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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. 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:

 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.

Facilities

Farms

Our multi-purpose farms provide demonstration facilities for teaching purposes and land-based research facilities (especially in the area of organic production). They are both viable farming businesses.

  • Cockle Park Farm is a 262ha mixed farm facility that includes the Palace Leas Plots hay meadow experiment and a new anaerobic digestion plant that will generate heat, electricity and digestate - an organic fertiliser - from pig and cattle manure.
  • Nafferton Farm is a 300ha farm with two main farm units covering conventional and organic farming systems. The two systems are primarily focused upon dairying and arable cropping. Both also operate beef production enterprises as a by-product of their dairy enterprises, although the organic system is unique in maintaining a small-scale potato and vegetable production enterprise.

Visit the Food and Rural Development Research - MSc page on the Newcastle University website for more details!

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