The program is based on distance learning with four physical meetings (residency sessions) in Sweden during the two year program (three meetings the first year and one meeting at the end of the last year). Distance learning refers to students working from a local home base.
The teaching material, except for course books, is made available in this virtual learning environment. A virtual learning environment, for this particular program- Fronter - is the learning platform at Internet that provides access to material and a channel for communication (Fronter is more closely presented below). Studying at distance requires self-discipline. It requires commitment and study routines much the same way that on-campus studies do.
Costs and fees
This masters program is offered by SLU, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, but you may take classes at other universities during the third semester in the program. Tuition fees for international students with citizenship in countries outside the EU/EES and Switzerland will be introduced in autumn 2011, for more information see www.universityadmissions.se. The tuition fee for this program is at the moment 110 000 SEK per study year. Should you choose to take classes during the third semester outside Sweden these classes may also be associated with fees. All costs (tuition fees etc) are at your own responsibility.
Meetings in Sweden
While the program is delivered primary online, it does have four physical on-campus meetings during the two years: Introduction (first week), Workshop (after New Year) and Conference (before summer, for first and second years' students). The four meetings allow program faculty to cover course matters that is more difficult to teach online, for instance laboratory work and study visits. A benefit of these meetings is the networking that takes place among students and between students and teachers. Costs for travelling to these residencies have to be paid by yourself. Costs for housing and meals during residency are also the responsibility of the student. Transport back and forth to study visits is free.
Each of these on-campus meetings are more closely presented below.
The introduction is cumpulsory and will take place in Gothenburg at SIK - the Swedish Institute of Food and Biotechnology during one week at the changeover from August to September. For those of you who want to reach Gothenburg by air Landvetter Airport is located only a few kilometers from SIK.
The Workshop will take place in Stockholm, at the changeover from the first to the second semester. This means that two courses end with the workshop and two courses begin with the workshop.
The Conference is held in May and is compulsory. At the conference the students present their thesises. The Conference will take place in Uppsala.
If you are not a Scandinavian citizen you need a valid passport for entry into Sweden.
Citizens from some countries may need a Schengen Visa. Please contact the Swedish Embassy or Consulate in your country. You cannot get a residency permit to study this program since the Swedish Migration Board does not grant such Visa for internet based studies. For further information contact the Swedish Embassy or Consulate in your country. Please consult www.swedenabroad.com for addresses and office hours of Swedish embassies and consulates.
In order to join the Program FOOD Innovation and Market the minimum computer requirements are:
- Connection to the internet
- Bandwidth (minimum) 56 kbps
- Sound card on the computer
- Headset with a microphone. It is advisable to use the microphone that comes with the headset.
- Web camera for USB 2.0 connection to the computer
- Access to E-mailing system every day
- Web browser
- Flash Player 8
- Microsoft office
- You have to find technical support locally – SLU cannot provide technical support
Use of Fronter
A Virtual Learning Environment, known as Fronter is the learning platform where you find your classmates, course material and information about the program. The web interface of the platform allows you to login to the course from any computer (with any browser) that is connected to the Internet.
Communication in this masters’ program is mainly taking place in Fronter and it requires that you are registered in the program and/or on a course. Keeping updated in Fronter enables you to structure your work as well as gaining a continuous dialogue with your classmates at a distance. Some of the activities are based on collaborations in pairs and groups.
Most of the courses are processed individually, at a convenient time for you but still with delivery deadlines in mind. However, some “deliveries” and dialogues are synchronized. It refers to a “mandatory attendance” – when students are expected to connect digitally through, for example, Adobe Connect, to contribute actively in a group dialogue.
Adobe Connect is a virtual classroom tools that allows meetings in real time and video conferencing on the web, whenever you want. It gives the possibility to talk, see each other and share applications and documents without being in the same room, the same building, or even the same country. This platform is used in several courses in the FOOD-ONLINE Master Program for online lectures, project meetings and project presentations.
Email is a very important communication tool. Once you have been accepted and enrolled in the program you will be provided with an email account. Communication through email will be sent to your SLU-mail address.
How we support you
- You will receive academic feedback on your work to ensure that you are reaching the requirements. In addition, your teachers will provide assignments and reading materials.
- You are offered individual support in distance education. However, SLU is unable to provide support on non-academic matters.
- In Fronter you will be able to receive support from your classmates and also provide support for them.
- You will receive information about practical matters related to the residency sessions.
- You will even receive information about study social issues.
"What every student needs to know" gives you information for your studies.
Course packs. For each course in the program you will find a folder in Fronter with on-line lectures, along with a series of readings, instructions and assignments etc.
Textbooks have to be paid by you (for certain courses the same textbooks are used.
Course literature is announced at the latest eight weeks before the course starts).
Reference literature. As a distance student at SLU you have the right to access our licence-based resources, subject databases and electronic journals in full text. You can reach this via VPN or SLU:s proxy server.
Period of study and time commitment
This Master's program is two academic years of full time study. The ‘study year’ is effectively between August and June, with written examinations usually in the end of each course. Some of the courses offered in the program are also open for non-program students.
Most of the courses are processed individually, at a convenient time for you but still with deadlines for deliveries. It is very important that the hours given to study, should be given consistently. The four meetings (one week residency sessions each time) in Sweden are compulsory.
At SLU we use a 4-grade marking scale: 5~Pass with distinction, 4~Pass with credit, 3~Pass and U~Fail. If you are an international student you have the right to get your exam graded according to ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System).