BSc in Rural Development Level 1

Introduction to Rural Development - 5 Credits

In this module you will explore the major concepts and approaches associated with rural development. This will mean discussing the evolution of rural development in Ireland and EU and the current issues of development in rural Ireland. It will enable you to identify the most significant organizations and agencies involved in rural development and discuss their role and participate in debates on rural development in Ireland.

Rural Organisation - 5 Credits

In this module you will look at the different types of organisations that work in a rural areas, examining the different legal structures available to rural based organisations and looking at the differences between conventional and alternative forms of organisations.
You will discuss the development of the partnership approach to rural development and co-operatives, with a focus on their prime beneficiaries, co-operative principles and the co-operative theory of action.

Rural Economy - 10 Credits

In this module you will look at the components of the rural economy, examining the changing role of agriculture in rural economies and investigating the economic linkages at the local, national and international level.

You will study the concepts of production functions, production costs, and the interaction of businesses in a marketplace and identify current and potential alternative income sources in a rural area (multifunctionality)
You will discuss the drivers of rural labour demand and labour supply and how they interact,
identifying and evaluating the issues of income distribution in the context of rural development and analysing the role and impact of policy incentives on rural economic activity

Rural Society - 10 Credits

In this module you will look at the key aspects of rural society in a state of change and examine these changes which have taken place in rural society in Ireland over time.
You will study social theory - traditional, modern, and post-modern rural society and learn to differentiate between urban and rural sociology. You will discuss the challenges for rural society globally and locally.

Rural Environment - 10 Credits

In this module you will read about the structural organisation and processes of natural and agricultural ecosystems. You will learn about the role of natural resources, such as renewable energies, in the economic base of a rural area and develop the skills to critically analyze the role of sustainability and biodiversity and rural resource management.

You will also study the theories that underlie environmental policies to correct market failures and examine global and national environmental policies and their impact on local rural communities.
You will look at the basic measures of environmental sustainability, the sources of greenhouse gas emissions and the contribution of the various sectors nationally and internationally.

All this will enable you to contribute to the debate on the environmental impact of rural enterprises and rural actions and propose proactive responses.

Communications for Rural Development - 10 Credits

Communication is a necessity for everyday life and we all do it all the time. In this module you will look at the means of communication and the critical role of communications in the development process. You will develop your understanding of the theory of human communications and examine the media and methods used in professional communications looking at the appropriateness of each for given situation.

Community Education - 10 Credits

Shortly into this course you will no doubt realise that there is a difference in studying and learning as an adult compared to when you were in school. This module will show you how to differentiate adult and community education from classical formal education. You will look at rural community education and how it has evolved in Ireland. 

You will learn about a range of community education programs, particularly those focused on community education for disadvantaged and marginalised communities and acquire the skill/knowledge sets required to develop rural community education programmes.

Social Farming - 10 Credits

In this module you will discover Social Farming and learn about how it has emerged as a form of service provision in rural area. You will study the principles of Social Farming and how it may be applied both for the benefit of people using services and for rural development.
You will read about the nature, extent and range of settings in which social farming initiatives are being undertaken within Ireland and in the broader European context and examine the drivers of Social Farming from a Rural Development and Health and Social Care Policy perspective.
You will learn about the relevant national and European policy context across a wide range of policy domains and analyse how these impact on the operation and development of Social Farming and you will investigate the development requirements to establish a Social Farm from the perspective of multiple stakeholders.

Food Business - 10 Credits

In this module you will closely examine the agriculture and food sector, looking at the functions of the food supply chain and the role of the actors in the chain. You will read about the ethical and environmental implications of the current food business model and examine the role of the emerging models such as farmers markets, box schemes and community supported agriculture, in the context of sustainable development.
You will investigate the dimensions of organic food production, the challenges of shortening the supply chain and the role of the consumer. This will involve analysing the policy framework directing the sector.