General information on the Unit
Contact hours: 290 (with the tutor and staff from the tutor's team)
Personal work hours: 460
Institution chosen by the candidate upon conformity from the IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission of the Master
- This Unit is delivered at the same time as the Unit "Master Thesis" for 10 months. This unit usually begins in 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 Studies Commission of the Master. Each student, upon agreement with his tutor, proposes a schedule for the learning and the research work to the Studies Commission according to the research requirements.
- Assessment of the Unit: between July and October, after the 10 month period in each case. The assessment is carried out at the same time as the Unit "Master Thesis".
Requisites and permanence
In order to complete this Unit, the student must have passed the first part of the programme with a mark of 70 out of 100 or above, and have submitted a protocol supported by the tutor. Such protocol must be examined and approved by an assessment committee appointed by the Studies Commission of the Master, considering both the characteristics of the work to be done, and the suitability of the tutor and the host institution.
Training takes place in credited institutions collaborating in the second part of the programme (universities, research centres and companies), usually in Spain or in the country of origin of the student, under the supervision of a tutor with experience and prestige in the speciality.
The learning process is based on a theoretical and practical tutored learning, advice throughout the training, and the reinforcement and monitoring of the student's attitudes. The tutor must be a professional with acknowledged prestige in the subject. During the training, the learning progress is monitored through periodical reports.
The tutored training is usually performed in Spanish, although by agreement between the students and the tutor and his working team, this may be done in another language, especially when the training takes place abroad. The periodical reports may be submitted in Spanish, French or English. The oral exam before the Jury may also be performed in Spanish, English or French.
Presentation of the Unit and context within the syllabus
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.
- SC11 Planning research projects, determining their objectives and the various stages to accomplish
- SC12 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.
Since every student undergoes a specific training applied to a concrete topic, other specific competences are acquired, determined by the topic undertaken.
- GC1 Integrating scientific and technical knowledge and applying them discerningly.
- GC2 Performing scientific and/or technical information searches and processing them selectively.
- 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.
- GC8 Writing presentations and synthesis, preparing and presenting oral communications, and defending them in public.
The student, at the end of the learning of this Unit:
- Is skilled in the search for information, as well as in its selective treatment.
- Has developed criteria for defining the objectives of a particular research study or professional project.
- Knows how to plan the research work in order to best achieve the objectives set and to optimize time.
- Knows how to use the techniques and methodologies relevant to the execution of a professional or research project and how to discern the advantages and disadvantages of each one for each particular project.
- Knows how to integrate knowledge and has learned how to analyse and contrast results.
- Values the guidance received to plan and develop a research work, fostering dialogue, criticism and capacity to work as a member of a team.
- Is skilled in self-directed learning and autonomous work.
- Has capacity of response to unforeseen situations and the ability to reorient a research if need be.
Since every student undergoes a training applied to a specific topic, other learning outcomes exist, determined by the topic undertaken in the research, which provide further expertise in that particular speciality.
This Unit provides the student with the prior knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to plan and accomplish a professional project or research work on a specific topic within the area of agro-food marketing, acquiring experience in a real professional environment and in direct contact with a working team. The topic choice for the research corresponds to the students themselves, depending on their learning interest. If students so require, they are advised by the IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission of the Master on the choice of the most appropriate tutor and institution to carry out the desired research work and are also proposed topics of interest previously agreed between IAMZ and other institutions.
The Unit provides the student with the necessary training to know the most relevant sources of information on the research topic, the methods and techniques applicable in professional or research projects of this type and the bases to plan the work.
Likewise, the students' skills and attitudes are enhanced to enable them to work and learn autonomously, integrate their knowledge, develop their critical thinking to analyze and solve the problems posed, and benefit from the guidance received by their tutor and their inclusion in a working group.
Learning activity 1: Theoretical and practical tutored learning to acquire training on the necessary aspects to carry out a professional or a research project: (i) most relevant sources of information on the project topic; (ii) guidelines for conducting a bibliographical review and for its outlay in written documents; (iii) criteria for setting the project goals and for planning the work; (iv) potentially applicable methods and techniques in the project; and (v) application and use of the techniques selected for research.
Percentage of contact: 30% training with the tutor or the tutor's team
Learning activity 2: Counselling during the training in order to: (i) discern the relevance of the information found and its comprehensiveness; (ii) establish specific objectives relevant to the project; (iii) determine a good planning of the work; (iv) assess the advantages and limitations of different methods and techniques applied in the project; (v) integrate prior and acquired knowledge in the same or in other disciplines; and (vi) assess and contrast results, being able to re-focus the work if necessary.
Percentage of contact: 100%
Learning activity 3: Preparation of three written reports made by the student on the development of the training activity and the progress in the completion of the research work. The reports must be synthetic and contain only the relevant information requested on: (i) planning of the work and timetable foreseen for each phase of the project; (ii) material used, techniques and methodology used in each phase; (iii) the magnitude of the work that is being carried out in each phase; (iv) progress made in the various activities that have been carried out in each phase; and (v) obstacles encountered in each part of the project and solutions found.
Percentage of contact: 10%
Assessment system 1: Tutor's assessment of the student's results on the theoretical and practical tutored learning. The tutor's assessment is based on the following aspects: (i) ability to search for information and command of the bibliographical sources related to the topic of the project; (ii) understanding of the project objectives and participation in their definition; (iii) global planning of the work and its different stages; (iv) mastery of the techniques and methodologies used in the project; (v) attitude towards advice, capacity for dialogue and skills for integration into a work team; (vi) capacity for self-management and autonomous work; (vii) capacity to adapt to unforeseen circumstances throughout the development of the work; (viii) ability for the analysis and discussion of results; (ix) capacity to communicate the results obtained in a written document; and (x) facility to convey to others the results and conclusions obtained.
Weighting: 30% of the final score of the Unit.
Assessment system 2: Assessment by a jury on the periodic reports, which will be performed according to the relevance of the information on the following learning aspects: (i) planning of the work and foreseen schedule; (ii) material used, techniques being applied and methodology employed; (iii) data reflecting the magnitude of the work conducted in each phase; (iv) progress made in the various activities that have been carried out in each phase of the project; and (v) obstacles encountered in each part of the project and solutions found.
Weighting: 20% of the final score of the Unit.
Assessment system 3: Oral exam carried out by the same jury to assess the achievement of the learning outcomes in all learning activities. In the oral examination the jury will ask the student the questions it deems appropriate in order to assess the training received based on the following criteria: (i) diversity of the learning acquired, concerning information handled, techniques learnt, and methodology used; (ii) integration of knowledge; (iii) student's command of the information, the techniques and the methodology used; (iv) scale of the work carried out by the student and adequacy to the planned scheduling, the objectives set and the results obtained; and (v) innovation of the topic and what this entails for the student concerning advice received and the need to develop new approaches by himself.
Weighting: 50% of the final score of the Unit.
In each edition, the choice of research topic, tutor and place where it is carried out, is made by the student according to his training interest. Therefore, the research tutors and institutions vary from one edition to another. The following tutors and institutions were chosen in the edition 2013-14-15 of the Master:
- Filippo ARFINI, Università Degli Studi di Parma, Dipartimento di Economia, Parma, Italy
- Rodolfo BERNABEU, Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Departamento de Economía Agraria, Albacete, Spain
- Domingo CALVO, Universidad da Coruña, Departamento de Análisis Económico y Administración de Empresas, A Coruña, Spain
- Antonio COLOM, Universidad de Lleida, Departamento de Administración de Empresas y Gestión Económica de los Recursos Naturales, Lleida, Spain
- Montserrat COSTA, Centro de Investigación en Economía y Desarrollo Agroalimentario (CREDA-UPC-IRTA), Castelldefels, Spain
- Mónica DÍAZ DONATE, Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Departamento de Economía Agraria, Albacete, Spain
- José María GIL, Centro de Investigación en Economía y Desarrollo Agroalimentario (CREDA-UPC-IRTA), Castelldefels, Spain
- Azucena GRACIA, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón, Unidad de Economía Agroalimentaria y de los Recursos Naturales, Zaragoza, Spain
- Ildefonso GRANDE, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Departamento de Gestión de Empresas, Pamplona, Spain
- Zein KALLAS, Centro de Investigación en Economía y Desarrollo Agroalimentario (CREDA-UPC-IRTA), Castelldefels, Spain
- Tiziana de MAGISTRIS, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón, Unidad de Economía Agroalimentaria y de los Recursos Naturales, Zaragoza, Spain
- Federico MARTÍNEZ-CARRASCO, Universidad de Murcia, Departamento de Economía Aplicada, Murcia, Spain
- María Teresa MAZA, Universidad de Zaragoza, Departamento de Ciencias Agrarias y del Medio Natural, Zaragoza, Spain