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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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,
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
(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
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
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
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
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.