D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 9
Hours 81
Period 2^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code STAL 3S407


The following topics are propaedeutic to the teaching: basic knowledge of mathematics.

Development of the course

The course consists of a balance of theoretical lectures (6 ECTS, 54 hours) and other activities, such as classroom experiments, carried out individually or in small groups, seminars and business game (3 ECTS, 27 hours, in all). An e-learning course is available in parallel with the lectures. It includes: the educational material organized in learning units, the materials and instructions for the classroom experiments, self-evaluation tests and results.

Learning outcomes

Expected learning outcomes


The course aims to provide an introduction to the economic theory and to the knowledge of the agro-food system. The course combines theory with training skills; marketing of agro-food products, with the opportunity to apply marketing concepts to real-world situations. Everyone will be encouraged to participate. Learning by playing. We’ll apply further the marketing concepts to specific firm’s situations by using a simulation software (business game).


Knowledge and understanding:

The course enables students to acquire adequate knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of the agro - food system; basic knowledge of microeconomics, theory of firm and market structure, with particular reference to the agricultural and agro -industrial sector; understanding of the principles of economic behavior of market players for the planning and evaluation of economic performance; basic knowledge of the marketing tools with particular reference to the agri - food sector and consumer behavior.


Applying knowledge and understanding:

Students will learn how to identify strategies for proper management of the agro-food businesses and businesses consulting and services related to them; todevelop an integrated business perspective, using marketing tools to understand and manage the enterprise’s position on the market; to develop the ability to work in a collaborative and cooperative arrangements in teams, managing conflicts in a constructive and negotiating way.



Participation in all learning activities will help students to work out plans to regulate the agro - food production and for a marketing proposal; to improve their capability of clearly and exhaustively communicate notions, ideas, problems and technical solutions to interlocutors, either professional or not, representative of the various and specific competencies in the agro-food supply chain (engineers, biologists, chemists, nutritionists, administrators), to improve their ability to set collaborative relationships within a group.



The first part of the course introduces microeconomic concepts and analysis. Students will be introduced to different types of market structures, with particular emphasize on the Agro-Food sector. The second part of the course focuses on agricultural production and the management of agro-food firms. The third part of the course focuses on consumer behaviour and the principles of agricultural marketing.


1st part – Micro and macroeconomics (4 ECTS)

Microeconomics: scopes, methods and economic tools .

Supply theory

  • The production theory: production systems, short and long run, fixed and variable inputs.
  • The production function.
  • The cost function in the short and long run.
  • Profit and revenue: supply function from the profit function.
  • Short and long run equilibrium of the firm under various market structures (perfect competition, competitive markets, oligopoly, monopoly).

Demand theory

  • Budget constraint.
  • Demand curves from the Engel curves.


2nd  part: (5 ECTS)

  • Introduction to agricultural marketing.
  • The agro-food system and competitor analysis.
  • Marketing management theories.
  • Demand analysis and consumer behaviour.
  • Strategic marketing for the agro-food sector.
  • Segmentation and positioning.
  • Marketing mix: the 4 p’s of marketing (product, price, place, promotion).
  • Agricultural policy and regulatoryconstraints.
  • Business game


Development of the examination

Learning evaluation methods

Written exam, oral discussion on the subjects listed in the teaching program, continuous self-assessment (trough case studies, discussions in class and on eLearning platform). A business game will be also part of the evaluation for both the team and the single students results.


Learning evaluation criteria

based on the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) standards.

Tests are planned to verify students learning levels as related to:

• Use of economic terminology accurately and appropriately;

• Select, understand and organize information appropriately to investigate economic behavior;

• Applytheir knowledge and skills appropriately to critical understanding and effectively to address problems and issues

• knowledge an comprehension of market competition in the simulation environment;

• developing a business strategy in an integrated business perspective;

• applying marketing mix instruments to manage the firm position on the market;

• Presenting the firm results in a clear style and with an appropriate use of language and marketing terms.

• team working and decision making during simulation.


Learning measurement criteria

All tests and practical tests will be evaluated and the final vote expressed in thirty.

Attending students:

• E-learning platform will be used to evaluate learning throughout different instruments (tests, Forum Use, questions, etc;

• Group effort will be measured by the Group Simulation (Business Game) performance

• individual effort will be measured during the Group Simulation (Business Game) and in oral tests;

• Results of a written (test) the learning level (objectives) reached

NOT attending students:

• individual Performance on a Simulation (Business Game);

• Results of a written (test) about the learning level reached;

• individual effort measured via an oral final exam.


Final mark allocation criteria

Wieghted mean of the learning measurement scores



Recommended reading

Peter P. e J. H. Donnelly jr. Marketing. McGrawHill, ultima edizione.

Staffolani S., Microeconomia, McGrawHill, 2011.

Begg D., Vernasca G., Fischer S., Dornbusch R., Microeconomia 4/ed, McGrawHill

Frank R.H., Microeconomia, MICROECONOMIA 5/ed, McGrawHill

All other educational material is available on the e-learning web platform.




  • C.L.T. - Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari (STAL)

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
P.I. 00382520427