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Graduate Studies
MSc in Marketing for the Agro-Food Sector

The Master of Science in Marketing for the Agro-Food Sector is an academic program focused on developing impactful marketeers and business people in agricultural and food related industries in Greece and internationally.

The program aims to instill the knowledge, skills and mindset needed to thrive in the agro-food sector, as well asthe critical skills and perspectives for doing it, through a combination of multi-disciplinary classroom and online teaching (blended model), practical activitiesand research projects. 

Classes take place either online or in the classroom in the evening on week days and on weekends, offering students who are currently employed the flexibility needed to pursue graduate work.

The impactful results of the program are achieved through the use of four complimentary components:

Academic teaching
Academic rigour creates clarity of thought and the ability to make fast, actionable decisions.

The academic part of the program is not just about learning theory; instead, it is aimed at providing clarity of thought in a confusing world. The Faculty at Perrotis College Graduate School offers the latest academic thinking frameworks to help students chart their own path. The blended learning environment combines face-to-face interactive teaching with distance learning that incorporates video, text and small group work to provide the most useful and rigorous experience that still allows the flexibility and real-time application enabled by a part-time program, where needed.

Learning-by-doing
Case studies and industry-focused seminars provide insights into real-life challenges and solutions used by marketeers and business people. Subject experts and practitioners engaging in the discussion of key concepts, theories, frameworks, and emerging ideas for developing and enabling businesses at home and abroad.

The practical part of the program allows students to apply the academic knowledge in rea time. Students meet industry practitioners and learn about emerging marketing and business challenges and the solutions they found to overcome them. These interactions help students expand not just their industry-specific knowledge but also shape the way they approach their own business and marketing challenges.

Research project
In the final semester of their studies, students engage in primary research in a thematic area of their interestto put the theories, frameworks and tools they have learned into practice. Past examples include:

  • “Greek consumer’s perception of fresh ready-to-eat salads and predictive analytics for their purchase intention”;
  • “Visual merchandising of milk products and its influence on buying behavior”;
  • “The influence of celebrity endorsement in social media on young adults’ food choices in Northern Greece”;
  • “The effects of sustainability on business model innovation in agro-food”;
  • “Consumer preferences for organic products”, and many more.

Collaborative network

It is essential for students to build a vibrant network to allow them to discover new opportunities, learn, andraise their visibility.Perrotis College School of Graduate Studies has extensive ties with farmers, cooperatives and the food industry in terms of collaboration in research projects and transfer of knowledge. Students are brought into contact with alumni, industry experts and mentors during the many events offered during the residential weeks. These interactions offer the opportunity to broaden the students’ own network.

Student Handbook

STUDY

SEMESTER 1

The following courses are common for all first year students:

Entrepreneurship-A multidisciplinary module that leads to the development of entrepreneurial mind-sets amongst its students through a series of methodologies such as ideation, experimentation, and actionable business planning for a new venture that includes business model creation, marketing strategy, operations strategy, financial strategy and pitching development.

Consumer Needs and Trends-A multidisciplinary module that applies psychology, sociology, and others marketing-related social sciences, as well as data-driven research to develop learners understanding and discovery the fundamental individual and social variables that determine behaviour in the marketplace.

Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Agricultural Systems-A leading-edge module that provides learners with advanced knowledge of innovative technologies the field of agricultural systems, as well as skills to develop and manage sustainable production systems.

Bioinformatics/Genomics-A leading-edge module that covers a wide range of topics: from computational biology of RNA processing, comparative bioinformatics and comparative genomics to gene function and evolution and genomic and epigenomic variation. Learners apply these methodologies to the development of new products and services in the agro-food business.

Research Methods and Data Management-A module that develops learners’ skills in executing scientific research and includes methodologies for research study design, data collection methods, data analysis, presentation and interpretation of findings, with the objective of supporting business decisions and enhancing results’ uptake and use by target audiences.

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SEMESTER 2

Food Marketing & Branding -A specialised marketing module that is concerned with what brands are, how they are created and what they do within the context of marketing. Using data driven research, the module teaches learners how new brands and associated marketing strategies are developed and established for success in the in the agro-food business.

Domestic & International Sales -An industry-led module that builds the expanded skill set that companies are demanding from sales managers today. Students learn how to design and implement effective data-driven sales plans for both the local and the international market, as well as acquire a deeper understanding of business processes such as marketing, finance and supply chain management that impact directly on sales activities.

International Commercial Terms & Law -A multidisciplinary module explores the relationships that exist between the seller and buyer located in different jurisdictions in the context of international sales of goods. Learners master the international conventions, principles and INCOTERMS rules that affect their relationship, with practical examples and simulations.

Advanced Operations Management -An advanced module that gives learners the relevant methodology, knowledge and skills to align organisations’ operations and functional strategies thus becoming invaluable assets to any organisation in the field of administrative management. It is founded upon principles and models of operations management, quality administrative management, productivity, workflow design, procedure design, supply chain management, and the role of information systems in administrative management.

Management Accounting/Costing -An advanced module is designed to enhance learners understanding and application of the overall costing process and how to effectively determine costs. As an essential component of financial management, learners gain requisite skills in using cost accounting to advise management on the most cost-effective structures for operative decision making.

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SEMESTER 3

Digital Marketing-A hands-on, industry-led module that teaches learners to become digital marketers based on a framework to help students organise and plan their approach that includes marketing knowledge, content strategy, social media marketing, social media advertising, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing with AdWords, display advertising, email marketing, and optimisation of Google analytics.

Academic Research for Business-An advanced module where students learn how to use research in order to solve managerial challenges in advanced topics of agro-food business and management. It provides a strong grounding in understanding the research process enabling students to design, action and complete a research project themselves as either the sole researcher or as part of a research team. In addition to the technical quantitative and qualitative skills and knowledge required to be successful in these endeavours, the module also provides students with a clear understanding of the ethical considerations involved in undertaking research.

Advanced topics in International Promotion & Distribution -A multidisciplinary module focused on the special challenges when promoting and selling products and/or services beyond domestic borders. Customer preferences, competition, distribution channels and communications media differ. It is a module founded on industry-led case examples that demonstrate innovative and good business practices, global examples and lessons from the field, as well as many sample documents and simulations to illustrate requirements and good practice within the global value chain.

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SEMESTER 4

Dissertation -The module elaborates upon contemporary aspects of agro-food business and management. Based upon the knowledge from the prior modules, this module deepens theoretically informed but practically relevant knowledge in specific areas of of agro-food business and management. Students strengthen their capabilities to structure highly complex managerial problems, read upon research evidence on this specific topic, and develop adequate solutions for the managerial practice based on empirical evidence. Students will discuss the specific topic with their supervisors prior to the module to align it to their preferences.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Students holding a B.Sc. degree or equivalent in one of the following fields are eligible for the M.Sc. in Marketing for the Agro‐Food Sector:
  • Business Studies
  • Food Science & Technology
  • Agriculture  
  • Animal Husbandry
Applicants with other relevant B.Sc. degrees (such as Industrial & Chemical Engineering) may be considered for admission on the basis of their undergraduate program curriculum. The admissions committee will review every application on an individual basis and may request that additional courses be completed.
 
To be considered for admission, candidates are also required to either hold a recent minimum TOEFL score of 80 (IBT), or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent), unless their Bachelor degree has been awarded from an English-speaking institution or the candidate is a native English speaker. All students with no formal or evidence of English language skills are offered the option to sit the Cardiff Met GETS-HE Test (the test is computer based and is organised at the Perrotis College premises). Successful completion of the GETS Higher (81-89% in any individual component) meets the English Language Requirements for direct entry into the program. 
 
Professional experience is desirable but not required.
LEARNING OUTCOMES

Upon successful completion of the program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical awareness and understanding of the current theories and issues inherent in the marketing process and their applicability in the agro-food sector.
  • Demonstrate analytical skills, critical reflection skills and research evaluation skills necessary for appropriate decision making in the marketing sphere.
  • Demonstrate developed communication and inter-personal skills necessary to operate effectively in the agro-food marketing environment.
  • Demonstrate and apply independent research and critical skills enabling investigation into relevant/appropriate areas both organizationally and academically.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Graduates of the M.Sc. in Marketing for the Agro-Food Sector canfollow a range of career paths in the agricultural and food sectors, both in Greece and abroad. Potential career paths include: Produce and Processed Food Buyer, Export and National Sales and Marketing Manager, Packaging and Logistics Manager, and many other related positions. Employers include large and small organizations in the primary sector, food processing and trading companies, or third-party logistics organizations. Graduates will also be able to work as entrepreneurs, independent consultants and trainers in the agro-food sector. Although this is a specialized program, graduates will acquire transferable skills through common coursework, allowing them to seek employment in other sectors as well.

Graduates who are interested in an international academic career will have the competencies and knowledge required to pursue Ph.D. studies.

FACULTY

ANASTASIOS KARAMANOS

Dr. Anastasios Karamanos is the Head of the MSc in Marketing for the Agri-food Sector programme. He holds an MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London and a PhD in Management Studies from the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. He teaches and researches entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy. His main area of interest is the external relationships of young firms and how these contribute to their innovation capabilities and competitive advantage. He has published work on the economic organization of biotechnology innovation clusters and the mobility of research scientists, on alliance networks and their effects on the innovation output of young firms, as well as on entrepreneurial intentions. His work has appeared in the Journal of Management Studies, R&D Management, International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, European Planning Studies, the Best Paper Proceedings of the Academy of Management Conference, and the Product Development Management Association Conference.

Contact: akarama@afs.edu.gr
 

PANAGIOTIS KOTSIOS

Dr. Panagiotis Kotsios holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Economics from the University of Macedonia’s Department of International and European Studies, an MSc in Management from the University of Teesside (UK), an MA in Systematic Philosophy from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a BA in Economic and Business Policy from the University of Portsmouth (UK). His PhD thesis regarded barriers to entry met by new businesses in technologically dynamic European industrial sectors. He started working as a freelance economist on 2006. He teaches at the Open University and during the course of his profession he has worked as contractor for many private and public Greek organizations, such as the Ministry of Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of Thessaly, University of Central Greece, the Technological Educational Institutes (TEI) of Thessaly, Lamia and Epirus and for many small businesses as a consultant. He is the author of four books.

Contact: pkotsi@afs.edu.gr


ATHANASIOS KRYSTALLIS 

Dr. Krystallis is a Food MarketingConsultant with the Hellenic Research House S.A. and a Visiting Scholar in the Centre of Research on Customer Relationships in the Food Sector (MAPP, Aarhus University, Denmark), where he was until 2016 a Full Professor of Consumer Behavior. Today he is a Associate Professor at the Department of Management and International Business of the American College of Greece. Until today, he has also served in various positions in Greek public tertiary and research institutions (i.e. Agricultural University of Athens, Hellenic Center for Marine Research, National Agricultural Research Foundation etc.). Dr. Krystallis’ area of expertise is food marketing / consumer behavior (choice), and in particular the study of attitudes towards differentiated product quality and its impact on behavioral intention & choice. Specifically, Dr. Krystallis’ expertise lies in customer behavior towards new product development and differentiation, namely products carrying sustainability (i.e. eco-labels), authenticity (i.e. designations of origin) and wellness (i.e. health claims) cues on their branding & positioning strategies. His expertise includes developing statistical models for analysis & forecasting of customer choice, & marketing strategies for customer loyalty.

Contact: akrysti@afs.edu.gr
 

GEORGE LAMBANARIS

Mr. George Lambanaris combines 30 years of experience in domestic and global sales force management, 12 years experience of consulting through his consulting company and 10 years of experience as a sales force trainer, working with young professionals and scientists with different backgrounds. This gives him the opportunity to practice teaching in academic and industry environments, bringing the best of both worlds into his lectures and giving students the opportunity to network with industry. He holds a Master’s of Public Affairs (MPA) from Indiana University, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA and an MSC in International Marketing from the University of Leicester,UK. His professional development includes programmes such as, Cornell University Master Certificate in Restaurant Management (MCFSM), Kellogg Executive Scholar in Sales & Marketing, Kellogg Executive Scholar in Management & Leadership., Cranfield Professional Scholar in Key Account Management, Cranfield Professional Scholar in Sales Department Management, MIT & Columbia Business school Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Business Strategy and IE Diploma in Marketing Management.

Contact: glaban@afs.edu.gr
 

THEOHARIS SPYROPOULOS

Mr. Theocharis Stylianos Spyropoulos combines professional expertise and academic experience; he has more than 20 years international experience as a senior Marketing & Business Development professional in I.T. sector and as  senior manager & advisor for Greek and international companies. Mr Spyropoulos has accumulated experience in innovation management, business development, e-business, entrepreneurship and start-ups, and he is currently the CEO of a small start-up business.Mr. Spyropoulos is a part-time lecturer at Perrotis College of the American Farm School of Thessaloniki and a member of E.I.T. Food Council. Mr. Spyropoulos holds an MBA (Marketing) from Sheffield University Management School, and his research focuses on innovation management.

Contact: hspyro@afs.edu.gr
 

FOTINI THEODORAKIOGLOU

With 20 years of Marketing & Business Development Experience in the Food & Beverages Industry, 10+ years as Business Unit Manager with large company in agri-food and financial responsibility to €20M, she brings strategic thinking in her teaching combined with with a broad exposure in marketing, brand, customer relationship and export marketing management, giving also students the opportunity to network with industry. She holds and MPhil in International Marketing and an MBA in International Business from the University of Birmingham, UK. Since 2019 she is a PhD candidate in Marketing Communications at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Contact: ftheod@afs.edu.gr

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