Course Overview

The MFRE program is part of the FRE group in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. In order to complete the MFRE degree, student must obtain at least 18 credits from FRE courses.

The Summer program is a mandatory four-week introductory program that is completed prior to beginning of the academic year. It is delivered on campus only, and takes place during August, leading up to the first term.

MFRE is a short course-based program where the workload is intense from day one. To ensure that all incoming students have a command of microeconomics, statistics and economics prior to starting classes in September, the program requires all students to complete the Summer Program. The Summer Program has been proven to be a highly beneficial component for incoming students by providing an important head start to the academic year.

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FRE 501(3): Commodity Markets and Price Analysis
This course focuses on the economics of agricultural commodity prices, including the economic determinants of commodity pricing relationships over space, time and form, commodity futures markets, pricing relationships within linked horizontal and vertical markets, and the determinants of commodity price volatility.

FRE 502(3): Food Market Analysis
This course covers topics related to food prices and food markets and how they work. This includes price determination and predicted price paths; the functioning of food markets, domestic and international; trade and issues related to the integration of markets; concentration and market power; and the role of various institutions.

FRE 516(3): Financial and Marketing Management in Agri-food Industries
This course is designed to introduce the principles of financial and marketing management that are most relevant to agri-food and related firms. The content of the course will provide students with the insights and skills necessary to develop, evaluate and implement financial and market strategies.

FRE 528(3): Applied Econometrics
This course will provide the necessary foundations and experience for students to conduct and analyze empirical research in food and resource economics.

FRE 547(6): Applied Professional Communication Strategies and Graduating Project
This course supports professional development and well‐rounded educational experience by applying classroom learning to relevant food and resource work environments. This support is provided via a series of professional development workshops and completion of a graduating project.

MFRE Program Hours are 9am to 6pm, Monday through Friday. It is important that all MFRE students are available to meet or attend a class or a seminar on short notice at any time during Program Hours. MFRE students should not book any other activities during the MFRE Program Hours.

This schedule is subject to change.

Students must take at least 3 credits of policy analysis courses (i.e. 3 credits from FRE 504, 505, 526 or 527).

FRE 504(1.5): Agricultural and Resource Policy Analysis
The purpose of this course is to learn how to undertake economic analysis of government policies and institutions that are found in the agriculture, food, and resource sectors. This will include both domestic and trade policies and institutions.

FRE 505(1.5): Agricultural and Resource Policy Analysis – Policy and Project Evaluation Tools
Introduce two widely used evaluation tools for government policies and projects, the Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM) and Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). The former focuses on policies and the latter on investment projects.

FRE 515(3): Agribusiness Management
Topics covered in this course include accounting, finance, marketing, operations, human resources, leadership, quality assurance, crisis management, ethics, and sustainability. Students will analyze four cases (including three site visits) to learn about agriculture and business from successful, sophisticated agribusiness owners. This course is a unique opportunity for students to learn theory, see real world agribusinesses, and then use theory to enhance managerial decision-making in a variety of contexts.

FRE 517(1.5): Futures Trading of Agricultural Commodities
In this course, students will learn how commodity futures markets work, formulate and test their own trading and hedging strategies, and practice risk management. For 6 weeks, students will trade in a competitive setting (the CME Group Trading Challenge).

FRE 518(1.5): Survey Design and Data Analysis
This course focuses on exploring the methods and techniques in applied survey research and data analysis with concentration on the food, agribusiness and resource sector. Content includes the design of questionnaires, best practices of conducting surveys, sample selection and design, compiling and organizing data, survey data analysis, writing reports and managing the research process.

FRE522(1.5): Environmental Externalities in the Global Economy
This course examines barriers to efficient resource and environmental management arising from the trans-national nature of many resources and pollutants. Special emphasis is given to understanding the context and content of international agreements, and to measurement using econometric methods.

FRE 523(1.5): Resource Economics I
This course examines the interdependence between our economies and natural ecosystems. We analyze resource extraction, depletion, protection and management in the context of fisheries. We focus on the efficiency of economic decision- making and the deviations from efficient outcomes, as well as the causes of these failures.

FRE 526(1.5): Environmental Economics and Policy: Theory
In this course, we will build an analytical framework from simple economic principles. We will use it to define society’s optimal pollution and preservation/exploitation of natural resources. We will then ask: can markets function effectively to protect our environment or is government policy necessary?

FRE 527(1.5): Environmental Economics and Policy: Empirical Studies
We study the economics of urban environmental problems: topics such as urban development, transportation, and energy. We will learn how researchers typically find data, and establish causality and draw inference in analyzing government policies.

FRE 529(1.5): Estimating Econometric Models
Topics can include instrument variables (IV) estimation, difference-in-difference estimation, panel data methods (basic models, dynamic panel model and difference-in-differences), qualitative and limited dependent variable models and time series methods. The focus of the course will be on the application of these methods in econometric modeling rather than on theoretical proofs.

FRE 530(1.5): Econometrics with Time Series Data

Topics can include advanced methods in time series modeling and Monte Carlo simulation. The time series component will include stationarity, asymptotic theory for time series, linear regression with time series data, Box-Jenkins Methodology (ARIMA), ARCH models and forecasting. It will also investigate the use of software for visual analytics to illustrate data tables and graphical illustrations. The emphasis of this course is on understanding the econometric methods and applying them to real-world data.

FRE 541(1.5): Project Monitoring & Evaluation in International Development
This course is designed to introduce the principles and applications of project monitoring & evaluation (M&E) and will provide students with the insights and skills necessary to develop and assess M&Es.

FRE 585(3): Quantitative Methods for Business and Resource Management
This course will provide the necessary foundation and experience for students to apply a variety of modeling and quantitative techniques to business and resource management problems. This class will concentrate on frequently used quantitative and decision making models that include decision analysis, forecasting, linear programming (allocation and scheduling of resources), simulation modeling and inventory management.

FRE 547(6): Applied Professional Communication Strategies and Graduating Project
This course supports professional development and well‐rounded educational experience by applying classroom learning to relevant food and resource work environments. This support is provided via a series of professional development workshops and completion of a graduating project.

MFRE Program Hours are 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. It is important that all MFRE students are available to meet or attend a class or a seminar on short notice at any time during Program Hours. MFRE students should not book any other activities during the MFRE Program Hours.
This schedule is subject to change.

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Restricted Electives (6 credits)

Most students complete their restricted electives by choosing to take six credits from the list of FRE graduate courses above in addition to the 18 credits required. Some students may have reason for choosing their restricted electives from outside the list of FRE graduate courses; for example, if they have already achieved the learning objectives of certain FRE graduate courses through their previous courses or work experience, or if they have a particular interest in an area not covered by the FRE courses. If you are considering taking a restricted elective outside of the FRE graduate courses, you must have this approved by the MFRE academic director. Restricted electives could be upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses in COMM, ECON, FRE, FRST or RMES.

Required Graduating Project (6 credits)

Because this is a professional degree, a master’s thesis is not required. Instead, students carry out a summer graduating project under the supervision of FRE faculty and industry partners. The graduating project allows students to apply in the real world the concepts and skills they have acquired through two terms of coursework. Graduating projects can take many forms within private, public and academic sectors. Projects range from consultancy to academic research at UBC or a partner university, to a formal internship and more. Learn more about graduating projects here.
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