Starting in the winter semester, the University of Kassel offers the new English-language master’s program in Agriculture, Ecology & Societies (AGES). The program is designed to enable students to explore agriculture as a complex socio-ecological system and thus prepare them for activities related to the agricultural and food transition.
Content of the master’s program in agriculture
To do this, the master’s program in agriculture combines in-depth agronomic content with an examination of how agriculture is embedded in society and economic processes. With a wide range of electives, AGES enables students to tailor their studies to their interests and career goals. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary, critical thinking, and project-based learning. At international partner universities, students can specialize in agroecology, rural development, and environmental management, among others. All AGES modules are taught in English.
The program prepares graduates for jobs in agricultural policy institutions, agroecological extension or research institutes. Here they can play a role in the shift towards more agroecology, climate protection, biodiversity or animal welfare. A bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences, social sciences, economics or humanities is a prerequisite for this master’s program. The departments involved are Ecological Agricultural Sciences, Humanities and Cultural Studies, Social Sciences, Architecture – Urban Planning – Landscape Planning (ASL) and Economics.
Application for the master’s program in agriculture
Application is possible from 1.6. Information and application for the master’s program in agriculture is available at uni-kassel.de/go/m_ages.
Application Requirements for Candidates with Foreign Credentials:
- Possession of a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences, Economics, Social Sciences, Humanities or a closely related field, with at least 180 ECTS-credits (or equivalent).
- Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in a related discipline must have completed at least 60 ECTS-credits in professional and methodological courses within Agricultural Sciences, Economics, Social Sciences, or Humanities.
- Applicants who do not fully meet the above criteria may be granted conditional admission, subject to successful completion of additional preparatory courses as determined on a case-by-case basis by the admissions committee.
- Evidence of adequate English language proficiency through one of the following means:
- Prior academic studies conducted entirely in English.
- An internationally recognized English language certificate at level C1 according to the Common Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF).
- An internationally recognized English language certificate at level B2 (as per the CEF) and evidence of a minimum of one year’s work within the past two years in an organization where English is the primary language of communication. Applicants should provide a letter from the organization confirming its working language.
- Submission of a one-page letter in English detailing the applicant’s motivation to join the program, relevant personal experiences and expectations for further studies, and long-term career goals that have motivated the application for this transdisciplinary Master’s program.
What is the agricultural and food transition?
The agricultural and food transition, or “Agrar- und Ernährungswende” as it’s known in German, refers to a comprehensive shift in agricultural practices and food systems aimed at becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Current agricultural and food systems have been increasingly criticized due to their significant impact on the environment, climate, biodiversity, and social justice.
The agricultural transition encompasses various strategies, including the reduction of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, promoting organic and regenerative farming, improving animal welfare, and decreasing intensive livestock farming. The aim is to maintain productive agriculture while conserving natural resources, promoting biodiversity, and contributing to climate protection.
On the other hand, the food transition primarily concerns our dietary habits and systems. It aims to reduce the consumption of meat and animal products, promote the consumption of locally and seasonally produced foods, minimize food waste, and achieve a fairer global distribution of food.
Both transitions are closely interlinked, as the way we cultivate, harvest, process, and consume food has substantial impacts on our environment and society. Therefore, they require a coordinated effort from farmers, consumers, policymakers, and the food industry. The overall goal is to create a sustainable and equitable system that can feed the world’s population without compromising the planet’s health.
Questions and answers
What is the Masters Program in Agriculture, Ecology & Societies (AGES)?
The AGES Masters Program is an interdisciplinary course offered at the University of Kassel in Germany. It focuses on the interaction of agriculture, ecology, and societies, addressing current challenges in these fields.
How long does the AGES Masters Program take?
The program is designed to be completed in four semesters. This includes both coursework and the time to complete a Masters thesis.
What are the admission requirements for the AGES program?
Applicants need a Bachelors degree in a relevant field with at least 180 ECTS credits. English proficiency and relevant professional and methodological courses are also required.
Is there an application fee for the AGES program?
No, there is no application fee for the program. However, there might be general university enrollment fees that students are required to pay.
Are the courses taught in English or German?
The AGES Masters Program is taught entirely in English. Hence, proficiency in English is a must for all applicants.
What are the main areas of study in the AGES program?
The program focuses on three main areas: agricultural sciences, ecology, and social sciences. It offers an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and solving problems in these fields.
Is there an opportunity to do practical work or research during the AGES program?
Yes, students are required to complete a Masters thesis, which provides an opportunity for practical research. There may also be other opportunities for hands-on learning during the program.
Is it possible to study part-time in the AGES program?
The program is designed as a full-time study course. However, specific arrangements may be possible on a case-by-case basis.
What are the career prospects after completing the AGES program?
Graduates of the AGES program can work in various fields, such as agricultural management, environmental protection agencies, research institutions, or non-governmental organizations. The program equips students with the skills to address complex agricultural, ecological, and social issues.
How many ECTS credits are awarded upon completion of the AGES program?
Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded 120 ECTS credits. This includes the Masters thesis.
What are the deadlines for application to the AGES program?
The program starts in the winter semester, and the application period typically opens in the summer. However, its best to check the universitys website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Is there support for international students in the AGES program?
Yes, the University of Kassel offers various services and support for international students. This can include help with accommodation, language courses, and integration into university life.