The new Two-Year Graduate Degree in Food Innovation & Management is designed to train analysts, managers, consultants, and experts who specialize in management and innovation the Food & Beverage sector, giving them a strong knowledge of food systems and the economical, social, and cultural processes linked to food.

In this program, Food & Beverage is considered a part of a more complex system that sees the interaction of businesses, consumers, and national and international institutions in diverse cultural contexts.

Graduates of this program are thus trained to analyze this system in all its complexities, interacting and interfacing with all of the involved parties, understanding its terminology, values, and trends.

A total scholarship is available for non-European students >


The course structure is closely connected to the university’s scientific and applied research and reflects the Pollenzo campus’ original teaching methods, which are based on an interdisciplinary and experiential approach to the study of the gastronomic sciences.

The course is characterized by a number of innovative aspects:

  • interactive teaching methods: group work, presentations, classroom discussions, and case study analysis;
  • workshops with producers, entrepreneurs, managers from food and wine businesses, and representatives of institutions;
  • study trips to learn about food producers and institutions linked to the world of food;
  • field project: work on a consultancy project or applied research for a business or institution;
  • curricular internship lasting 4-6 months at a business from the University of Gastronomic Sciences’ network.

Distinctive Characteristics of the Program

The new program, in its second edition, was born out of the natural evolution of the Graduate Program in Gastronomic Heritage and Tourism Management, introduced ten years ago, and builds on its know-how and demonstrated academic results, updating them for current business climates and needs.

To successfully navigate the complexities of the contemporary world, managerial experience must be joined by the capacity to analyze, to predict, and to innovate. This is why, alongside a focus on managerial training, the program furnishes students with the tools needed to examine and anticipate socio-economical and cultural trends, at both the local and global levels, and to propose innovative and creative solutions.

In today’s job market, there is an increasing appreciation for well-rounded professional figures able to confront, work with, and create partnerships with all of the stakeholders involved in the system. Whether a student aspires to work in the private sector or prefers to focus on the institutional realm, he or she will be given the hard and soft skills needed to collaborate in both worlds.

National and international study trips, in addition to shorter visits in the field, put students in direct contact with the world of food and agricultural businesses and institutions connected to the realm of food. Furthermore, classroom lectures are integrated with daily teamwork activities, workshops, interactive presentations, and field projects.

Field projects are applied, interdisciplinary projects created by groups of students under the guidance of a professor on behalf of a business and/or national or international institution that give student work groups a formal assignment to research and analyze innovative solutions. These projects, comparable in assignment to consultancy or applied research projects, generally last five months and undergo a structured development process that includes periodic progress reports. Upon completion, they are subject to an evaluation process and allow students to obtain course credits.

An internship lasting for a minimum of 250 hours, which can be structured as full-time or part-time, is a fundamental component of the program.

Internships take place with Italian or foreign businesses, usually selected from among those with which UNISG has established relationships as Strategic Partners or Contributing Members, and are important learning opportunities.

With the goal of maximising the internship experience and facilitating placement within a company, the university provides a financial contribution to students for a maximum duration of five months.

The selection of where the internship takes place occurs through a personalized placement services for each student, under the guidance of the Career Center. Through a series of classroom presentations and individual guidance meetings, an internship in line with the educational goals and interests of the student and most relevant to the proposed subject of his or her thesis will be determined.

Conducted entirely in English and open equally to both Italian and non-Italian students, the course immerses students in an international university environment (about 50% of students enrolled at UNISG are non-Italians) and aims to give them the tools necessary to work professionally in cross-cultural and globalized contexts.

The interdisciplinary and experiential approach to gastronomic sciences is the pillar of the original educational methods of Pollenzo’s campus, and characterizes the course of study that integrates materials focusing on economics and management with the disciplines of law, sociology, history, marketing, and communications.

In keeping with current practices and institutional guidelines, with particular reference to the 2030 Agenda promoted by the United Nations in defining Sustainable Development Goals, in each course offered, the program material integrates aspects linked to economic, social, environmental, and cultural sustainability in the food and agricultural sectors.

Pollenzo is the fulcrum of a consolidated network of institutional, entrepreneurial, and cultural relationships. Here, students are an active part of the university’s scientific and applied research projects and the numerous initiatives that the school brings to life, from conferences to meetings between students from other programs and the Research Doctorate program in “Ecogastronomy, Education and Society,” to Tea Time Meetings and events at the Academic Tables.

Career opportunities

The Two-Year Graduate Degree in Food Innovation & Management prepares professionals with a solid analytical training, an applied knowledge of gastronomic sciences, and an excellent command of management tools.

Some of the main areas of employment for Food Innovation & Management graduates are:


  • Producers in the Food & Beverage sector
  • Specialized distributors of high quality Food & Beverage products
  • Large-scale retail channels
  • Food equipment (machinery for food production)
  • Specialized packaging in the Food & Beverage sector
  • Strategic consulting
  • Communication and marketing agencies


  • Specialized finance
  • International public institutions and organizations
  • Non-government organizations (NGOs)
  • Research organizations and foundations
  • Education and training

Graduates in Food Innovation & Management can hold diverse roles in businesses, including: research, development and innovation; marketing and communication; strategic analysis and planning; sales; purchasing; and production. They can also work in project design, strategic analysis, planning, and innovation in the field of special finance, in non-government organizations, research organizations, foundations, and educational and training institutions. With the specialized post-graduate training provided by this program, graduates can further aspire to positions within international public institutions and organizations

Course director: Prof. Donatella Saccone

Maximum number of students per year: 40
Attendance: obligatory

Application deadlines
Start date: January 31, 2019
First round: May 23, 2019
Second round: July 25, 2019

Ranking list publication dates
First ranking list: May 28, 2019
Second ranking list: July 30, 2019

Course start: September 16, 2019


Preparatory Workshops – 4 ECTS

– Sensory Analysis
– Wine Tasting
– Introduction to Food Technology
– Introduction to Quantitative Methods
– Introduction to Economics and Management

First Semester

1. Economics and Development Policy – 6 ECTS
2. Sociology and Consumer Behaviour Analysis – 8 ECTS
3. Advanced Data Analysis – 6 ECTS
4. Ecology and Terroir – 6 ECTS

Study Trip

Second Semester

5. Food Industry Management – 9 ECTS
6. Advanced Food and Trade Law – 9 ECTS
7. Applied Gastronomic Sciences: Food Transformations in Cooking – 6 ECTS

Field Project  – 8 ECTS


First semester

8. Critical Gastronomy and Communication – 8 ECTS
9. Systemic Food Design – 6 ECTS
10. Food Culture – 6 ECTS

2 Focuses to choose from, each comprising 2 elective courses

FOCUS 1. Innovation, Creativity and Culture of Food

– New Frontiers of Gastronomy – 6 ECTS
– Anthropology and Multiculturalism – 6 ECTS

FOCUS 2. Entrepreneurship in the Food Industry

– Entrepreneurial Strategy – 6 ECTS
– Communication for Food Marketing – 6 ECTS

Second Semester

Internship – 10 ECTS

Final Thesis – 16 ECTS


Learn more >

UNISG Study Trips are a unique opportunity for our students to investigate the complexity of current food systems in the world by integrating theoretical concepts from the classroom with direct and practical experience in the field.

One of UNISG’s aims during the study trips is to maintain a dialogue with key actors of the agri-food market, from small-scale producers, to large companies, to government and private institutions which have a strong presence in the areas we visit, allowing our students to benefit from existing networks and to initiate new ones.

The first year of the Graduate Degree in Food Innovation and Management includes two study trips, the first in Europe and the second in Italy, which focus on the discovery of a territory through meetings with various national and international stakeholders.

By the end of this course of study, our students will develop the skills of critical observation and analysis that will serve them in their own future endeavours as promoters, innovators, and leaders in the increasingly interconnected and globalized food market.

The organization of and planning of the didactic content and travel logistics is managed by the staff of the Tutor Office, who also accompany the students during the trip.

More information >

In the second semester of the second year, students will complete an internship, either full- or part-time, lasting around 250 hours in total, at a business or institution in Italy or elsewhere, ideally chosen from among those with which UNISG already has an established relationship, particularly the Strategic Partners and Contributing Members.

In order to ensure that the internship experience is as formative as possible, and to facilitate the entry of the student into the company, the University will contribute monetarily for a period up to a maximum of 5 months.

A personalized placement service for each student, coordinated by the Career Center, will help them choose their internship. Through classroom activities in groups and an individual orientation process, the internship most in line with the student’s areas of interest will be identified, and will most likely be in a similar field to their final thesis.

The Career Center supports UNISG students during the delicate transition into the professional world.

While the students are here in Pollenzo, the Career Center provides constant support to develop their own unique career design through the “Cultivating your Career” program, which consists of collective workshops and individual coaching sessions.

Through the Career Fair and the Career Center website, the office helps students in gaining a better understanding of different professional sectors to start or continue their career.

Upon graduation, the Office continues monitoring the Alumni career, fostering a strong and active professional network that puts together new and experienced gastronomes worldwide.

More information >

The annual fees for the Two-Year Graduate Degree starting in the academic year 2018/19 are €14,500 for the 1st year and €9,200 for the 2nd year, which includes:

  • all academic activities, including conferences, tastings and seminars;
  • books and other printed materials;
  • expenses for all programmed study trips;
  • participation in all UNISG and Slow Food events as included in the undergraduate program;
  • private insurance policy covering urgent healthcare for non-European students;
  • dining hall pass with 4,000 credits for use at UNISG’s Academic Tables (corresponds to €400). For more information about the meal service, click here >
  • access to Career Center services (food sector job placement).

Download the University Fee Payment Regulations for the two-year graduate degree program >

Financial Aid & Scholarships >

Note: Fees do not include  accommodation and the cost of obtaining an Italian permit of stay (“permesso di soggiorno”, around €150). Non-EU citizens must apply for a permesso di soggiorno at the post office, ideally with the assistance of the Al Elka Foreigner Services Center, within 8 working days after arriving in Italy. For more information, please see the Bureaucratic Procedures page on our website.

The Graduate Degree in Food Innovation and Management is open to:

– candidates who have graduated, or will graduate before the extraordinary session of the 2017/2018 academic year, from a three-year undergraduate program in Italy, from among those indicated in the document Admissions process, under “Required Academic Qualifications for Access to the Graduate Degree”

– candidates who have been awarded, or are about to be awarded, a three-year undergraduate degree from an institution outside the Italian system but in a country belonging to the European Union or treated as equivalent to a member state, compatible with a qualification among those indicated in the document Admissions process, under “Required Academic Qualifications for Access to the Graduate Degree” and valid for admission to an Italian university.

– candidates who have been awarded, or are about to be awarded, a three-year undergraduate degree from an institution outside the Italian system in a country not belonging to the European Union nor treated as equivalent to a member state, compatible with a qualification among those indicated in the document Admissions process, under “Required Academic Qualifications for Access to the Graduate Degree” and valid for admission to an Italian university.

Candidates must have the language skills necessary to be able to follow the course, which is taught entirely in English.

Students holding the undergraduate degree in Gastronomic Sciences from the University of Gastronomic Sciences are automatically eligible to enroll to the two-year graduate program.

For more information please read the Admissions process

In order to apply to the Two-year Graduate Degree, candidates must successfully complete the following steps online:

  • registration process;
  • supporting dossier;
  • Written Analytical Exam;
  • Online Interview

Sample admission test >

More information >

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