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Master's Program in Life Science Economics and Policy

Research Department for Agricultural Economics, School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, Alte Akademie 14, 85354 Freising, Germany



E-mail address

Type of course

Language of tuition

Length of course
Four semesters

Date of commencement
Annually in October

Cost / fees
Euro 129,50 per semester (subject to change)

Student profile
1. Ratio of National / Overseas students one quarter/ three quarters
2. Ratio of Men / Women: 46/52
3. Age range: 24-32

Admission requirements
An undergraduate degree in either the social sciences, or natural sciences, or agricultural/forestry sciences. Applicants need a minimum of 30 credits (ECTS) in the social sciences (i.e. economics; other subjects in this category include those from the following fields: sociology; business; finance; management; philosophy; or law) and a minimum of 30 credits in the natural sciences (i.e. all life science (the biological sciences) subjects; and including subjects from the following fields: chemistry; physics; mathematics; and statistics). In exceptional circumstances - where applicants have at least 30 credits in either the social- or natural sciences, and 20-29 credits in the other field, for example 65 credits in the social sciences and 22 credits in the natural sciences – s/he will be able to apply, however, as a condition of acceptance, s/he will have to agree to do additional courses within the first year of study in the field in which s/he has a credit deficit (in our example, in the natural sciences)./

Proven proficiency in the English language is required: "... students whose native language or language of instruction is not English must demonstrate proficiency through an acknowledged language test such as “Test of English as a Foreign Language“ (TOEFL), “International English Language Testing System” (IELTS), or “Cambridge Main Suite of English Examinations”

Programme Director
Professor Johannes Sauer

Contact details for application
Lena Schickramm
Tel: +49.8161.71.2543
Fax: +49.8161.71.4426

Technical University of Munich

Master's Program in Life Science Economics and Policy

The Master’s program in Life Science Economics and Policy was launched in the winter semester of 2013. Global challenges within the bioeconomy like food security, climate change, environmental degradation, and the growing demand for energy, food, and raw materials are current topics requiring innovative solutions with appropriate regulatory frameworks and policies. Accordingly, this program integrates issues of economics and policy with the life sciences, and equips graduates with in-depth knowledge to work on, inter alia, these important societal challenges and be able to do the following.
  • Determine the impacts on society and the environment of regulatory policies of the natural sciences.
  • Independently analyse the economic impacts of policy changes, and present them to the public in an easy-to-understand format.
  • Evaluate and develop company strategies in response to changes in policy frameworks.
  • Evaluate the economic outcomes of new policies, and make policy recommendations.
  • Independently formulate research questions and translate them into research projects to find answers to these inquiries.
The program entails a core number of compulsory taught subjects, namely:
  • Life Science Economics and Policy
  • Agribusiness Governance
  • Human Resource Management for Agriculture and Related Industries
  • International Commodity Markets and Trade Policy
  • International Environmental Policy and Conflict Resolution
  • Production and Risk Management
  • Value Chain Economics
  • Applied Statistics and Econometrics
  • Mathematics for Economists and Business.
Also compulsory are:
  • Research Project (or Internship)
  • International Excursion
  • Thesis
  • Colloquium
In addition to the compulsory modules, students need to choose six electives from a wide range of subjects both in the social- and natural sciences (minimum of two courses from each of these two fields), and one “General Education” elective (soft-skills subject like a foreign language, or Scientific Writing, for example). The program concludes with the writing of a thesis, and a colloquium. Subjects yielding at least 120 credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) need to be passed. The language of instruction is English, and studying abroad at an approved university for one semester is an option.

Learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes are strived for:
  • a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles of research methods;
  • economic theory and modelling;
  • data collection and analysis; and
  • the knowledge of the latest developments in contemporary research.
Social competencies and skills are developed to equip graduates to operate with self-confidence in their future professions in an international environment.

About Technical University of Munich

Our university

The Technische Universität München (TUM) located in southern Bavaria, is one of Germany’s leading technical universities priding itself with its high standards in research and education. TUM was one of the first “Universities of Excellence” in a Germany-wide Excellence Initiative. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, also known as the Shanghai Ranking, TUM was ranked second in Germany for 2017.

Our faculty

TUM’s Center of Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan (WZW) is located on the outskirts of Munich in the beautiful small city of Freising. This faculty combines expertise in biosciences, biotechnology, agronomy, forestry, ecology, ecosystem management, nutrition, food sciences and life science engineering, and is where the Research Department Agricultural Economics is found.

WZW has a modern library for the life sciences, which is open on weekdays until midnight. Specific attention is given to the agricultural and horticultural sciences.

Students have nine fully-equipped computer rooms at their disposal, and several work rooms, some of which are available for use 24 hours a day.

Our scientists undertake specialized faculty research in the most modern of laboratories and at seven large experimental stations, where students are also involved.

Weihenstephan is not only the location of a university campus. Here too are: the State Department for Agriculture, the Hans Eisenmann Center for Agrarian Sciences, the University of Applied Science Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, the Central Institute for Nutrition and Food Research, the Innovation and Founder Center for Biotechnology and the Agrarian Meteorology Division of the German Weather Service, and much more. This diversity offers further insights and on-site career starting opportunities for students.

Location and facilities

Currently at WZW there are more than 3,100 students, with tuition from 80 professors and around 1,700 co-workers.

WZW is a closed campus on Freising, which means that all lectures and seminars can normally be reached within a few minutes on foot. Three bus stops provide connections to the public transport system, which takes you to the town centre in about five minutes.

The designation “Green Centre” is related not only to the numerous course-offers, but also to the campus itself.

Located in a charming landscape of a tertiary hill region, there is a mix of historic buildings combined with modern architectural features surrounded by well-kept park areas, which are connected through a network of tree-lined footpaths. Together with large lawns where summer festivals and special outdoor events are held, there are also four historic gardens for students to visit.

A refectory and two cafeterias offer a variety of meals, including vegetarian dishes, at affordable prices: starting at around one Euro for a cooked main meal. The Unibar is a popular meeting place, which has a selection of beverages and offers a different hot meal daily. A Segafredo Coffee Bar rounds off the choice.

Apart from the bars, students normally pay with their preloaded Student Card, which is also a student ID card, and is valid for the library and for access to work rooms, IT facilities, and for book returns.

Our library is part of the TUM University Library and offers a consistently updated collection in fields related to the life sciences and associated subjects, with special sections for agricultural and horticultural sciences.

There is also an extensive inventory of teaching material comprising around 10,000 volumes and a wide selection of scientific journals. The offer is extended by electronic databases and media, with access from outside the campus. Should a particular publication be unavailable, it can be ordered through an ordering service from another department, university, or state library. There are comfortable seating for groups, individual work desks, individual rooms, so-called carrels, and group-work rooms available. In summer, the airy roof terrace with its awning is particularly popular. For literature research, there are PCs, a copying machine, and a book scanner at your disposal. The library is open seven days a week, and on weekdays until midnight.

The Information Technology Weihenstephan runs nine IT rooms, six of which are available for use 24 hours a day.

The IT rooms are equipped differently. Students have computer stations with diverse software, Notebooks, printers, scanners, DVD-burners, slide and film scanners, video processing and plotters at their disposal free of charge.

Furthermore, students receive an e-mail account, online memory space, and campus WLAN access. Technical questions are dealt with during the day by competent contact partners at the Help Desk.

There are seven additional work rooms throughout the campus for students’ use.


Most students live close to the campus in Freising.

The Student Union Munich runs four student residences with a total of 738 single rooms, 220 apartments, and two flats for married couples.

Most students however, rent accommodation privately, and flat-sharing is quite common. When accommodation becomes available, these offers are posted on the notice board in the refectory. To date, every student has been able to find suitable accommodation. However, considering that the accommodation situation is rather strained, you should consider starting your search for accommodation a few months before the beginning of a semester. Competent assistance is provided by the Accommodation Office (Privatzimmervermittlung) and the Advisory Network of the Student Union.

Some students prefer to live in Munich or in one of the residential areas along the S-Bahn (suburban train) route “S1” to Freising. The S-Bahn runs every 20 minutes daily between Munich and Freising. There is also a direct rail connection to Munich from Freising via the regional train, for which you can use the same train ticket. This regional train trip and the S-Bahn trip to the Munich Central Station takes about 30 and 40 minutes, respectively. Freising’s bus service takes commuters to and from campus and the Freising Train Station, respectively.

Freising has a population of around 50,000. Most facilities are centrally located and easily reached on foot. There are many shopping possibilities ranging from supermarkets to numerous upmarket specialist retailers, especially in the historic town centre close to the Freising Cathedral. Particularly delightful are the local market every Wednesday and Saturday and the farmers’ market every Friday.


Freising has excellent sports’ facilities.

The program of the Zentrale Hochschulsport (ZHS) is available to students (with only a few exceptions) for a flat rate of only 7 Euro per semester.

The offer ranges from badminton to football, and includes martial arts and a range of dance courses, which take place at times to fit in with the lecture schedule.

In addition, there are agreements with the municipal swimming baths and various external providers, which also allow discount prices for students.

In and around the town there are facilities for playing football, cross-country skiing, tennis, swimming, ice-skating, and much more. Moreover, students are most welcome to join a number of clubs and associations. There are theatre, music and dance clubs, and a number of different religious communities. Other associations include local branches of Amnesty International, the German Society for Nature Conservation, the Lions’ Club, and many more. The voluntary fire service is pleased to welcome new members. In the field of sporting activities, practically all sports are available.

Especially interesting for musicians is the Music Workshop, founded in 1988 at the TUM. Members meet at weekly rehearsals for various performances either in the choir, orchestra, or big band, under the leadership of its dedicated conductor Felix Mayer.

For entertainment, there are several bars and pubs, a municipal library, and various cultural events to suit every taste. A number of theatre performances and concerts take place in three separate locations, and there are guided tours through the town of Freising with special themes, and events such as the Old Town Fest, Mountain Fest, and the Christmas Market, to name just a few.

The high number of students amongst the local population ensures a great diversity for student life in Freising.

Other festivals such as Uferlos, Kino am Rang, Vöttinger Weiher Open Air, and various parties, as well as the joint events of the residences and student bodies several times a week allow you to make new friends easily and quickly.

Alongside their studies, many students are also involved in the student initiatives at the TUM and other Munich universities and colleges. Around 90,000 people study in Munich and Freising, so it is relatively easy for like-minded people to come together for practically every kind of project. Apart from dozens of regional initiatives, all national associations such as Students in Free Enterprise, Academy Consult, Model United Nations, etc., are represented.

And if you have a special wish that Freising cannot fulfil, then between 5:00 a.m. and midnight there are regular S-Bahn connections to Munich, and from 04:00 a.m. to 01:30 a.m. back to Freising; during weekends there are also additional night trains.


In the faculty there are always department counsellors, foreign student counsellors, and of course the student representative body.

The Student Union is also represented in Weihenstephan. Here financial, legal or psychosocial assistance, etc., is available according to your needs.