The EMIN is a two-year joint programme (120 ECTS) with two separate phases:
Training period (90 ECTS): 3 semesters worth 30 ECTS each of lectures at the partner universities.
Master Thesis and internships (30 ECTS): to be carried by students at any of the EMIN partner universities, with the collaboration of the industry partners that will support the development of professional internship of EMIN students during the last stage of their studies.
During the training period, the EMIN program must be bed from various disciplines. The training of EMIN students must combine, in a coordinated manner, the economics of network industries, the management and policy of infrastructures, the regulation of key sectors for the development of the European single market, and the technological aspects that characterize network industries making them different from other sectors.
This interdisciplinary nature is one of the most unique features of the EMIN joint programme, and it requires careful design in order to guarantee that students with different backgrounds (economics and engineering) are able to supplement their previous training with new concepts and areas of knowledge while keeping the cohesiveness of the whole programme. The structure of the training period can be represented as shown in the figure below, in which each box represents the main area of expertise of the degree-awarding partners
Once students have passed the required 90 ECTS of training coursework, they will start a research period for their Master Thesis (30 ECTS)¹ . The university hosting students for their dissertations may offer them additional coursework required for the development of the master dissertation.
Students may write their theses either at a university department, laboratory or institute, or in a company placement, depending on the pathway and interest of the candidate. The EMIN Master has fostered the establishment of regular links and internship agreements with companies so that students willing to have a professional experience linked to their Master Thesis can be granted this opportunity.
Industries involved in the EMIN advisory committee as associated partners, will participate especially in this placement agreements, but a growing number of other companies with a looser relationship to the Master will also be involved.
In any case, students will submit Master Theses at the University where the thesis has been registered, and in front of an international committee, taking advantage of the yearly joint dedicated research seminar to be held at the Florence School of Regulation - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy).
The previous experience of the four groups of EMIN students already in progress show two different student profiles:
* engineering graduates searching for a more global systemic approach that includes economic, management and policy perspectives, and
* economics and management graduates requiring to learn how to use advanced tools in the technological layer to better understand the fundamentals of network industries.
Common to both these profiles is the focus on advanced tools for decision-making, regulation and policy analysis.
The co-existence of these two different disciplinary profiles requires a more specific framework for student pathways to follow through the universities of the Consortium. The flexibility of the course in terms of the mobility component is very attractive, but academic path followed must be structured carefully in order to define clearly what the expected outcome is once a student finishes the course.
This 'structured flexibility' has been made explicit in this proposed update by the definition of various pathways. Each pathway requires a different background, and some of the skills and abilities earned by the student can be pathway-dependent. From the point of view of career development and employability, this structure can help future employers to easily identify the expected abilities of EMIN graduates, and to differentiate the variety of profiles according to the pathway followed in such an interdisciplinary programme