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Nutrition and Rural Development: Rural Economics and Management MSc


Course Description

Rural Economics and Management : Gives the students specific expertise for detecting and measuring the causes of failing rural development, and for the planning and implementation of sustainable, integrated rural development strategies and interventions. To achieve this, several themes with relation to agricultural, economic, social, ecological, financial, institutional and political aspects of the production systems in rural areas in developing countriesIn the first academic year of the MSc. Program the students of the 3 main subjects have several courses in common, aiming in giving them all an in-depth knowledge and know-how related to nutrition and rural development related topics, creating a common academic level between all program students of diverse backgrounds.

The common part of the programme consists on the one hand of basic knowledge, insights and skills in the areas of production, transformation, preservation, marketing and consumption of food products. On the other hand, it contains a practically oriented component that enables the alumni to identify problems by means of quantitative and qualitative research methods and analytical techniques, to assess and rank causes, and to plan, to execute and to evaluate appropriate interventions.

The other part of courses given during the first year are main subject specific courses.

The academic second year provides a more in depth understanding of the specific problems and their solutions for the main subject and major chosen and consists of main subject and major specific courses, elective (optional) courses and Master Dissertation research (30 ECTS). The specific expertise the students receive depends on the main subject, major and optional courses chosen:

Rural Economics and Management

Gives the students specific expertise for detecting and measuring the causes of failing rural development, and for the planning and implementation of sustainable, integrated rural development strategies and interventions. To achieve this, several themes with relation to agricultural, economic, social, ecological, financial, institutional and political aspects of the production systems in rural areas in developing countries are studied in depth.

Structure

Semester 1 (Sept-Jan)
-Preceded by introduction courses.
-Common and main subject specific basic courses.
-Fundamental, in depth and high level knowledge.
Semester 2 (Febr-June)
-Main subject specific courses with special attention to ‘in field’ applications.
-Possibility to do internships in summer holidays.
Semester 3 (Sept-Jan) and Semester 4 (Febr-June)
-Specialised courses (fine-tuned individual programme).
-Master dissertation (at Ghent University, other Belgian institutes/organizations/multinationals or one of our partners in the South or Europe).

Learning Outcomes

-Understand different socio-economic concepts, theories and multi-disciplinary approaches with respect to rural economies and rural development.
-Have profound insights in different rural development realities, and compare rural development issues, approaches and policies within an international context..
-Apply theories and methodological approaches to characterise and analyse the economic and social problems of rural areas, food and agricultural chains, natural resource management, national and international agriculture.
-Design and implement adequate instruments, methods, models and innovative tools to analyse, evaluate and solve problems related to agriculture, food chain and natural resource- management, and to rural development and countryside stewardship.
-Design, implement and monitor national and international agro-food policies, rural institutions and rural development programmes.
-Construct innovative tools and instruments for the (multifunctional) development of rural areas.
-Design and assess research in the domain of rural development, formulating a problem statement and operationalizing objectives and research questions within an adequate research plan.
-Select and apply appropriate research methods and techniques to collect and analyse data from literature and empirical research in the domain of rural development.
-Critically reflect on topical rural development issues, and on ethical and value driven aspects of research and intervention strategies.
-Work in an integrated internationally composed team dealing with rural development and food production challenges, interacting respectfully with diverse others and developing a global perspective.
-Dialogue and professionally interact with different actors and stakeholders of the socio-professional world (food sector, NGOs, rural organisations, rural administration, universities and research institutes).
-Communicate convincingly (written, oral, using appropriate tools) about (own) research findings and project results and their underpinning rationale.
-Effectively and appropriately use good language, communication and behavioural skills in different language and cultural environments.
-Design and plan own learning processes based on continuous reflection (individually and in discussion with others) upon personal knowledge, skills, and attitudes and functioning.
-Self-Directed Learning: work independently, take initiative, and manage a project through to completion.
-Independently perform scientific research in the domain of rural development. Give proof of a clear international orientation.

Other admission requirements

The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests: (TOEFL/IELTS predictive tests and TOEIC will not be accepted).
-TOEFL IBT 80.
-TOEFL PBT 550.
-ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a min. of 6 for writing.
-CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre.
-ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced).

Visit the Nutrition and Rural Development: Rural Economics and Management MSc page on the University of Ghent website for more details!

Student Profiles
Scholarships

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have at least a Bachelor's degree of min. 3 years with good overall scores (at least a second class upper or equivalent, preferably higher). Results should have been obtained without re-sits and scores of min. 14/20. Applicants must be able to demonstrate through their transcripts adequate knowledge of mathematics, statistics and computer science, basic economics, agricultural courses and/or courses in the domain of sociology (basic organic chemistry or related highly recommended). See course description for further admission details.

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