BSc in Rural Development Level 3

Marketing & Business Skills for Rural Enterprise - 10 Credits

In this module you will look at how businesses get started and evaluate the different stages of business development. You will learn about the types of business ventures that are most likely to succeed and the support needs of businesses at various stages of development.
You will read about the marketing concept, the role marketing plays in the development of the small-scale rural enterprise and the basic activities of marketing. You will learn how to prepare a business plan for a new venture, including production, marketing and financial plans, how to formulate a marketing strategy and set marketing objectives and how to evaluate the potential of new enterprise proposals.

Financial Management - 10 Credits

In this module you will learn about the importance of financial management in both rural enterprises and rural development organisations. You will study annual reports, financial statements, profit and loss accounts, and balance sheets relevant to rural development programmes and rural businesses and become familiar with performance indicators relevant to financial management of rural programmes.
You will learn how to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the application of financial management tools to the holistic approach of integrated rural development and develop your skills in writing financial reports and completing funding application forms and your knowledge in financial proofing and risk assessing rural development projects in conjunction with financial and business specialists.

Project Planning and Management - 10 Credits

In this module you will examine the composition of a project and how it is assembled, looking at the links that exist in a policy to project hierarchy and learn how to apply this to rural development scenarios. You will study the contextual factors that impact on project success and explore the concepts and methods of needs analysis as they relate to project identification.
You will learn how to design and present a project proposal which comprises goal to inputs linkages, indicators and means of verification as well as critical underpinning assumptions. You will acquire the knowledge, through examples the flows and sequencing associated with the Logical Framework Approach to planning, appraising and managing projects.
You will read about the key roles and functions associated with project management and develop an understanding of people management and motivation theories as they relate to rural development projects.

Research Project/Minor Thesis - 10 Credits

In this module you will put much of your learning to date on the programme into practice by researching and studying indept a particular issue. You will learn how to conduct an analytical review of relevant scientific literature in a national and international context. You will study how to develop specific research questions and present a research proposal and how to conduct comprehensive secondary and primary research.

As part of your project you will design, develop and deliver a quantitative study and a qualitative study as appropriate, complete detailed interpretation and analysis of data and coordinate and manage your research project.

You will learn through practice how to analyse data using appropriate techniques with supporting statistics; and how to present the outcomes your data analysis in appropriate formats.

Marine Resources - 10 Credits

In this module you will learn about the the structural organisation and processes of marine ecosystems. You will study the political, social, economic and natural science perspectives of natural resources management and read about the contribution of marine/coastal resources to the local resource base, developing your knowledge base to enable you to evaluate different policy, planning and management approaches

You will develop an understanding of the marine tourism environment and its various elements (ecotourism, fisheries, marine environmental education, parks and protected areas, etc.).

ICT and Rural Development - 10 Credits

In this module you will investigate the the potential contribution of the Information and Communication Technologies(ICT) to rural areas, with a particular emphasis on rural business and Community Economic Development, learning about the nature, scale, scope, growth, benefits and potential of IT and e-business, websites and portals and you will participate in web site development. You will discuss the role of Social Media in contributing to communications in rural areas and the contribution of ICT to social inclusion through the aspects such as eLearning, employment, eCommerce and eGovernance. 

You will study the European, Irish and International policy context for the growth and development of ICT as a sector and develop the skills to analyse the current ICT infrastructure in a specified country.

Conservation and Management of the Rural Landscape - 10 Credits

In this module you will learn about the natural rural environment, developing your understanding of the components of biodiversity, the functions and ecological services which are facilitated through biodiversity in the rural environment.
You will study how to assess the principal threats to biodiversity both at global and national scales and acquire knowledge of the national, EU and international legislation currently in place to protect biodiversity within the rural landscape.
You will read about the complexity of the relationships between farm management practices and the resultant ecological status of rural ecosystems and discover the fundamental issues currently being addressed through agri-environmental research.

The Eco-politics of food and nutrition - 10 Credits

In this module you will learn about the contemporary health and nutritional issues associated with food and lifestyle. You will read about the role of the food system stakeholders and develop your skills to appraise the impacts of the various food supply chains in the context of the environmental impact.

You will read about the nutrition value of consumer food choices and develop the skills to enter the contemporary debate on the role of food and predict outcomes to the principal issues in the food system.