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Masters Degrees (Rural Studies)

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MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Read more
MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our broad range of research areas relate to land use, natural resources and environmental change; rural planning, community governance and resilience; rural change, culture and wellbeing; and rural economy, enterprise and innovation.

Areas of research include:
-Impact and implications of ‘local-global’ processes and relationships for rural areas
-Characteristics and performance of rural businesses and households
-Rural governance
-Demographic ageing and social change
-Living with environmental change

Opportunities are available for postgraduate research in the following areas:

Land use, natural resources and environmental change

-Multifunctional land use and the evolving role of small farms
-Land use and food security
-The management and governance of natural resources
-Agri-environment policy
-Environmental valuation and choice modelling
-Access to land for outdoor recreation and leisure
-Protected areas management

Rural planning, community governance and resilience

-Relationship between rural development policy and communities in a changing political landscape
-Rural policies and the role of communities in policy development
-Neo-endogenous or networked rural development
-Rural housing and trends in counter-urbanisation
-Community asset management
-Rural partnerships and stakeholder relationships
-Community resilience

Rural change, culture and wellbeing

-Perceptions of rurality
-Rural social change
-The role of rural women
-The needs of a changing rural community
-Wellbeing and quality of life
-Rural social capital
-Social exclusion and rural poverty
-Changing perceptions of farming

Rural economy, enterprise and innovation

-Rural enterprise and its economic contribution
-Innovation and entrepreneurialism
-Networks and knowledge exchange
-The nature and needs of rural enterprise
-Technological adoption and innovation in agriculture
-Linkages between urban and rural economies
-Business collaboration and networking
-Expertise and knowledge exchange
-Social and community enterprise
-The green economy

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Sustainable rural development is seen as critical to survival of rural areas at a global level. Central to the success of any rural development programme, is a skilled team of experts to think strategically about rural development and ensure its delivery. Read more
Sustainable rural development is seen as critical to survival of rural areas at a global level. Central to the success of any rural development programme, is a skilled team of experts to think strategically about rural development and ensure its delivery. This graduate programme will be of direct relevance to those interested in becoming leaders in rural development and promoting sustainability in the rural sector. It will also be of interest to those currently employed in rural development.

AIM
The Diploma course is strongly inter-disciplinary. It aims to develop an understanding of the underlying processes of economic, social and environmental practice with an emphasis on sustainability. Thus, as well as teaching the theories and concepts underlying rural development, the course places strong emphasis on the application of theory to development problems in rural areas, with an emphasis on the EU.


STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
Students on the full-time diploma course are required to take a total of four taught modules and a double module Work Experience Placement during the academic year from September to June.


Global Sustainability, Local Solutions and Rural Policy (single module)
This module explores the history of Rural
Development locally and provides an introduction to European Union, national and regional policies and strategies. Students will become familiar with key policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy, EU Rural Development Programmes, Rural Development Programme, and a range of EU legislation relating to rural policies.

Students will have had the opportunity to develop the following knowledge:

• CAP reform, Decoupling and Single Farm Payment
• Use of Community Initiatives such as LEADER
• Diversification of the rural economy
• Rural Champion, Rural White Paper and Rural Proofing
• Agri-Environment Programmes, Countryside Management, Forestry and Organic Farming schemes

Rural Development: Rhetoric and Reality (single module)
This module aims to provide students with the basic skills necessary to take responsibility for a project management process from start to finish. The following are the main areas covered.
• Fundraising and income generation
• Social inclusion: key concepts
• Rural poverty
• Physical Planning for Rural Areas
• Sustainable Rural Tourism
• Community Development

Foundations for Sustainable Development (i) (single module)
This is a broad ranging module exploring the major global issues in environmental sustainability, such as Climate Change, Biodiversity, Waste Management, Water Management, Renewable Energy. The module will introduce concepts and methodologies such as Environmental Economics, Ecological Footprinting and Environmental Impact Analysis as well as moral and ethical ways of considering sustainable development problems.

Methods for Rural and Sustainability Research (single module)
The purpose of this module is to provide students with a basic understanding of the various methods which are used in both rural and sustainable development practice and research.
The module is intended to complement other modules in the curriculum by providing students with a range of techniques which can be utilised in gathering knowledge, undertaking analyses, reporting findings and applying knowledge. Formal lectures are supplemented by case studies and visiting speakers.


Work Placement/Internship (double module)
Each student will work with a University tutor to identify and undertake a specific piece of work either in their own workplace or in a suitable co-operating organisation that has a rural or sustainability interest. The placement must normally be completed during years 1 & 2 of the degree and will be guided by an agreed set of learning objectives and work tasks. Assessment will be based on the student’s diary or log, a final report prepared by the student and an oral presentation to students, staff and the placement mentor. This internship will offer students the opportunity to combine theory with practical tasks and to develop professional work habits.

The aim is to ensure, by the end of the programme, adequate coverage of the range of disciplines relevant to sustainable rural development. All taught modules will be assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and written and oral examination.


PROGRESSION TO MSc
Students who attain the required standard in the six modules and submit a satisfactory research proposal may progress from the Graduate Diploma to the MSc by completion of a dissertation which is equivalent to three modules. This element of the programme involves original research including a literature review, data gathering and analysis. The research will be carried out under the supervision of a member of the academic staff from July to September (inclusive).

Up to date information on course fees can be found at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/finance/TuitionFees/

The University provides information on possible sources of awards which is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/PostgraduateCentre/PostgraduateFunding/

Additional information for International students

http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/StudyatQueens/InternationalStudents/

Applicants who are non-EEA nationals must satisfy the UK Border Agency (UKBA) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes, by providing evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

*Taken within the last 2 yrs.

Please see http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs for more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals.

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This Masters Programme is extremely timely as it comes when there is increasing attention being placed upon the role and function of rural economies and societies. Read more
This Masters Programme is extremely timely as it comes when there is increasing attention being placed upon the role and function of rural economies and societies. The development agenda for rural areas within a rapidly-changing context for agriculture and the broader countryside sees pressures to achieve economic competitiveness and efficiency balanced with concerns relating to food security, environmental protection and climate change, and where questions of equality, social inclusion, quality of life and the public good are central. Reflecting particularly the globalizing nature of agriculture and rural development processes, the MA in Rural Sustainability addresses the nature of rural and agricultural change not only across a range of dimensions (economic, social, political, cultural), but also scales (local, national, global), locations (Europe and beyond), and interfaces (e.g. human and non-human). As such, it situates itself within the context of leading contemporary and emerging thinking and research on the rural, drawing on concepts and theories, as well as methodologies and practices that critically engage with these varied dimensions of the rural.

€3000 Award for Best Student Performance in MA in Rural Sustainability

The Dr. Patrick Commins Rural Research Award, valued at €3,000 per annum, for the best overall MA student performance was announced at the official launch of the MA in Rural Sustainability in December 2012. Dr. Maura Farrell, Director of the MA, spoke of her delight at the announcement of this prestigious award, and praised Teagasc for their generous sponsorship and their support of the programme. Dr Farrell described the award ’as a considerable incentive for current and future students interested in rural studies and a real vote of confidence in the quality and importance of the Masters programme’. In particular Dr Farrell felt that in these economically stringent times, the award was a statement about the importance of rural issues in broader global economic recovery and the need to develop well-informed and educated leaders who understand the complexities of rural economy and society. The award is a tribute to Dr. Commins who was a leading academic and researcher in rural issues and had a long and distinguished career with their organisation. His reputation as an expert on rural affairs extended well beyond Ireland, and his knowledge and experience was regarded as key to informing EU and wider international academic and policy debates.

Launch of the Master of Arts in Rural Sustainability

NUI Galway has officially launched a new Masters Programme in Rural Sustainability. The full-time, one year postgraduate programme is being co-ordinated by the Discipline of Geography within the School of Geography and Archaeology, and it already has a full complement of students in place for the first year of its operation. The Programme has been devised in response to increasing attention nationally and internationally on the role and function of rural economies and societies. NUI Galway holds a distinguished tradition of rural research and teaching. As a European University that is itself situated in a rural and peripheral location, it seeks to continue its leadership role in rural affairs through providing a postgraduate career path in rural studies. The Programme was officially launched by Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc. This association with Teagasc, particularly with its own strong leadership in rural research, is an important component of the programme as it unites expertise in rural theory, research and practice, ultimately benefiting the student experience and future employability.

Why Choose this Programme?

If you are interested in rural sustainability, rural innovation, multifunctionality and agriculture, and you wish to contribute in a meaningful way to rural affairs and potentially influence the contribution rural areas can make in revitalizing the economy at national and European level, this MA Programme can support such an ambition. This MA will enable students to develop theoretical competencies and independent research capacities, with the ability to transfer and apply these to real world contexts and settings.

The programme is delivered by a team of dedicated and highly respected academics and researchers from the School of Geography & Archaeology and by motivated contributors from other associated Schools, from other Universities and from Research Institutions; by individuals drawn from policy and practice-based domains.

This MA situates itself within contemporary and forward-looking perspectives on the rural; however, it also builds on a long-established track record of rural studies and rural research conducted at NUIG, with strong networks of collaboration at national, European and wider international levels across academic and research institutions, as well as the Institutions of the European Union.

In particular, this MA expands on a highly successful EU-funded Framework 7 research project (DERREG), exploring contemporary and future challenges facing rural areas in an era of globalization. It thus represents an important transfer of knowledge from research that has been built on relevant international case-study examples from 6 EU member states and which has informed critical theoretical discussions and policy debates on the rural at EU level. This development to a taught programme offers students an opportunity to benefit from such knowledge and expertise drawn from widely differing rural contexts.

Career Opportunities?

As a graduate of this programme, you will possess a depth of rural-specific knowledge combined with a host of transferrable skills. This combination will equip you to work in a selection of contexts that require the ability to think at conceptual levels about rural-related issues and transfer this knowledge into practical applications and solutions in policy, management and consultancy domains. Among the potential employment settings are national and international organizations and agencies with a rural development remit, groups and consultancies related to a range of government programmes, government departments and other public sector organizations concerned with the rural sector.

The MA is Rural Sustainability is also designed to enhance students’ prospects for undertaking further research at PhD level, with our students being well placed to pursue PhD studies in universities nationally and internationally.

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This course is ideal for graduates looking to develop a new, or manage an existing, rural tourism or events enterprise, as well as those wishing to advise on tourism and rural development in developed or developing nations. Read more
This course is ideal for graduates looking to develop a new, or manage an existing, rural tourism or events enterprise, as well as those wishing to advise on tourism and rural development in developed or developing nations.

The tourism and events industry is experiencing continued growth and diversification, becoming one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Rural tourism is an entrepreneurial sector, drawing on our natural environment and cultural assets. Students will gain an understanding of the key issues and techniques involved for developing and managing rural tourism, and examine the economic, environmental and social concepts and frameworks that define the industry.

This course is ideal for graduates looking to develop a new, or manage an existing, rural tourism or events enterprise, as well as those wishing to advise on tourism and rural development in developed or developing nations, or pursue a career or management position within rural event management.

The MSc in Rural Tourism Management is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute. Upon successful completion of the degree, you will be awarded CMI Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership and will therefore become a Member of the Chartered Management Institute (MCMI). You can then apply to the CMI for full Chartered Manager status if you wish.

Structure

The course may be studied full-time over 12 months or part-time over two years, plus one year to complete the Research Project.
You will study eight modules; five tourism and event management modules, two business management modules, and one research methods module.

If you do not wish to undertake the Research Project may choose to take a Postgraduate Diploma following successful completion of eight modules.

This course blends practical hands-on learning with theoretical knowledge, and is delivered through lectures, guest speakers, seminars, individual and student-led research, case studies and field visits to top regional tourism enterprises and events.

Modules are assessed through group and individual coursework, presentations and examinations.

Modules

• 4084 Tourism and Development
• 4086 Financial Management
• 4088 Marketing Planning and Strategy
• 4091 Research Methodology
• 4106 Dissertation
• 4224 Contemporary Theories in Rural Tourism Management
• 4225 Agri-Tourism
• 4226 Entrepreneurship for Rural Tourism and Events
• 4227 Rural Event Management

Career prospects

It is anticipated that graduates with an MSc in Rural Tourism Management will go on to progress their career in:

• Their own start up or diversified rural tourism or events enterprise
• A successful rural tourism company
• The public sector
• The charitable sector
• A rural tourism sector body
• A tourism and rural development organisation on the international stage
• A rural event management company
• Academic research

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.rau.ac.uk/STUDY/POSTGRADUATE/HOW-APPLY

Funding

For information on funding, please view the following page: https://www.rau.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/funding

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Are you looking forward to a future as an expert in Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics? As a graduate of our Master’s Programme in Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics, you can find employment in the national or international market, for example at universities, research institutes, the public sector or in business, or you can become a self-employed entrepreneur. Read more
Are you looking forward to a future as an expert in Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics? As a graduate of our Master’s Programme in Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics, you can find employment in the national or international market, for example at universities, research institutes, the public sector or in business, or you can become a self-employed entrepreneur.

The Viikki Campus offers optimal resources for studying the unique range of subjects offered by our programme. Upon graduating you will be a professional in applied economics in agricultural, environmental and resource-focused fields. You will be well versed in topics such as climate policy, sustainable agriculture and food security.

The Master's programme comprises two study tracks:
1. Agricultural economics
-Languages of instruction: Finnish, Swedish, English

2. Environmental and resource economics
-Language of instruction: English

As a graduate of the study track in Agricultural Economics you will have the ability to:
-Support decision-making in the public and private sectors in various roles as a consultant, researcher or public servant.
-Analyse and communicate the impact of policies on fields relating to agriculture, the environment and natural resources.
-Apply economic theories and quantitative methodologies, such as econometrics and numerical modelling, to issues in the field.

As a graduate of the study track in Environmental and Resource economics you will have the ability to:
-Identify the socio-economic drivers of natural resource use and environmental degradation.
-Analyse the effects of policies on the environment and on natural resource usage.
-Formulate recommendations to support decision-making in both the public and private sectors.
-Apply microeconomic theory and quantitative methods (econometrics, analytical and numerical dynamic modelling, game theory).

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

Studytrack: Agricultural economics
After completing the study track in agricultural economics you will be able:
-To apply the concepts and central theories of agricultural economics.
-To apply perspectives of economic, ecological and social sustainability.
-To analyse and develop the business operations of agricultural and rural enterprises as well as intensify production in a sustainable manner.
-To analyse the operation of agricultural and food markets.
-To analyse the international political steering of agriculture.

The study track of agricultural economics combines expertise in business administration and economics with knowledge of the special features of agriculture, rural enterprises, the food market and related policies. Through studies in agricultural economics, you will learn to apply theories and models used to define the profitability and competiveness of agricultural and rural enterprises and the farm-level factors contributing to profitability and competiveness. You will examine the operation of the market and assess various policy options. The studies include practice-oriented assignments that build your decision-making and career skills, and your self-confidence to apply theoretical knowledge in practice.

Studytrack: Environmental and Resource Economics
In this studytrack you will receive a state-of-the-art economic education in environmental and natural resources policy. The courses are divided into three groups:
-Theoretically focused courses in which you will gain a deep understanding of static and dynamic models and applications of game theory.
-Courses focusing on quantitative methods in which you will gain the ability to run numerical simulations and apply econometric methods.
-Thematic courses focusing on relevant challenges in environmental and resource policy.

Selection of the Major

Studytrack: Agricultural economics
Graduates of the Bachelor’s Programme in Environmental and Food Economics can continue directly to the Master’s Programme in Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics, provided that they specialised in agricultural, environmental and resource economics for their Bachelor’s degree. In addition, graduates of the Bachelor’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences can continue directly to the study track in agricultural economics, provided that they have completed the module in agricultural economics for their Bachelor’s degree.

Applicants from other programmes and universities must have completed a sufficient amount of studies in economics, mathematics and statistics. Some of these studies may be incorporated into the Master’s degree as optional studies. If there are more applicants than student places, admission will be based on your previous academic performance and the applicability of your Bachelor’s degree.

Studytrack: Environmental and Resource Economics
The studytrack offers three mandatory modules and several optional modules. You can choose two thematic modules in order to focus on issues of interest to you. See the research focus below.

Programme Structure

Studytrack: Agricultural economics
The scope of the Master’s level studies is 120 credits, including both field-specific advanced studies and optional studies in the field or from other degree programmes. The minimum scope of field-specific advanced studies is 60 credits, 30 of which are accounted for by the Master’s thesis. You are recommended to focus on your Master’s thesis during your second year of Master’s studies.

The advanced studies comprise at least two modules of 15 credits. The modules are:
-Agricultural markets and policy
-Business economics
-Rural entrepreneurship
-Environmental and natural resources

In addition, your studies must include at least 15 credits of methodological studies. The studies encompass a practical training period and seminars, and they can include career orientation and career planning. You will also need to complete a personal study plan (PSP).

The scope of optional field-specific studies and studies offered by other degree programmes is 30–40 credits.

Studytrack: Environmental and Resource Economics
The studytrack lasts four semesters, lasting approximately 22 months (1st year beginning of August- 2nd year beginning of June).

Core modules (45 ECTS)
-Environmental economics
-Natural Resource Economics, dynamic optimisation and numerical models
-Environmental valuation, applied econometrics and cost-benefit analysis

Thematic modules (30 ECTS) Choose two of the following:
-Climate change
-Baltic Sea protection
-Agricultural economics and agri-environmental policy
-Forest economics

Internship and Master’s thesis seminar 15 credits (ECTS)

Master’s thesis 30 credits (ECTS)

Career Prospects

According to the labour market surveys conducted by the Finnish Association of Academic Agronomists, graduates from the study track in agricultural economics have been successful in finding employment – often before graduation. The programme alumni have found positions in various organisations in the public and private sectors in Finland, and many have pursued international careers in Europe or further afield. This study programme provides you with wide-ranging skills for starting a business and for serving in various expert or managerial positions, even if the focus of studies is on applied agriculture. Consequently, possible job titles are numerous: specialist, teacher, entrepreneur, researcher, senior officer, product manager, head of finance, etc. If you are interested in developing your expertise further, you can pursue postgraduate studies in the doctoral programmes offered by the University of Helsinki or another university in Finland or abroad.

The Environmental and Resource Economics Master of Science offers promising career paths in government, research, consultancy, industry, NGOs and international organisations.

Internationalization

-You can complete a practical training period abroad or go on a student exchange.
-You can work as a member of an international research group in Finland or abroad.
-You can complete part of your degree in English by taking courses given by international teachers.

As a student in the programme, you will have opportunities for internships, visits and study exchanges with partner universities. Visiting foreign lecturers give intensive courses as part of the thematic modules. As a student you will also be able to join our international research networks.

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If you want to progress into a managerial role in rural development, this postgraduate course in Sustainable Rural Development is for you. Read more
If you want to progress into a managerial role in rural development, this postgraduate course in Sustainable Rural Development is for you.

You will study social, environmental, economic and professional development, and community engagement issues in the context of managing rural development.

The MSc Sustainable Rural Development can be studied online from anywhere in the world.

Special Features

• A limited number of funded places are available for full-time, Scottish or EU fee status students.
• Loans for tuition fees are available from the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for eligible Scotland domiciled and EU students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.
• Gain practical experience in understanding current rural development issues and working with communities
• Develop key research and policy skills
• Study individual modules for personal or professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip or full Masters degree
• Study online, full time or part time to suit your lifestyle

Modules

PgCert

Core modules are: Local economic development; Developing communities; Communities and nature

PgDip

Option modules, from which you must choose three, include: Biodiversity management; Developing potential through placement; Environmental and Social issues in mountain areas; Field studies; Policy analysis; Research methods and techniques (strongly recommended if you intend to continue to MSc); Sustainable tourism; Sustainable land use and renewable energy in rural Scotland; Sustainable development; An elective may also be taken from any of the university's Masters Programme, e.g. other research skills, modules such as Qualitive Inquiry or Quantative Research and Data Management

Msc

To achieve the award of MSc Sustainable Rural Development you must complete a research dissertation.

Locations

This course is available online with support from Lews Castle College UHI, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0XR

Access routes

BSc (Hons) Environmental Sciences
BSc (Hons) Archaeology and Environmental Studies
BSc Sustainable Forest Management
BA (Hons) Health Studies (Rural Health)
BA (Hons) Business and Management
BA (Hons) Social Sciences
BSc (Hons) Sustainable Development
BSc (Hons) Geography

Study Options

You will study through supported online learning using the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
A fully online induction web resource is available to all new students and you are encouraged to refer to this during your first term in particular. An optional two-day induction is also available each September in Inverness, Scotland.

Funding

The University of the Highlands and Islands is pleased to offer a limited number of places with full tuition fee support for Scottish-domiciled/EU students, studying full time, on this course starting in September 2017 to help talented students join this key growth sector for the Scottish economy. Fees will be funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council as part of Developing Scotland’s Workforce in the Scotland 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Fund Programmes.
See https://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/first-steps/how-much-will-it-cost/funding-your-studies/funded-postgraduate-places/

From 2017, eligible Scotland domiciled students studying full time can access loans up to 10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. EU students studying full time can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5500.

Part-time students undertaking any taught postgraduate course over two years up to Masters level who meet the residency eligibility can apply for a for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year.

See Scholarships tab below for full details

Top five reasons to study at UHI

1. Do something different: our reputation is built on our innovative approach to learning and our distinctive research and curriculum which often reflects the unique environment and culture of our region and closely links to vocational skills required by a range of sectors.
2. Flexible learning options mean that you can usually study part time or full time. Some courses can be studied fully online from home or work, others are campus-based.
3. Choice of campuses – we have campuses across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Each campus is different from rich cultural life of the islands; the spectacular coasts and mountains; to the bright lights of our city locations.
4. Small class sizes mean that you have a more personal experience of university and receive all the support you need from our expert staff
5. The affordable option - if you already live in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland you don't have to leave home and incur huge debts to go to university; we're right here on your doorstep

How to apply

If you want to apply for this postgraduate programme click on the ‘visit website’ button below which will take you to the relevant course page on our website, from there select the Apply tab to complete our online application.
If you still have any questions please get in touch with our information line by email using the links beow or call on 0845 272 3600.

International Students

If you would like to study in a country of outstanding natural beauty, friendly communities, and cities buzzing with social life and activities, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland should be your first choice. We have campuses across the region each one with its own special characteristics from the rich cultural life of the islands to the bright city lights of Perth and Inverness. Some courses are available in one location only, for others you will have a choice; we also have courses that can be studied online from your own home country. http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international

English Language Requirements

Our programmes are taught and examined in English. To make the most of your studies, you must be able to communicate fluently and accurately in spoken and written English and provide certified proof of your competence before starting your course. Please note that English language tests need to have been taken no more than two years prior to the start date of the course. The standard English Language criteria to study at the University of the Highlands and Islands are detailed on our English language requirements page http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international/how-to-apply-to-uhi/english-language-requirements

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The Food and Rural Development Research MSc is designed to provide high quality training for those interested in a research career focusing on food social science, rural development and rural sociology. Read more
The Food and Rural Development Research MSc is designed to provide high quality training for those interested in a research career focusing on food social science, rural development and rural sociology. The research focus makes the course ideal if you are interested in gaining a Master's qualification and then continuing on to a PhD.

We provide research training and skills development specifically related to conducting research into rural areas, the environment and food markets. We are recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as providing a 1+3 programme, which is a four year award with a research training Master's in the first year followed by a PhD.

You will study alongside students and staff in our Centre for Rural Economy, which specialises in interdisciplinary social science, researching rural development and policy, food and society and the wellbeing of rural communities. You will also undertake a postgraduate research training programme in our purpose-built Doctoral Training Suite, with facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for research in the social sciences and the humanities.

Through studying on our course you will:
-Identify your own research topic
-Specialise and develop skills specific to your research
-Learn research practice fundamentals
-Understand research principles, data handling and analysis

You take compulsory modules and optional modules, and complete a dissertation, which could be a desk-based analysis, or a study involving fieldwork or case studies.

You will be encouraged to participate fully in our research culture by organising and attending seminars and reading groups and contributing to research meetings.

Our staff

You will benefit from being taught by lecturers who are industry experienced and research active. You can find out about our staff in the following research groups:
-Food Quality and Health
-Food and Society
-Rural Development

The Degree Programme Director is Dr Menelaos Gkartzios. Menelaos’ research interests include:
-Rural mobilities, migration and counterurbanisation
-Spatial planning and governance
-Rural housing, planning and architectural studies
-International comparative research

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If development aid is just a waste of money, how can we find a better way to improve the livelihoods of people? With regions and countries fighting for land, water, and resources, how can we help people recover from conflict and war? How can we transform the right to food, water, and a clean environment into reality? These are just a few examples of issues relating to development studies. Read more

MSc International Development Studies

If development aid is just a waste of money, how can we find a better way to improve the livelihoods of people? With regions and countries fighting for land, water, and resources, how can we help people recover from conflict and war? How can we transform the right to food, water, and a clean environment into reality? These are just a few examples of issues relating to development studies.

The International Development Studies programme allows you to develop a critical understanding of development theories. You will learn to plan and conduct research. You acquire the skills to translate your finding into development policies, intervention strategies and institutional innovations. You will learn to include the diverging views of various stakeholders and to work in multidisciplinary teams.

Programme summary

This programme deals with worldwide processes of development and change related to livelihoods, agro-food networks and the environment in a dynamic international context. Special attention is given to exclusion processes, equity, unequal access to resources and sustainability. Social, economic, political, technological, and environmental change is studied from various perspectives and at different levels. You will develop a critical understanding of recent development theories, learn to plan and conduct research, and acquire skills to translate research findings into recommendations for policies and intervention strategies. You will learn to include the diverging views of various stakeholders and to work in multidisciplinary teams. Depending on your previous education, you can follow one of the specialisations. .

Specialisations

Students can choose one of the following three specialisations after consultation with the study advisor. The selected specialisation mainly depends on your academic background.

Sociology of Development
This specialisation focuses on social transformation processes, especially the local consequences of globalisation and environmental change, and the way people cope with uncertain circumstances. Themes studied include natural resource degradation, refugees, migration, post-disaster reconstruction, social unrest, poverty, and lack of access to resources crucial to the livelihoods of people. This specialisation applies sociological and anthropological perspectives to development problems with special attention given to understanding the differing interests and views of numerous actors. You can choose a major in Disaster Studies, Environmental Policy, Sociology of Development and Change, or Rural Sociology.

Economics of Development
The central themes in this specialisation are the role of agriculture in development, food security and the global food crisis, regional economic issues, sustainable use of natural resources, rural-urban income disparities, and issues related to poverty and the role of institutions. These themes are examined from a microeconomic perspective to gain insight into the behaviour of individuals and institutions, as well as from a macroeconomic perspective to obtain insight into development processes at regional and national levels. You can major in Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy, Development Economics, Environmental Economics and Natural Resources, or Regional Economics.

Communication, Technology and Policy
In this specialisation, social transformation and sustainable development are examined with a specific focus on communication, technological innovations, and policy processes. An important theme is how technologies and policies are developed in the interaction between various parties (e.g. governments, social organisations, and citizens) and the role of communication in these processes. Another theme is the relationship between technological change (in the agricultural and food sectors), institutional processes and social transformation. You can choose a major in Knowledge, Technology and Innovation, Law and Governance, or Strategic Communication.

Your future career

Graduates are employed in various (inter-) national organisations as a programme/ project coordinator, trainer, consultant, advisor, policymaker or researcher. You could work, for example, as policymaker in a government or semi-governmental institute, as programme coordinator or advisor in an international (non-)governmentalorganisation or (consultancy) company, or as researcher and/or teacher at a university or research institute. Examples of organisations include: FAO, World Bank, European Union, UTZ Certified, Oxfam Novib, Rabobank Foundation, CARE, Sustainalytics and UNICEF.

Alumnus Luckmore Jalisi.
“I have really benefitted from what I learnt during my studies. This master has opened doors for me." Luckmore did the specialisation Sociology of Development and conducted both his internship and thesis research in a refugee camp in Uganda. These experiences were important in getting him his job as Youth and Governance Advisor at ActionAid in Liberia. “I support postconflict youth development programmes based on a human rights approach, and develop monitoring & evaluation tools for governance and youth development work. I draw on the knowledge and skills acquired during my studies and my classmates from Wageningen remain valuable contacts in my network.”

Related programmes:
MSc Development and Rural Innovation
Health and Society (specialisation)
MSc Applied Communication Science
MSc International Land and Water Management
MSc Leisure, Tourism and Environment
MSc Management, Economics and Consumer Studies

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Researchers can specialise in geography, geographical information science, environmental studies, development studies, international childhood studies, or community, youth and voluntary sector studies. Read more
Researchers can specialise in geography, geographical information science, environmental studies, development studies, international childhood studies, or community, youth and voluntary sector studies. Our MPhil/PhD programmes aim to train you to conduct research of the highest academic standard and to make an original contribution to the subject through your research. Our doctoral programme aims to respond to the needs and interests both of students seeking an academic career or other professional employment and of those who wish to pursue a line of intellectual enquiry for its own sake. We aim to recruit both recent graduates and mature students who now have the time to pursue an intellectual enthusiasm, perhaps after a lifetime of professional work.

Our students benefit not only from the advisory insight of specialist academics within the department, but also from a wider culture of support and advice from staff and other research students. We see our research students as a central part of our community, who play a key role in the vitality of the wider research process. Those completing our research degrees in the past have often moved on into highly skilled occupations in both the commercial and academic worlds.

Research students in GEDS are able to participate in subject-specific doctoral seminars and can attend relevant modules on any of the MSc degrees offered within GEDS as part of their research training. Students also have the opportunity to participate in guest lectures, films and workshops offered both within the department and in wider groupings such as the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, the Institute of Voluntary Action Research, and the London International Development Centre. We offer financial assistance for conference attendance where appropriate.

Studying for an MPhil in any of the areas offered in GEDS involves working closely with a small group of staff on an independent research project. This means that we are only able to accept students whose proposed research project lies within the areas of expertise of our staff. If there is a particular member of staff you would like to work with, please contact them to discuss your project before applying.

Community, Youth and Voluntary Sector Studies

The department offers supervision in theoretical perspectives and understandings of community theory and practice and youth and voluntary sector studies. Staff in this research area have established excellent links with professional organisations in their fields and also have international links with academic institutions in the USA and South Africa, working collaboratively on issues concerning religion and race in public life.

Development Studies

The department offers supervision in theoretical and empirical research on practices and experiences of development. Our research areas include ageing, childhood, gender and development, migration, NGOs and political activism, regional specialisation in Latin America and South Asia, rights, social policy, urban and rural poverty, and visual culture and development.

Geography

Research study in geography can take a wide variety of forms across the social and physical sciences dependent on topic, but the common thread is the distinctive perspective, often interdisciplinary, that a geographical approach to research offers. Key research interests are: cities and socio-spatial inequality, coastal geomorphology and coastal policy, food security and climate change, flooding and flood insurance, impact of environmental change on nature and agriculture, long-term river behaviour and climate change, remote sensing, renewable energy, and social and urban geography.

Geographical Information Science

At Birkbeck, we pride ourselves in offering one of the longest-running GISc programmes. The Birkbeck GISc academic team works in a broad range of areas of geographic information knowledge, including spatial analytical methods, cartography and visualisation, remote sensing, and geocomputation and their research activities are at the forefront of GIS development.

International Childhood Studies

The department offers supervision in theoretical and empirical research on practices and experiences of childhood. Our research areas include cultures of childhood, visual culture and representation of childhood, the governance of childhood, childhood and social identities, and histories of childhood.

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The MSc Development and Rural Innovation is the international social sciences programme for students with a technical, life Wageningen Universityscience or relevant management background with an interest in international development and beta/ gamma integration. Read more

MSc Development and Rural Innovation

The MSc Development and Rural Innovation is the international social sciences programme for students with a technical, life Wageningen Universityscience or relevant management background with an interest in international development and beta/ gamma integration. In Development and Rural Innovation, we develop professionals who are able to deal with knowledge processes in dynamic contexts.

Programme summary

This programme aims to develop professionals who understand the role of knowledge in societal change processes and are able to link human and technological dimensions of innovation in dynamic contexts across the globe. It is a social science programme tailored for students with a technical, life science or relevant management background with an interest in international development problems. Innovations in the field of agriculture, food and natural resource management have a dual nature. They consist of new technological practices as well as new socio-organisational arrangements between different societal actors. Dealing with the links between technological developments and societies in which these are introduced and used, requires a fundamental understanding of socio-technical innovation and change processes. In other words, you will be challenged to combine your previously acquired competencies with new social science competencies in order to make innovations work.

Offering a variety of disciplinary and problem-oriented courses, the programme is taught in an interactive style where learning from each other is emphasised. Working in small international groups contributes significantly to this mutual learning process. The programme is highly thesis-oriented. The subject matter and methodology courses serve primarily as preparation for an empirical research project. This entails writing a research proposal, conducting the research and completing a thesis, thereby offering you the opportunity to apply your newly acquired insights in a field situation. International students often apply this knowledge in their home country on a topic relevant to their professional interests and preferences. Others choose a relevant topic in their field of interest in various countries around the world, including the Netherlands.

Thesis tracks

Communication and Innovation
In this track, you study communication among stakeholders and disciplines in the context of societal problem solving and change. Special attention is given to the role of communication, knowledge, interpretation and innovation support strategies in bringing about organisational, policy or technological change in societal domains such as sustainable agriculture, health, environment, multifunctional land use and international development.

Technology and Development
The goal of this track is to understand how science and technology interact with international development problems, such as food security, adaptation to climate change and social justice. The approach involves analysis of how technology both mediates and is constituted through social relations and institutional arrangements between various actors including farmers, scientists and policymakers. Most social problems that we face today involves science and technology, either as a cause or as a cure.

Sociology of Development and Change
This track focuses on the understanding of rural development problems worldwide from sociological and anthropological perspectives. Particular attention is paid to how local people themselves solve problems. Field-based studies are the basis for critical reflection on theories of development and social change. Themes addressed include food security, livelihoods in the context of globalisation, poverty and environmental degradation, property rights, conflict, and policy

Your future career

The programme lays the foundations for a variety of career opportunities, usually oriented towards societal problem solving and innovation. You can become a researcher or a knowledge broker who ensures a good fit between client demands and research formulation. You might take on the role of process facilitator or communication specialist in a non-governmental organisation, the public sector or the private industry. A career as a policymaker or consultant in various (inter)national organisations is another option. Organisations where graduates work are for example: UNDP, Tropenbos International, Women for Water, UTZ Certified, George Washington University, UNICEF, Fairfood International.

Alumnus Ben Corrigan.
After studying physical geography, Ben joined the social science Master Development and Rural Innovation. In his job as Programme Manager for the German Red Cross in Haiti, he works on food security and providing basic services such as water and sanitation to remote communities. “One of my responsibilities is to ensure that technical staff integrate social dimensions into their work and build real partnerships with stakeholders in the field. As a Development and Rural Innovation graduate, I am well prepared for this kind of job and feel confident in it. This programme is a gateway to a great career if you like to work in the development sector or continue in academia.”

Related programmes:
MSc International Development Studies
MSc Applied Communication Science
MSc Management, Economics and Consumer Studies
MSc International Land and Water Management
MSc Environmental Sciences.

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The Management, Economics and Consumer Studies programme deals with the interrelationships between producers, consumers and society-at-large. Read more

MSc Management Economics and Consumer Studies

The Management, Economics and Consumer Studies programme deals with the interrelationships between producers, consumers and society-at-large. We offer specialisations for students with a Social Sciences background as well as a technical Life Sciences background.

Programme summary

During the programme, students will study the dynamics in the agro-food chain involving suppliers, producers, retailers and consumers; focusing on how they affect each other and how they affect, and are affected by, the economy and society. The domain of this programme is business and all the components of industry including production, distribution and final use or consumption. It covers managerial, economic, sociological and environmental aspects – internal and external – of households and businesses in the Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world, in both developed and developing countries.

Specialisations

Within the MSc Management Economics and Consumer Studies you can choose from four specialisations. Each specialisation trains you to become an expert in that field.

Management Studies
This specialisation includes several options. Students can investigate and analyse the strategies and operations of companies in production and distribution networks as well as the dynamic decision-making processes involved in production. Alternatively, you may choose to focus on the various aspects of marketing and consumer behaviour in business, agribusiness and the food industry. It is also possible to acquire expertise in facility management, information systems, operations research (logistics), information management or quantitative decision modelling.

Consumer Studies
This specialisation allows you to study the behaviour, lifestyles and consumption patterns of consumers and households. Students will acquire insight into the economic and sociological aspects of consumers and households, and the factors determining consumption behaviour and patterns. Alternatively, the role of communication between the various actors in the food chain or consumer technology can be studied.

Economics, Environment and Governance
Students analyse the economic behaviour of various participants in the agricultural sector and rural areas in developed countries or study the pivotal role of agricultural and rural development in low-income countries. You can also specialise in Public Administration and Policy if you are interested in the governance of complex problems in domains of sustainable agriculture, climate change or water management. If students are more interested in environmental issues, they can focus on the economic or policy aspects of national and international environmental problems or the processes of environmentally-induced social change in modern industrial and developing societies.

Management, Innovation and Life Sciences
The goal of this specialisation, especially designed for students with a life science background, is to integrate technical and managerial knowledge. Examples of how this interaction can be of optimal use are complex innovation processes in production, logistics or market development. These processes have a high technological character in which innovation plays a central role and for which good communication and managerial skills are necessary. Three different profiles can be studied within this specialisation: innovation management, innovation in decision support and economics, and innovation in operations management.

Your future career

Graduates have career prospects as managers, consultants, researchers and teachers in the public or private sector. Career opportunities are found within financial institutions, marketing agencies or in the field of consumer affairs. Also, alumni work as policy makers in government agencies or non-profit organisations, in development and innovation in life science related businesses or organisations.

Alumnus Bart Zwartjes.
Innovate a new chip flavour, assist in expanding an encyclopedia made by consumers (Wikipedia), or write a review of a purchased product. These are just a few examples of co-creating as a consumer. Co-creation is a joint effort by company and consumer and companies have a lot to gain by this. Namely, 50-70% of all product innovations fail at market entry. Co-creation allows companies to offer products and services that meet consumer needs better. But why would consumers spend their free time helping out companies? Currently Bart works as a consultant for Cap-Gemini advising businesses on how to make successful use of co-creation.

Related programmes:
MSc International Development Studies
MSc Food Quality Management
MSc Applied Communication Science
Health and Society (specialisation)
MSc Development and Rural Innovation.

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The Postgraduate Diploma in Co-operative Organisation, Food Marketing and Rural Development aims to equip you with the marketing, organisational and management skills you will need to make innovative contributions to the development of local economies, with particular emphasis on co-operatives, social enterprises and food businesses in Ireland and overseas. Read more
The Postgraduate Diploma in Co-operative Organisation, Food Marketing and Rural Development aims to equip you with the marketing, organisational and management skills you will need to make innovative contributions to the development of local economies, with particular emphasis on co-operatives, social enterprises and food businesses in Ireland and overseas.

It is aimed at graduates from a wide range of disciplines who are interested in careers in co-operative organisations, food marketing or rural development. The Postgraduate Diploma is a full-time course that extends over 9 months. It leads to a one year MSc (masters by research) in Co-operative Organisation, Food Marketing and Rural Development in a second year.

Visit the website: http://www.ucc.ie/en/ckp01/

Course Details

This course takes an interdisciplinary, problem-centred approach to teaching and learning. It also integrates an eight week work placement, giving you the opportunity to travel if you want to. You are qualified to take up a wide range of employment opportunities on graduation.

[[Format]

The Postgraduate Diploma uses a unique combination of teaching and learning methods and emphasises practical skills and learning as well as developing a solid grounding in theoretical and applied concepts. This includes lectures, ‘capstone’ seminars (involving interactive staff and student discussion and debate), field visits, case study analysis, project-based fieldwork (one week is spent conducting research in a designated location on a designated topic), analysis of new food products in class, guest lectures, group work and web-based resources.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Co-operative Organisation, Food Marketing and Rural Development is delivered over 9 months.

Core Modules

Students take 50 credits as follows:

FE6109 Co-operative Organisation: Theory and Concepts (10 credits)
FE6111 Co-operative Organisation: Theoretical Application and Practice (5 credits)
FE6112 Rural Development: Theory and Practice (10 credits)
FE6113 Rural Development: Application and Practice (5 credits)
FE6115 Food Marketing and the Consumer (5 credits)
FE6116 Marketing Strategies for Local Development (5 credits)
FE6104*Practical Training Placement (10 credits) - Students will be placed for a minimum of eight weeks during the Summer in a relevant work environment.

*As part of FE6104 Practical Training Placement, a report must be submitted for the Autumn Examination on a date specified at the beginning of the academic year. Programme leadership will be provided by the Department/Associate School of Food Business and Development in association with the Centre for Co-operative Studies.

Elective Modules

Students take 10 credits from the following:

FE6114 Introduction to Food Marketing (5 credits) (for students who have not previously studied Marketing) OR
FE4205 Consumer Behaviour in Food Markets (5 credits) (for students who have previously studied marketing)
AND
FE4002 Global Food Policy (5 credits) OR
FE4008 Food Security and the Developing World (5 credits) OR
any other 5-credit module which may be made available by the School of Food Science, depending on the prior qualifications and interests of each student and subject to the approval of the Programme Leader.

Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar - http://www.ucc.ie/calendar/postgraduate/PGDiplomas/food/page01.html

Assessment

Assessment takes the form of continuous assessment – e.g. essays, case studies, group work, project work, presentations, reflective journal – and end-of-year written examinations.

Careers

This course provides a good critical education for those entering into a wide range of administrative, business and personnel appointments in the private, public and third sectors. It also offers a thorough and stimulating grounding in organisational studies to anybody interested in pursuing an academic career in this field.

Examples of employment destinations of graduates include Bord Bia, Concern, local authorities, Food Safety Authority, LEADER companies, VEC, HSE, IRCSET, Farm Relief Services, teaching, financial services and many more.

How to apply: http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/

Funding and Scholarships

Information regarding funding and available scholarships can be found here: https://www.ucc.ie/en/cblgradschool/current/fundingandfinance/fundingscholarships/

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Our highly regarded postgraduate course provides students with a fast track to a fascinating, challenging career in rural land management, an area where employers acknowledge an enduring demand for qualified graduate trainees. Read more
Our highly regarded postgraduate course provides students with a fast track to a fascinating, challenging career in rural land management, an area where employers acknowledge an enduring demand for qualified graduate trainees.

COURSE OVERVIEW

We aim to equip you with a detailed knowledge of business management, law, finance, tax and valuation, as well as the strategic decision-making ability you will need to build a successful career as a rural land or estate manager. Our course is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

We will help you to develop an analytical, strategic approach to managing and advising on rural land and estates. We underpin this by developing your understanding of the legal, social, ecological and economic aspects that affect and govern the rural environment and also offer a selection of optional modules to enable you to personalise your degree.

Management case studies on local farms and rural estates allow you to apply knowledge and skills to real life problems. The programme culminates with either a project or dissertation, which is designed to consolidate your learning.

HOW WE TEACH YOU

Our programmes are designed and delivered by internationally-renowned experts, with a wealth of academic and professional experience. All of our programmes are regularly updated to maintain their relevance in a rapidly changing industry.

Our teaching received an excellent score in the most recent independent Teaching Quality Assessment (TQA), highlighting our commitment to maintaining a world-class learning environment. You will enjoy access to our cutting-edge research, ensuring that you remain at the forefront of the field.

We believe that our students should have access to good quality resources and, in addition to the facilities offered by the University, we fund a professionally staffed Resource Centre.

We aim to create a stimulating academic environment; you will be encouraged to develop individual interests and general skills as a basis for a career in the property industry, a related field or for further study.

EMPLOYABILITY

Students taking this degree programme usually find employment as trainee chartered surveyors with firms having a rural specialism or undertaking substantive rural work. Real Estate and Planning has long-standing links with a number of larger firms that regularly recruit from the University.

Our graduates tell us the content of the course is highly relevant to the profession, training them to be analytical thinkers and leaders. They have frequently progressed to become directors of landed estates or surveying firms. Some have secured posts in environmental organisations, government agencies, planning consultancies, or in academia. Some find this higher degree pathway an ideal entry qualification into wider management careers.

Most graduates complete the two years’ professional training required to become members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and many also become members of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers.

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The Business for Agri-food and Rural Enterprise programmes, have been designed to develop a conceptual understanding of the principles and processes of change affecting individuals, groups or organisations within the agri-food and rural business sectors, through an active and innovative approach to learning and teaching. Read more
The Business for Agri-food and Rural Enterprise programmes, have been designed to develop a conceptual understanding of the principles and processes of change affecting individuals, groups or organisations within the agri-food and rural business sectors, through an active and innovative approach to learning and teaching.

There are several exit points within this programme, including PgDip, PgCert and Graduate Certificate which articulate different career routes and industry needs.

Students will complete their courses at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Loughry Campus, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone.


Programme content will vary depending on your chosen degree route:

- Graduate Certificate: Business Communication, Information Communication and Learning Technology, Personal Communication.
- PG Certificate: Integrating Learning with Business needs, Rural business Dynamics Skills to Affect Change within Business.
- PG Diploma: Innovation Management option, Innovation Management for Rural Business, Rural Enterprise Development option, Rural Enterprise Development Business, Communication option, Business communication.
- MSc: Six modules from the PG Diploma programme, plus a research project.

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This MA is unique for its focus on the dynamic interactions between local livelihoods in rural areas and agriculture understood as a globalised industry. Read more
This MA is unique for its focus on the dynamic interactions between local livelihoods in rural areas and agriculture understood as a globalised industry. It advances an interdisciplinary perspective on linkages between global national and local level processes shaping agriculture and rural development by integrating knowledge from the social sciences economics and natural resource studies.

The MA gives an overview of agriculture, rural livelihoods and rural policy and politics to strengthen students analytical skills and to transfer key professional skills of relevance to work on rural development and agriculture. Lectures, seminars, group work and individual assignment will cover the policies and practices of the major international institutions in rural development, including the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organisation and United Nations Development Programme, just as much as of civil society organisations, such as La Via Campesina.

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