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Food and Rural Development Research - MSc

Newcastle University School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Full time & Part time See Course MSc 1 year full time, 2 years part time

About the course

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 through the Northern Ireland and North East ‘NINE’ Doctoral Training Partnership.

You will study alongside

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Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, preferably in a natural or social science, such as: human geography; politics; sociology. We will also consider applications on an individual basis with lower or non-standard qualifications if you have relevant experience.


See Fees and Funding tab in the Programme information.
Please see the university website for further information on fees for this course.

Course Content

Where is Newcastle University

Student Profile(s)

Timothy Walker

While studying for my Geography undergraduate degree at Swansea I became interested in Rural Geography. Lecturers in the Geography department encouraged further study and suggested the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University, which offers an excellent Masters course.

A number of factors were good about the course but I would say the work experience module I completed with Durham Rural Community Council was crucial for my personal development and employability. Conducting the data collection for my Dissertation on the development of a successful community shop was also fun and rewarding.

My Masters dissertation titled ‘Humshaugh Community Shop: A case study of a successful community shop‘ employed theories of Social Capital to understand what makes a successful and sustainable community shop. (

Immediately after I finished I worked part time for Durham Rural Community Council for a few months. I am currently working on my PhD looking into climate change and vulnerable rural communities at Exeter University Falmouth.

My degree was absolutely crucial for me being eligible for the ESRC funding for myPhD. The Rural Social Science Masters is ESRC recognised because of its accredited research modules which enabled me +3 funding. My current PhD project is investigating the processes involved in the communicating climate change science to a non-scientific community. The understanding and communication of climate change are of interest because of their particular role in creating sustainable rural communities.

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