Course Overview

To earn the MFRE degree, students must successfully complete:

  • Summer Program (unless exempted)
  • Core courses (12 credits)
  • A selection of electives (12 credits)
  • Graduating Project (6 credits)
  • MFRE Seminar Series (2 credits)

During term 2, students must choose courses totalling 12 credits. The number in parenthesis in the diagram below indicates credits per course.


Policy Analysis

Applied Economics


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): Strategic Economic Analysis of Agri-Food Markets
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 521C (2): Topics in Food and Resource Economics
This course provides a forum for students to develop an understanding of real-world applications, trends and practices of applied policy, environment, commodity markets, trade policy and agribusiness economics in the food and resource related sectors.

FRE 505(1.5): Agricultural and Resource Policy Analysis – Policy and Project Evaluation Tools
Provides the analytical tools Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM), Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) and Domestic Resource Cost (DRC) to evaluate Government policies and projects. Using the analytical framework developed in previous FRE 502.

FRE 515 (3): Agribusiness Management
Brings a grounding experience into “real world” agri-business. Uses the analytic framework developed in FRE 516 and apply concepts of accounting, finance, marketing, operations, human resources, leadership, quality assurance, crisis management, ethics and sustainability, into managerial decision making.

FRE 517 (1.5): Futures Trading of Agricultural Commodities
Over a period of six weeks, students will be applying their knowledge from FRE501 in class work simulations from the perspectives of growers, merchants (domestic and international), processors (corn ethanol, canola and soybean crushers), as well as lumber, oil & gas, and electricity traders; these applications will also be beneficial from the perspective of portfolio management. Students will formulate and test their own trading and hedging strategies in case work. We will also be using the CME trading simulation platform for added practical experience.

FRE 518 (1.5): Survey Design and Data Analysis
Introduce the methods and techniques in applied survey research and data analysis with concentration on the food, agribusiness and resource sector. Content includes the use of focus groups as exploratory research, design of questionnaires, best practices of conducting surveys, sample selection and design, compiling and organizing data, and survey data analysis & presentation.

FRE 521E (1.5): Special Topics in Food and Resource Economics – Economic Development
The first section of the course examines economic development from the perspective of factor markets including capital investment, labour mobility and urban versus rural wages. The integrating role of institutions such as mechanisms for risk sharing and incentives for technology adoption is also featured. The second part of the course uses important papers in the field to examine the role of agriculture in economic development, especially how institutions and property rights can explain the economic development of countries, and how these features interact with culture.

FRE 521D (1.5): Special Topics in Food and Resource Economics – Business Analytics for the Food & Resource sector
The primary objective of business analytics is to find useful patterns in data. This course is designed to help you find these patterns by providing frameworks, models and hands-on experience. The course will begin by providing an overview of field of analytics and then move into specific data analysis techniques and tools. A variety of data manipulation tools will be discussed including R, Tableau, PowerBI and Excel. As well, we’ll examine the role of programming languages and data query languages using both NoSQL (object) and SQL (relational) databases.

FRE 522(1.5): Environmental Externalities in the Global Economy
Examine the barriers to efficient resource and environmental management that arise from their trans-national nature. Focus on Climate Change, Environmental catastrophes and conservation.

FRE 523(1.5): Resource Economics - Fisheries
Introduction to Economics of Renewable Resources with focus on marine resource. This analytical framework is then use to assess extraction, depletion, protection and management of marine resources. Emphasis in the efficiencies and failure on economic decision making (management).

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? When it comes to the environment, the market often fails. What can we do to improve it? Based on the type of resource, we will study policies to correct market failure. We will understand the realities of government intervention and how governments can do better in steering our environment.

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.

*Will not be offered in January 2020 as the instructor will be in sabbatical.

FRE 529 (1.5): Estimating Econometric Models
Introduces advance econometric methods extending the analysis from FRE 528. Topics can include instrument variables (IV) estimation, experiments and quasi-experiments (difference-in-difference estimation, ANCOVA, regression discontinuity) and panel data methods (basic models and dynamic panel models). 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.

*Will not be offered in January 2020.

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, resource allocation models, optimization such as linear programming (allocation and scheduling of resources), an introduction to forecasting and predictive analytics, data mining, simulation modeling, operations analysis and inventory management. Upon completing this course, students will be capable of using a powerful set of functions and tools in Microsoft Excel for solving a broad range of quantitative problems. Student will also be introduced to a Visual Analytics tool called Tableau and will have several assignments that will utilize this tool.

FRE 521C (2): Topics in Food and Resource Economics
This course provides a forum for students to develop an understanding of real-world applications, trends and practices of applied policy, environment, commodity markets, trade policy and agribusiness economics in the food and resource related sectors.

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.

Restricted Electives

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.

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