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Overview

The MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Business Programme is being offered by the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics of the University Center of International Programmes of Studies of the International Hellenic University. The courses are taught exclusively in English, in distance learning mode.

The MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Business approaches agriculture from an interdisciplinary perspective that focuses on:

  • Increasing agricultural production whilst minimizing the impact on the environment.
  • Developing and managing agricultural enterprises of various sizes.
  • Agricultural products marketing and trading.

The Programme aims at:

  • University and technological education institute graduates who wish to acquire expertise in sustainable agriculture and agribusiness.
  • Professionals who wish to establish start-up agricultural companies that bring new ideas to both farming and the market.
  • Professionals who work in the private/public agricultural/agribusiness sectors and wish to redirect their careers or enhance their existing capabilities.

Distance Learning

Teaching methods are based on learner-centered education standards and involve:

(a) synchronous learning (‘teleconferences’ and virtual meetings will be held regularly during each semester) and

(b) asynchronous learning (students will use online learning resources and will be assessed through a variety of diagnostic tools and formative assessment techniques)

Official Government Gazette:

Re-establishment PDF (in Greek)
Regulation PDF (in Greek)

Key facts
Info icon

Start date: November 2024

Application deadline: 31 August 2024 (non-Greek applicants) / 30 September 2024 (Greek applicants) or until places are filled

Campus: Thermi, Thessaloniki

Duration/Mode:
1,5 years full-time (non-experimental dissertation) or 2 years full-time (experimental dissertation) or part-time (the duration is doubled) / distant learning / weekends

Taught language:
English

Entry requirements:
An undergraduate degree from a recognised University

Language requirements: IELTS (academic 6.5 and above), TOEFL (IBT, 95 and above) or TOEIC (745 and above) score, or a recognised by the Greek State certificate of proficiency in English of C1 level

Fees:
2,500€ (total) Excellence awards for the academic year 2024-2025 (check the Fees & Financing section for details)

How to apply: Please follow the instructions at the applicatios page

Programme announcement: ENG | GR

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Who can apply

Entry requirements: An undergraduate degree from a recognised University

Language requirements: IELTS (academic 6.5 and above), TOEFL (IBT, 95 and above) or TOEIC (745 and above) score, or a recognised by the Greek State certificate of proficiency in English of C1 level

Course content

Core courses

The core courses ensure that you acquire knowledge of practical concepts and attain skills directly relevant to your career aspirations.

First Term

The course focuses on fundamental concepts of modern biology and provides an overview of plant anatomy and physiology. Students will gain knowledge related to the structure, growth, development, nutrition, and reproduction of plants, how water and nutrients are transported within them, and how they respond to internal and external stimuli. Particular emphasis will be placed on plant metabolism, the composition and role of organic macromolecules, plant hormones and the effect of biotic and abiotic stresses on plant growth.

Soil processes occur as a result of interactions between the biotic components of the soil (soil biocommunity, plant root system) and the abiotic environment (soil structure, pH, temperature, humidity). The course includes an introduction to the abiotic soil environment and the processes it controls (ion exchange capacity, water retention and filtration capacity, etc.) and proceeds by examining the influence of the complex of interactions between soil organisms, especially microorganisms, on soil quality and plant productivity. The course focuses on the management of interactions (a very recent field of research in soil ecology) that can ensure high plant production combined with good soil quality. Finally, the physical, chemical and biological parameters that can be used as indicators in the process of evaluating soil quality against the management practices applied are addressed.

The aim of the course is to introduce students to the fundamental principles of modern economic theory, to general principles of economic management and to dimensions of organizational mindset related to economic knowledge and processes. Students will also acquire the tools for making economic decisions in the agricultural sector and in the field of bioeconomy. The course combines theory and practice, paying attention to the daily practical problems faced by the managers of agrobiotechnological products and services production enterprises.

The main focus of the course is the basic principles of Integrated Management of Arthropods (prevention, monitoring, intervention). Each of these key pillars will be discussed in depth and applications such as biological control, chemical control, coupling inhibition method, sterile insect release technique, etc. will be explored. Particular emphasis will be given to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for the development of resistance to pesticides. Students will also be introduced to a number of important crop pest arthropods in our country and will study the relevant Integrated Management programmes. A separate session will also be a separate section on current legislation and IPM certifications. Finally, the future of IPM in general and in our country in particular will be discussed.

Agriculture and the bioeconomy are increasingly being called upon to interpret and meet the needs and demands of modern consumers and producers, due to the growing ethical and safety issues arising from certain biotechnological applications. An understanding of the basic principles and tools of business management and marketing is the main objective of the course. Students will gain theoretical knowledge and practical skills on the operational and strategic policies of business management and integrated marketing mix. Through further case studies and contemporary examples, students will apply the theoretical concepts discussed in the course to real-life examples from the field of bioeconomy and sustainable agriculture.

Second term

The aim of the course is to provide specialized knowledge in the field of application of methods and technologies of Precision Agriculture. The modules of the course aim to analyze and understand the basic elements (terms, systems, technologies, processes) of precision agriculture and how they can be used both for data collection and analysis and for using them to manage inputs on farms more rationally. Students will become familiar with technology and equipment related to global positioning system (GPS), satellites and drones (UAVs), production mapping systems, soil property recording systems, agrochemical and water variable rate machinery, geographic data management with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

The aim of the course is to provide students with specialized knowledge on the basic principles and the value of using bio-stimulants and biofertilizers to combat biotic and abiotic forms of crop stress, to increase soil fertility and thus productivity, while reducing chemical inputs, in the context of sustainable agriculture. The lectures will focus on the use of organic substances (fulvic and humic acids, macroalgal extracts) and categories of microorganisms (mycorrhizal fungi, plant growth promoting bacteria, endophytic bacteria) which, when applied or localized in the plant rhizosphere, contribute actively to plant growth, (a) through a direct effect on plant physiology (increased seed germination capacity, increased root and shoot length), (b) by increasing plant resistance to environmental stresses (salinity, low soil nutrient concentrations, drought) and (c) by controlling soil plant pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, viruses. During the lectures, students will have the opportunity to discuss and work on current studies from all of the above areas.

The aim of the course is to provide knowledge on the conception, design, organization and management of new businesses. The course will introduce students to concepts and principles that are fundamental to developing an entrepreneurial mindset and provide skills necessary to identify business opportunities and create new businesses with potential for economic growth and financing. Note that the course is designed to complement students’ education in Agribusiness and Bioeconomics with a focus on the role of innovation in the development of agri-food entrepreneurship.

The course is designed to provide knowledge on the integrated approach to crop irrigation. This knowledge includes the general principles of irrigation systems, methodologies and techniques for calculating crop water requirements and the advantages/disadvantages of different irrigation systems. Particular emphasis is placed on the specific water requirements of crop groups, their drought and salinity tolerance and the selection of appropriate irrigation systems. Irrigation practices that ensure rational water management and the protection and use of water resources are also taught and simulation models that can be used to evaluate and develop different irrigation scenarios are also discussed.

Elective Courses for the Second Term (1 of the following)

The following list is indicative and is continually renewed. Elective courses may vary from year to year depending on current interest and student demand. Students select a course from the list below based on their interests and current and future career orientation:

The purpose of the course is to explore the business research and business planning methods that are key reference points for both new and existing businesses. Market research is an essential and ongoing process for creating and operating a successful business. The main objectives of the course are to introduce students to the process of conducting market research and drafting a business plan, to train them in conducting business research and using statistical tools, and to familiarize them with appropriate strategic analysis tools and interpreting their results.

This course examines the content and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the light of their political, legal and economic aspects, in combination with governance at international, regional (European) and national level. The aim is to familiarize students with the concept and issues of sustainable development, as well as to gain knowledge and understanding of the requirements and conditions, but also of the procedures, instruments and tools, etc. that are used in this field, both at international and regional, and in this case at EU level. The evaluation of the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, using economic tools and indicators in order to assess their implementation over time and by target. The data represent the degree of adaptation to social and economic transformation of the stakeholders. Finally, strategic options and policy contents are presented, as they emerge on the basis of a broader planning, individual plans and programmatic frameworks, and the governance issues involved.

Integrated Disease Management (IDM), although practiced since ancient times, has only been recognized as the most effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly strategy for managing crop diseases in recent decades. The aim of this course is to provide knowledge about IDM systems, focusing on the basic concepts and the evolution of related practices over time. The reference point for the concepts of integrated management is their multidimensional nature, which includes both the modes of resistance of microbes and a variety of cultural, chemical and biological parameters. The benefits of integrated management will be further discussed in contrast to traditional methods of plant disease control such as the use of pesticides. Finally, specific case studies including fungal, bacterial and viral agents will be analyzed during the course to better understand the applications of integrated disease management in plants.

The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the design, construction and operation of modern greenhouse and hydroponic units. The knowledge provided refers to a wide range of topics such as the criteria that influence the decision for the establishment of a covered cultivation facility, the individual steps of its design and construction, the method and materials of its construction in the context of the specifications of the plants grown and the appropriate area for its installation. Students will understand the basic and critical characteristics of the heating, ventilation, cooling and irrigation systems of these facilities in order to optimize these systems, their required automation and solve issues raised by their use and control.

The Dissertation

The dissertation is an individual project of original scientific work. The subject is chosen from a list of topics suggested by a faculty member, who acts as a supervisor. Alternatively, students may choose a research-based dissertation of two semesters’ duration.

The Programme Handbook
Handbook
Open source lectures

Attend an open source lecture of our Master Programme in “Sustainable Agriculture and Business” – Course: Soil Management for Sustainable Agriculture (Video)

Attend an open source lecture of our Master Programme in “Sustainable Agriculture and Business” – Course: Soil Microbial Inoculants and Biostimulants for Sustainable Agriculture (Video)

Attend an open source lecture of our Master Programme in “Sustainable Agriculture and Business” – Course: The Biological Environment (Video)

Lab Facilities

IHU Molecular Ecology/Molecular Biology Lab

Please visit the IHU Molecular Ecology/Molecular Biology Lab webpage

Soil Ecology Lab

Please visit the Soil Ecology Lab webpage

Schedule

The duration of the MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Business depends on the kind of stream being chosen by the students. This stream is determined by the nature of the undertaken dissertation (experimental or non-experimental dissertation). For students who will choose a non-experimental dissertation, the full-time attendance of taught courses for two academic semesters and the preparation of a master’s dissertation for one more semester are required. For those who will choose an experimental research-based dissertation, the programme’s curriculum requires the full-time attendance of taught courses for two academic semesters plus two academic semesters for the preparation of the master’s dissertation. For students who wish to attend the programme on a part-time basis, the programme gives this possibility upon their request. In this case, the duration of the MSc is doubled.

Teaching takes place on weekends in distance learning mode. The attendance of lectures is compulsory. There is a limit of absences allowed (for more information please consult the Programme Handbook). The programme starts every November.

The Academic Faculty

Aggelopoulos Stamatis Professor of the Department of Agriculture, International Hellenic University
Aschonitis Vasileios External Associate (Dr.), Researcher, ELGO-DIMITRA Organization
Galanopoulos Konstantinos External Associate, Professor, Democritus University of Thrace
Galetsi Panagiota Academic Scholar (Dr.), Management-Decision Making, International Hellenic University
Zamioudis Christos Επίκουρος Καθηγητής, Democritus University of Thrace
Zafeiriou Eleni Associate Professor, Democritus University of Thrace
Kamou Natalia External Associate (Dr.), Agronomist
Kati Amalia External Associate (Dr.), Agronomist
Kroustalis Ioannis Academic Scholar (Dr.), International Hellenic University
Monokrousos Nikolaos Associate Professor, International Hellenic University
Ntinas Georgios External Associate (Dr.), Researcher, ELGO-DIMITRA Organization
Papakostas Spyridon Επίκουρος Καθηγητής, International Hellenic University
Pavloudi Alexandra Associate Professor, International Hellenic University
Zografou Stella Laboratory teaching personnel, International Hellenic University
Ferentinos Konstantinos External Associate (Dr.), Researcher, ELGO-DIMITRA Organization

Fees & Financing

Fees

The programme fees for the MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Business is 2,500€. The amount is payable in two instalments for the full time mode or in four instalments for the part time mode at the beginning of each semester. The fees are also eligible for financing through LAEK – OAED programme.

Deposits

If you have been accepted to a postgraduate programme, you will need to make a payment of the deposit of 500 Euros to secure your place. This amount will count towards the first instalment of your tuition fees. The deposit is non-refundable once you have commenced your studies at the IHU. Prior to that, a refund can be made but a 20% administrative fee will be retained. The deposit can be paid by bank transfer or bank draft. Credit card payments can be made through electronic banking (contact your Bank as handling fees may apply).

*For non-EU students, an advance payment of 1.250 Euros out of 2.500 Euros towards the tuition fees must be paid.

Scholarships

The School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics offers a number of scholarships for the programmes it offers, covering a significant proportion of the fees. These scholarships are competitive. Award criteria include the quality of the first degree, the undergraduate grades of the candidate, his/her command of the English language and overall profile. Candidates for scholarships should include a separate letter with their application documents in which they request to be considered for a scholarship, stating the reasons why they think they qualify.

MSc in Sustainable Agriculture & Business – Excellence awards for the academic year 2024-2025!

The MSc in Sustainable Agriculture & Business announces ‘Excellence awards’ for the academic year 2024-2025 by providing 20% tuition discount to candidates who hold an undergraduate university degree of 7.5/10 and above. For more information please contact the Programme Manager on (+30) 2310 807526

Programme announcement – Admissions

Next MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Business class starts in November 2024. Interested parties are invited to submit their application by 31 August 2024 (non-Greek applicants) / 30 September 2024 (Greek applicants) or until places are filled, by following instructions at the applications page.

Programme announcement: ENG | GR

Quality Assurance & Evaluation Reports

Quality Assurance Policy

https://www.ihu.gr/politiki-poiotitas

Evaluation Reports

Location

The MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Business takes place in the facilities of the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics of the University Center of International Programmes of Studies of the International Hellenic University in Thermi-Thessaloniki.

Contact

Postal address:
School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics
Department of School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics
University Center of International Programmes of Studies
14th km Thessaloniki – Nea Moudania 570 01 Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece

Tel: +30 2310 807 526/523/530

Email: infoshsse@ihu.edu.gr