange of ideas and points of view.

The Master has an essentially applied orientation, with numerous practical training activities so as to acquire valuable skills for professional and scientific activity in the speciality. The specialization profile of this degree enables students to undertake technical responsibilities in this domain as well as to perform high-level scientific research.

This Master learning objectives are to provide:

  • The theoretical elements of marketing, and skills in the use of the most modern tools and methods applicable to this discipline, taking into account the particularities of the agro-food sector and its institutional and political environment.
  • Criteria and aptitudes to integrate the different components of a marketing programme and to value the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of strategies and methods that, according to the economic objectives and different institutional and market situations, may increase companies’ profit and competitiveness and satisfy consumer needs.
  • Capacity to design, implement and assess agro-food marketing programmes, and to advise companies or public institutions in conducting market research projects and formulating marketing strategies, paying special attention to those of international scope.
  • Experience in planning and carrying out a work of initiation to research in agro-food marketing whose results may be potentially publishable, working under the supervision of a tutor but in a manner that must be largely autonomous.
  • Mastering of the scientific and technical information underpinning the research conducted, command of the techniques and methodologies relevant to such research, and capacity to objectively evaluate the significance of its results and conclusions.
  • Skills to communicate the reasoning and conclusions of tutored work carried out in a group or autonomously, to prepare informative and summary papers, and to prepare and present oral communications delivered and defended before an audience.
  • Aptitudes and attitudes for multidisciplinary and intercultural teamwork.

Outcome profile
Upon completion of the Master, as a specialist in agro-food marketing, the student will have career opportunities in: marketing departments of agro-food industries; technical advisory services to industries, farmer cooperatives and producers on planning and developing marketing strategies;  administration services; research teams of universities, research centres and businesses.

Information on the students
The students of this Master proceed mainly from CIHEAM member countries (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey), although they may come from other parts of the world, in particular, Europe and Latin America.

In the last 10 editions of the Master 243 students from 32 countries have participated:

  • Mediterranean countries, members of CIHEAM: Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey
  • Other Mediterranean countries: Palestine, Syria
  • Latin American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
  • Other countries: Ghana, Indonesia, Mauritania

Characteristics and organization

The State of Spain has awarded this Master of Science Degree the equivalence with the official Master Degree of the Spanish university system (Spanish Official Gazette BOE dated 21 November 2006 and BOE dated 20 February 2007) within the framework of the European Space for Higher Education. This Master has a clear international character and it has been on offer since 1987, its contents being updated and revised for each new edition.

Duration, mode and study regime

The Master has a duration of two years (120 ECTS) and is delivered on a face-to-face mode, full time basis. The Master begins every second year, so candidates may only register every two years.

The credit system follows the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), where one credit equals 25 workload hours (including lectures, practical work, tutorials, preparing and sitting examinations, and personal and group work). The total workload hours per academic year is 1500.

In order to access the second part of the Master, it is necessary to have passed the first one with a mark of 70 out of 100 or above and submit an experimental protocol duly endorsed by the tutor to the IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission of the Master.

The period between registration to the first part of the Master and the Master of Science awarding date may not exceed four years. In exceptional, and duly justified cases, special exemptions may be granted.

Scientific direction and academic co-ordination

The Master scientific direction is performed by Luis Miguel Albisu (Agro-food Economics and Natural Resources Department of the Agro-food Research and Technology Centre of the Autonomous Government of Aragon).

The Master programme avails of a technical coordinator (Mario Anamaría) belonging to the IAMZ staff, who is in charge of supervising all those aspects related to the Master development and daily follow-up of the programme. The coordinator deals with the students’ suggestions and claims, acting as liaison between them, the scientific director, the lecturers, the IAMZ administration and the IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission of the Master.

Lecturers are assigned a time devoted to tutorials and clarification of doubts during their lecturing period. IAMZ facilitates anytime the contact between them and the students throughout the programme, even when they are no longer present physically.

For the marketing projects of the first part of the Master students are assigned tutors who supervise the development of the projects, advise them in the definition of the work plan, as well as in the choice and implementation of tools and methodologies, support them to contact sources of information and experts, and guide them in the preparation of presentations for each stage of the project.

Students, if they request so, are assessed by the scientific director of the Master, the technical co-ordinator and the IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission of the Master on the choice of the research work to be carried out during the second part of the Master, as well as on the choice of the research project director and the most appropriate institution for this activity. IAMZ also proposes topics related to its cooperative research activities or other topics of interest previously arranged with collaborating institutions.

While carrying out the research work, each student has the guidance and advice of the research project director, who must be a PhD of acknowledged prestige in the topic chosen.

Competences of this Degree

General competences

  • GC1 Integrating scientific and technical knowledge and applying them discerningly.
  • GC2 Performing scientific and/or technical information searches and processing them selectively.
  • GC3 Analyzing results or strategies and elaborating conclusions which contribute to clarify the problems and to find possible solutions.
  • GC4 Making decisions and generating new ideas and knowledge in complex systems.
  • GC5 Learning and working autonomously, responding to unforeseen situations and re-aiming a strategy if necessary.
  • GC6 Team-working and promoting exchange and collaboration attitudes with other students, researchers and professionals.
  • GC7 Communicating reasoning and conclusions both to a general audience and to a specialized public.
  • GC8 Writing presentations and synthesis, preparing and presenting oral communications, and defending them in public.

Specific competences

  • SC1 Understanding agricultural production in economic terms and mastering the concepts of supply, demand and price determination in agro-food markets.
  • SC2 Knowing the main international market theories and current trends in international agro-food marketing.
  • SC3 Building and using econometric models enabling the analysis of agro-food markets behaviour.
  • SC4 Using current information and communication systems to improve marketing strategies.
  • SC5 Identifying public and private institutions involved in agro-food markets and assessing the existing agro-food policies and possible derived incentives for the marketing of agro-food products.
  • SC6 Integrating food safety, labelling and product quality in marketing plans, considering the regulations established by agro-food policies at international and national levels.
  • SC7 Mastering the concepts, components and phases of marketing and its specific application to agro-food products.
  • SC8 Analysing consumer behaviour and carrying out market research studies selecting the most appropriate methodologies according to the specific objectives of research.
  • SC9 Establishing relevant product policies and pricing strategies, planning and developing advertising campaigns, and determining good distribution schemes to obtain competitive advantages.
  • SC10 Understanding the key factors for success in innovation management, and gaining experience in the practice of idea generation and new product development.
  • SC11 Evaluating marketing programmes and being able to provide guidance to improve their outputs and efficiency.
  • SC12 Planning marketing strategies and projects that may be useful to agro-food companies to increase competitiveness and business development in domestic and international markets.
  • SC13 Planning research projects, determining their objectives and the various stages to accomplish.
  • SC14 Assessing the suitability of methods and techniques potentially applicable to a research project previously determined within the scope of agro-food marketing and knowing how to use the most relevant techniques.
  • SC15 Designing and implementing the necessary experiments for research in agro-food marketing, obtaining and analysing the results and drawing conclusions assessing their significance.

Syllabus

The programme of the Master is structured in two parts. The first part (60 ECTS) is professionally oriented and comprises lectures, practicals, case studies, personal and group work and study, and technical visits to firms and institutions belonging to the agro-food sector. This part is delivered by guest lecturers of acknowledged experience from international institutions and universities, research centres and companies from different countries. The second part (60 ECTS) focuses on initiation to research, applying discerningly the knowledge, skills and competences acquired in the first part of the Master to the tackling of real issues related to agro-food marketing. This part of the Master is carried out at prestigious universities, research centres or companies, generally in Spain or the student’s country of origin, under the supervision of a research project director, who must be a PhD with experience and reputation in the research topic.

To see each Unit programme in detail, please refer to the section Syllabus and Study guide.

First part of the programme

Unit 1. Supply, demand and prices of agricultural products (5 ECTS)
Analyses agricultural producer behaviour explained by the neoclassical economic theory. Production is studied, with special emphasis on short and long term costs. Special attention is given to profit maximization, competitive supply and competitive marketing equilibrium. Empirical estimation of elasticities and case studies are provided. The theory and methods required to specify and estimate consumer demand relationships are also presented. Important items are the foundations of the neoclassical theory and the properties of the demand functions. Empirical analysis of demand is presented based on time series demand analyses and household budget studies. Finally, the theoretical framework for price discovery and determination analyses in agricultural markets are studied. Spatial price variations are examined in detail, as well as agricultural prices over time and the theory of marketing margins. Empirical cost studies and marketing efficiency analyses provide applications to the theory.

Unit 2. International trade and modelling of agricultural products (5 ECTS)
In this Unit, through a theoretical framework of international trade, the main theories and present trends of agro-food international trade are explained. Various aspects are addressed in further detail, such as the framework for trade liberalization and WTO negotiations on agro-food issues. The Unit also presents the potential of modern information and communication systems for agro-food marketing and possibilities for its utilization. The alternatives in technology and information/communication system designs are reviewed. Other issues are the linkages between management approaches, information needs and system implementation, and the principles of electronic data exchange systems. Finally, models for agricultural products are studied through a systematic approach to analyze market behaviour. Main steps covered are the identification of the economic structure, forecasting and policy analysis. The process of the econometric model building is studied: problem identification, model specification, data gathering and estimation, verification (and re-specification) and application of the model.

Unit 3. Agro-food market structure and policies (8 ECTS)
The Unit includes two main topics: the agro-food system and its institutions, and Agro-food policy.
Concerning the first topic, the role of agro-food chains within agro-food systems are analyzed. The main components are exposed and issues such as consumer responses, transparency and value chain are dealt with more detail. A good number of issues applied to developed as well as developing countries are provided. The main elements characterizing agro-food market globalization are addressed. Within this framework the role of agro-food marketing components are analysed, both for large firms and for small firms that are beginning to go international in their activities. Strategies deserve special attention as well as the global consumption trends, distribution and agro industrial processing. The characteristics and roles of major institutions that have become an important part of the agricultural marketing systems are analyzed. The major institutions include private sector firms of various sizes and types, cooperatives, futures markets as well as government agencies that provide services, rules or facilities. An exam of institutional settings is made to facilitate the analysis of actual markets in order to identify potential opportunities for business firms, farmers, farm organizations and government agencies. The importance of institutions in the agro-food market dynamics of developing countries is exposed, as well as how their absence or their failures influence these dynamics. Furthermore, the important role of professional and inter-professional associations and their impact on developing countries is presented. Case studies are offered covering cooperatives, consumer associations and firm’s exporting strategies.
Concerning the second topic, a vision of policies related with agricultural products, and in particular the Common Agriculture Policy, is offered. Agricultural developments of other parts of the world are also shown, particularly the case of developed countries. Aspects that may be more relevant in the future are also presented. Current trends in food policy are then presented. A large number of issues that influence the evolution of food safety and its regulation are discussed, as well as sanitary and phytosanitary measures of agro-food products trade. Furthermore, the constant increase in consumer demand for quality is also addressed. Finally, methods are presented to value the benefits of incorporating quality assurance processes in firms.

Unit 4. Marketing and market research (9 ECTS)
The Unit includes two main topics: Consumer behaviour and market research, and Survey analysis and multivariate techniques in market research.
Concerning the first topic, an introduction to marketing applied to agro-food products is given. The starting point is the definition of marketing and concepts related with marketing objectives, strategies and the marketing mix. Different scenarios are presented both for sectors and for firms. Consumer behaviour is analysed from the traditional standpoint to the most modern theories. Neoclassical theory is the starting point, addressing both economic and non-economic factors. Different updated models are presented, incorporating dimensions related with convenience, nutrition and health, as well as food safety. The basic principles of research techniques are then studied: qualitative (observation, focus group interviews, etc.) and quantitative through surveys and panels. Market experimentation is also provided. All the procedure is presented from information analysis and interpretation to reports preparation.
Concerning the second topic, techniques are covered, starting with the simplest sampling techniques and going on to explore the more sophisticated methods. Elaboration of questionnaires covers a large part of this topic, as well as their relation with the types of analysis. Sampling for experimental economics and for the analysis of artificial markets is also analysed. Students carry out practical work on determining sample size and discussing different survey examples. The theory and the application of multivariate techniques according to data properties and research objectives are also analyzed. The techniques studied are: factor analysis, cluster analysis, non-metric multidimensional scaling, discriminant analysis and conjoint analysis, each with their respective applications and interpretation of results. Students carry out computers practicals to analyse data properties and apply different multivariate techniques.

Unit 5. Programming the marketing mix (8 ECTS)
The Unit includes two main topics: Product and pricing policies, and Promotion, distribution and logistics of food products.
Concerning the first topic, an overview of product and product range decisions, within marketing policy, and the influence of structural changes in food retailing and consumer preferences are provided. Product policy within the marketing system is studied, as well as the objectives of product policy decisions, which involve the type of product and its life cycle, product evaluation and the development of new products, their importance and stages for their creation. Product range decisions are exposed with respect to quality, packaging and branding. The objectives and the factors influencing price determination are also analysed, such as organizational objectives (financial, marketing, competitive, product differentiation), costs, marketing mix strategies, competition, intermediaries, customers, considering that price is one of the most visible variables.
Concerning the second topic, the economic theory and the application of commodity advertising and promotion programmes are analyzed in first place, with greater emphasis on generic advertising. An overview of generic advertising is given, covering the structure for this type of advertising, tools needed to study checkoff programmes, types of commodity programme, target audiences, programme intensities and methods to evaluate their impact. Students carry out practical work analysing advertising elements used in real case studies. Regarding the branded food product (that is closely related to consumer behaviour and lifestyle, geographical origin, relative prices and the search for information, consumer decision-making, evaluation and learning) the following are studied: brand loyalty, role of brand strategies, portfolio of brands, co-brands, the relationship between brands and the product, the buyer and the company. Distribution functions (exchange, physical and facilitating functions), distribution decision making and strategies are then analysed. Special care is given to the institutionalization of the distribution process affecting producers, wholesalers and retailers. The structures and evolution of marketing channels are exposed. The growing importance of e-market and communication is emphasized. Finally, the objectives and main components of logistic supply chains are dealt with. All the steps are analysed, from the network configuration, transportation, warehousing and inventory control to customer services. Strategies are presented whether they are related to production or time-based.

Unit 6. Marketing strategy and control (4 ECTS)
This Unit first addresses how the organization should define the nature of its activities in terms of the generic requirements of the target market. The strategic marketing management process is studied, considering financial objectives, strategic direction, product, swot analysis, market segmentation and product life-cycle. The Unit then gathers the theories and applications of product and process innovations to the agro-food industries. The product development process receives special attention covering the different models, key activities and technological implementation. The success factors and the organizations also receive careful analysis. An overview of the role of the manager and of sales management in agricultural organizations is provided, including support and implementation of the marketing functions. The basic theories and practical applications of sales management are discussed: the framework of sales management within the overall business, the role of leadership and motivation in management and marketing, and the aspects of managing team and individual performance to fulfil business goals. Students carry out practical work on the solving of case problems. Finally, the Unit gathers the framework for business diagnosis. It specifies all the contents, such as the control panel, the business environment, including the strategy, the mode of organisation, the systems and procedures, the productivity and the functions. Some items deserve special attention like the global business diagnosis, market share, marketing costs and marketing productivity.

Unit 7. International marketing and case studies of firms (6 ECTS)
This Unit begins with an overview of international markets, to cover immediately afterwards the determinants of export competitiveness, strategies for export marketing, organising firms for foreign sales and public issues. Motivation for firms to seek foreign sales, factors affecting stability of firm share of import markets and determinants of international comparative advantage are also presented. Inter- and intra-industry trade is thoroughly analysed. It provides a basis to present the determinants of international competitiveness, protocols and conventional practices, international marketing strategies and techniques, organization of multinational marketing enterprises and related public policy issues. Finally, the Unit aims to apply all the information and knowledge put together during the Course. The Galbraithian scenario of food distribution is applied to all cases. A diversity of cases are presented covering different industries, mostly multinationals but also of medium size firms. The students have to work in groups and present the cases that are discussed with the rest of the class. Likewise students work in groups with a simulation software to define best strategies for a firm to enlarge benefit and gain market share over its competitors.

Unit 8. Marketing project (15 ECTS)
Throughout the first part of the Master Students prepare, through team work, a market research project in one of the firms collaborating with the programme. The project is to study the possible solutions to the marketing problems set forth by these firms, in order to apply the teaching and techniques presented in the lectures to a defined market situation.

Second part of the programme

Unit 9. Introduction to research (30 ECTS)
This Unit provides the background knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for the planning and realization of research or professional projects in a given topic within the Master speciality. The topic is chosen according to the educational and professional interest of the student, and can take place in various universities, research centres and companies collaborating in this part of the programme. It is a practical professional placement in which the student, under the supervision of a tutor, works and learns autonomously and benefits from being included in a working team. Training focuses on understanding the scientific-technical objectives of the research or work carried out by the host team on the topic chosen for the research, on the handling of the tools and methods used by such team, on the identification of sources of knowledge relevant to the topic and on the effective planning of work.

Unit 10. Master’s final work (Master Thesis) (30 ECTS)
Represents the application of the training received to the production of an original research project on a specific topic, within the scope in which the student has performed the Unit "Introduction to research", and whose results are potentially publishable. The student is provided with training and supervision to master the application of techniques and methods selected for the research and for becoming able to objectively assess the significance of the results and conclusions obtained. Likewise, the student is endowed with the necessary training in order to produce a written document on the project carried out, and submit and orally defend the research results before a jury.

Schedule

First part of the Master (first academic year)

It usually starts at the beginning of October and finishes at the beginning of June. This part takes place during morning and afternoon, with two periods of vacation: Christmas (3 weeks) and Easter (2 weeks). The exact dates are determined each year according to the annual planning of the academic year and are announced in advance.

Units 1 to 7 are developed sequentially. Unit 8 “Marketing project” consists of the application of the training received in the different units of the first academic year and therefore takes place over the two semesters, the presentation and defence of the project being the last activity of the programme. To see the specific timetable for each Unit, please refer to the section Syllabus and Study guide.

Second part of the Master (second academic year)

The Units "Introduction to Research” and the Master’s final project (Master Thesis) are developed during the third and fourth semesters, amounting in total a maximum duration of 10 months. The “Introduction to research” usually begins in early September, although, depending on the Protocol established or the convenience of the tutor and the host institution, the starting date may be delayed or slightly brought forward, prior acceptance of the IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission of the Master. Since this second part of the programme occurs in the collaborating institutions (universities, research centres or companies), the working schedule and holiday calendar is adapted to the specific requirements of such institutions.

Languages

Before the beginning of the first part of the Master, during the months from July to September, an intensive Spanish language course is organized for those students who need it (for more details, please refer to the epigraph "Spanish language course", under the section Practical information for the students). To see the language knowledge specific requisites, please refer to the section Access, admission and scholarships.

In the first part of the programme, the lectures of Units 1 to 7 are mainly delivered in Spanish or English, although a small number of lectures are given in French. In the latter two cases, simultaneous interpretation is provided into Spanish. The handouts provided by the lecturers may also be written in Spanish or English. The exams can be taken either in Spanish, French or English. In Unit 8, the student teams write the project document in English or Spanish. The oral presentations and defence of the Unit may be performed either in Spanish, French or English.

In the second part of the programme, the tutored training is usually performed in Spanish, although by agreement between the students and the tutors and their working teams, this may be done in another language, especially when the training takes place abroad. The periodical reports may be sent in Spanish, French or English. The oral exam before the Jury may also be performed in Spanish, English or French. In Unit 10, the students may write the Thesis document and carry out the oral presentation and defence in any of the three languages: Spanish, English or French.

Lecturers of the first part of the Master

The quality of the lecturers guarantees high-level training and constant updating of topics. The diversity of their origin, both geographical and institutional, contributes to the dynamism of the courses and enables the students to contrast different theories, methods and results.

In the Master’s last edition, 35 lecturers from 8 different countries have participated, coming from:

Universities: France: AgroSup Dijon; Germany: Technische Universität München, University of Bonn; Morocco: IAV Hassan II; Spain: Universidad de Zaragoza, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universidad Pública de Navarra; United Kingdom: Newcastle University, Scotland's Rural College, The University of Manchester, University of Reading; United States: Cornell University, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas, University of California Davis, University of Connecticut, University of Florida, University of Illinois, University of Massachusetts, University of Missouri.

Research Centers: Ireland: The Irish Agricultural and Food Development Authority (TEAGASC); Spain: Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA-GA).

Enterprises and other private bodies: Co Concept (Luxembourg), Corporate Resource Inc. (United States), Free Range Thinkers (United States).

International Organizations: Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier (IAMM-CIHEAM) (headquarters in France).

To see in detail who are the lecturers providing training in every Unit, please refer to the section Syllabus and Study guide.

Master’s final work (Master Thesis)

Choice of topic for the Master Thesis

The choice of topic corresponds to the students themselves, according to their interest of training. If students so require, they receive advice on the choice of the most appropriate director and institution to carry out the desired project. Likewise IAMZ proposes topics related to the activities of the cooperative research it co-ordinates or other topics of interest previously agreed with collaborating institutions. The topic for the Thesis will belong to the area within which the student has developed the Unit "Introduction to research".

Centres where Theses are carried out

The work is carried out in renowned institutions (universities, research centres or companies) generally in Spain or in the student's country of origin, under the scientific supervision of a doctor of renowned prestige. The student, with the support of the director, should inform the IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission of the Master periodically on the development and progress of the work.

The collaboration established with numerous prestigious institutions in the different specialities of the Master for carrying out the Thesis is critical in the success of the programme. The students develop their training within a framework of team research, counting on excellent resources and expert advice. The experience gained during this period is not simply an acquisition of knowledge and practical skills, but also fully introduces the students into professional reality.

Pre-requisites

In order to develop this Unit (as in the case of Unit 9) the student must have passed the first part of the Master with a mark of 70 out of 100 or above and submit a research protocol supported by a director. The Protocol should be examined by an evaluation committee formed by the IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission and lecturers of the Master, who will consider:

  • The characteristics of the research to be performed: (i) coherence and viability of the project; and (ii) concordance between the chosen theme and the candidate’s previous training, the foreseeable professional insertion and the training or productive demands in the student’s country of origin
  • The scientific guarantees and the suitability of the director and the institution where the project is to be carried out

In the course of the second semester of the first academic year, IAMZ publishes the basis for the presentation of protocols and scholarship applications for the second part of the programme.

Topics for the Master Thesis

The topic choice for the Master Thesis is very wide. Some of the topics chosen most frequently are the following:

  • Market analysis of diverse agro-food sectors, focusing on one country or comparing two or more
  • Competitiveness of a country sector in international trade within the framework of a determinate international marketing policy
  • Consumer behaviour and market research of a product in a given market context
  • Product and pricing policies and marketing strategies for a sector or type of product

Some examples of Master Thesis

Some of the theses carried out in recent years can be found below, as an indication of the variety of themes, directors and institutions involved in this training activity:

Title: Los formatos de presentación y envasado de alimentos y su influencia en la decisión de compra [Food presentation and packaging formats and their influence on purchase decisions] (2013)
Author: Ali Taher Mohamed Hassanin El Desouky, Agronomist, Egypt
Centre where Thesis was carried out: Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain
Thesis director: Francisco Javier Mesías

Title: Alimentos funcionales: perfiles de consumo y disponibilidad a pagar para algunos productos lácteos enriquecidos con CLA (ácido linoléico conjugado) [Functional foods: consumption profiles and willingness to pay for various dairy products enriched with CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)] (2013)
Author: Jorgelina Di Pasquale, Veterinarian, Italy
Centre where Thesis was carried out: Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Veterinarie, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Italy
Thesis director: Felice Adinolfi

Title: Plan de marketing para el lanzamiento de un producto alimenticio (aceite de oliva) [Marketing plan for launching a food product (olive oil)] (2013)
Author: Meryem Ameziane, Food Scientist, Morocco
Centre where Thesis was carried out: Departamento de Economía y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain
Thesis director: Luis Miguel Rivera

Title: Estrategias de marketing para la comercialización de zumo de frutas tropicales exóticas como alimento funcional en la Comunidad Foral de Navarra [Marketing strategies for exotic tropical fruit juice as a functional food in the Autonomus Community of Navarra] (2013)
Author: Antonia Martínez Morales, BSc International trade, Mexico
Centre where Thesis was carried out: Departamento de Gestión de Empresas, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
Thesis director: Ildefonso Grande

Title: Etiquetado, nutrición y obesidad: Análisis del comportamiento del consumidor [Labelling, nutrition and obesity: analysis of consumer behaviour] (2011)
Author: Djamal Rahmani, Agronomist, Algeria
Centre where Thesis was carried out: Departamento de Fundamentos de Análisis Económico, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
Thesis director: Maria Luz Loureiro

Title: Aceptación de innovaciones alimentarias por parte de los consumidores: análisis del concepto de innovación, factores determinantes de su adopción y estructura de decisión [Acceptance of food innovations by consumers: analysis of the concept of innovation, factors determining its adoption and decision structure] (2011)
Author: Canan Akyokus, Food Scientist, Turkey
Centre where Thesis was carried out: Departamento de Gestión de Empresas, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
Thesis director: M. Ramona Barrena

Title: Factores asociados al consumo y la producción de carne de cordero con distintivo de calidad en Aragón: consumidores vs productores [Factors associated to consumption and production of quality labelled lamb in Aragón: consumers versus producers] (2010)
Author: Wilmer Sepúlveda, Agronomist, Colombia
Centre where Thesis was carried out: Departamento de Agricultura y Economía Agraria, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain
Thesis director: María Teresa Maza

Title: Modelling the impact of food safety information on meat demand in Spain (2009)
Author: Amr Ahmed Radwan, Agronomist, Egypt
Centre where Thesis was carried out: Centro de Investigación en Economía y Desarrollo Agroalimentario (CREDA-UPC-IRTA), Castelldefels, Spain
Thesis director: José María Gil

Title: Turkey’s accession to the European Union. Implication for the agricultural sectors (2008)
Author: Orhan Karaca, Agronomist, Turkey
Centre where Thesis was carried out: Unidad de Economía y Sociología Agraria, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain
Thesis director: George Philippidis

Title: Transmisión de precios en el sector vacuno en España desde una perspectiva horizontal y vertical [Price transmission in the Spanish bovine sector from a vertical and horizontal perspective] (2006)
Author: Esmeralda Kadriu, Mathematician, Albania
Centre where Thesis was carried out: Departamento de Ciencia, Tecnología y Universidad, Diputación General de Aragón, and Unidad de Economía y Sociología Agraria, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain
Thesis director: Ana Isabel Sanjuán