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PGDip in Co-operative Organisation, Food Marketing and Rural Development

Course Description

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.


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


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/

Visit the PGDip in Co-operative Organisation, Food Marketing and Rural Development page on the University College Cork website for more details!

Student Profiles

UCC Postgraduate Bursaries for Taught Programmes - 20+ Awards

UCC are offering bursaries to students who have lost funding because of the changes to the Student Grant Scheme in the 2012 Budget. There has been a substantial increase in the number of postgraduate students in Ireland in recent years but it is feared that the change in the Student Grant Scheme as part of Budget 2012 may affect the numbers adversely.UCC have decided not to limit the number of bursaries as supplying suitably qualified graduates is one of its actions to support the government’s 2012 Action Plan for Jobs. “There is great merit in offering these Bursaries”, says Dr Michael Murphy, President of UCC. “We know that the removal of the Government grant will have caused some problems for students and we hope that this measure alleviates the financial difficulties. This support for our postgraduate students complements the support that UCC offers disadvantaged students through it Access programme and Talented Student Programme at UCC. We think it is very important to support our students at this time as well-qualified postgraduate students will be an important part of Ireland’s economic recovery”. In 2011, 3,691 postgraduate students registered to study across UCCs four Colleges (College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, College of Business and Law, College of Medicine and Health and the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science) undertaking studies ranging from Higher Diplomas to doctoral research degrees. With over 200 taught and research programmes, UCC is one of the most popular universities for postgraduate study in Ireland. UCC’s excellent reputation and support for all students, especially disadvantages students, is one of the major reasons for its designation as the ‘Sunday Times Irish University of the Year 2011-12’ and ‘Ireland’s first Five Star University’ (QS Stars 2011). Other national programmes that provide financial support for suitably qualified students to undertake postgraduate studies include the Graduate Skills Conversion Programme (GSCP), a joint initiative with the Department of Education and Science and the Higher Education Authority. The aim of this programme is to provide graduates with the opportunity to acquire qualifications for employment in the ICT area. These postgraduate courses are provided at reduced fees (€2,750) and aim to enhance Ireland’s competency in this economically important area. ICT is just one of the many options available to students; the full range of UCC post graduate programmes is available on http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/what/colleges/

Value of Scholarship(s)



The bursaries are specifically designed to ensure that students who were previously in receipt of a local authority grant and as a result of the changes in the scheme are no longer eligible are not disadvantaged.To be eligible, the student must have qualified for Local Authority, VEC or Department of Education grants in the final year of their bachelor’s degrees. The bursaries are not limited to UCC graduates; the scheme is open to students from any Irish HE institution who graduated since 2009 and who will commence a full time taught Post graduate programme in UCC in September 2012.

Application Procedure

Full details of the bursary scheme are on the University website http://www.ucc.ie/en/financeoffice/fees/

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Open to graduates from a wide range of disciplines, including: sociology, geography, food business, food science, food nutrition, economics, psychology, languages, law, commerce and agricultural science. English language proficiency View Website

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