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Structure of the study programme Master in Preneurship for Regenerative Food Systems

The MSc in Preneurship for Regenerative Food Systems (PREFS) is divided into five segments. This allows you to design your studies very individually. The segments are composed of compulsory and elective modules.

The study programme starts in the first semester with the segment Navigation and is then divided into the segments Agro Food Project, Regenerative Preneurship, Agro Food Technology and Systems and Individual Skills. In the Disruption Days, you will gain insight into disruptive topics outside of your daily study routine. You will complete your studies with a Master’s Thesis.

To meet the required agility and interdisciplinarity of the food industry, the Master's programme combines different teaching and learning methods (the so-called “4-o’s” educational concept):

We promote a culture of open feedback and positive failure.

Navigation Our navigation module allows the development of basic skills relevant to master-level studies and at the same time enables students to find a common orientation at the beginning of the master's programme. Apart from this, students crate their individual study design during this module and form teams for the Agro Food Project.
Compulsory modules: 2 modules, total 10 credits
Agro Food Project You work on a comprehensive project over the course of four semesters in an interdisciplinary team. The topic of the project is chosen by the team, and can be developed independently as a business idea (entrepreneurship), together with business partners or researchers (intrapreneurship) or as a social initiative (commonpreneurship).
Compulsory modules: 4 modules, total 20 credits
More on the Agro Food Project
Regenerative Preneurship Business management basics, along with the development of leadership skills and the elaboration of tools for innovation management enable you to initiate and implement sustainable changes within the food industry. Among other things, you apply this new knowledge and understanding directly in your own Agro Food Project.
Compulsory modules: 2 modules, total 6 credits
Elective modules: 9-16 credits
Agro Food Tech and Systems You become familiar with technologies (relevant both currently but also in the future) related to systemic change in the Agro Food Value Chain and gain a holistic perspective on the challenges facing the industry. You apply this new knowledge and understanding directly in your own Agro Food Project.
Compulsory modules: 2 modules, total 6 credits
Elective modules: 9-16 credits
Individual Skills The Individual Skills segment allows you to develop both your profile and your skills on an individual basis. You determine which you which competences you with to develop, in consultation with your coach.
Scope: 9 – 12 credits
Master Thesis You complete the module with an individual Master's thesis. In the Master Thesis, you will work on a self-selected question, derived from your Agro Food Project or on a new topic. You will work on the Master Thesis independently during one semester.
Scope: 10 credits
Disruption Days During the Disruption Days, your daily study routine is deliberately interrupted and you face new challenges. You test the skills you have acquired in an unfamiliar setting and in new forms of collaboration, and develop new skills in the process.
Topics: Personal Resilience, Corporate Case
Compulsory modules: 2 modules, total 4 credits

Agro Food Project: the focus of the study programme

In the Agro Food Project, you will work in an interdisciplinary team over four semesters to develop a regenerative business model within the agro food industry. This gives you the opportunity to deal intensively with a challenge and gain your first Preneurship experience.

Over the four consecutive semesters, the goal is to develop regenerative solutions and practice-oriented innovations, to test prototypes on the market and finally to implement them in a business model. You will acquire the additional skills you need for your project during your studies in the other segments.

Compulsory modules: (Total 30 credits)

Case selection for the Agro Food Project

During Navigation, you choose and develop your project case for the Agro Food Project. The Project Case focuses on a problem related to sustainability and regeneration in the agro food sector for which you will develop an innovative and entrepreneurial solution.

As an entrepreneur, you search for your own project case. Together with your team, you develop an innovative business model with the possibility to found a startup further down the line.

As an intrapreneur, you aim to trigger a change within companies. You can adopt a case proposal from our industry partners or from a ZHAW research group and develop this further.

As a commonpreneur, your goal is to pursue initiatives in the field of social innovation. You can work on your own idea or adopt a case proposal from our industry partners or from a ZHAW research group.

Your project team

During Navigation, you will form a project team for the Agro Food Project based on your common interests and complementary skills. The project will benefit from the team’s interdisciplinary background, and you will be able to learn from the knowledge and experience of your teammates.


The project team is supported by a mentor, both in terms of subject matter and scientific methods. Your mentor is either an expert in the field of your project or an employee of your industry partner.