Full Title:Sustainable Rural Development
Module Code:AGRI S8007
Credits: 5
Valid From:Semester 1 - 2013/14 ( September 2013 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Description:This module aims to provide students with an appreciation of the economic, social, cultural and environmental factors that affect the development and sustainability of the rural economy both in Ireland and in a wider global context. It examines the importance of creating new innovative products and services and the role that regulatory and support agencies play in rural development.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to
  1. Evaluate the social, cultural, environmental and economic elements that contribute to sustainable rural development in a global, national and local context
  2. Contrast traditional economic tools and techniques for measuring development at a local and international level with more contemporary approaches that take account of sustainability.
  3. Critically assess the key rural development challenges facing Ireland, the EU and wider global community and appraise the factors necessary to build and sustain rural communities.
  4. Select and evaluate “best practice” in the field of sustainable rural development.
  5. Draw up a plan for an initiative that will improve rural development in an area with which they are familiar.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Rural development in the context of global sustainability
Development as part of three pillars of sustainability; Definitions of rural development; Elements of development: power analysis, stakeholders and levels of participation, education, culture, gender, family structure, conflict.
Measurement of development
Traditional approaches to measurement: economic development, growth; Contemporary approaches that factor in sustainability:Human development index,Happy planet index, Natural Step, Triple bottom line (profit/people/planet); Case studies of sustainable rural communities in Ireland and abroad
Social and cultural elements of rural development
Profile of the Irish rural economy; Occupational estrangement; Social exclusion; Cultural estrangement; Social and cultural barriers to employment; Family structure; Female participation in workforce and policy formation; Education; Changes to traditional rural practices; Cultural influences of new rural dwellers.
Profile of the Irish rural economy
Analysis of demographic trends and infrastructure; development needs of rural areas and dwellers; analysis of farm structure, employment and income; effects of off-farm income on farm investment and sustainability; Rural amenities; Resource and infrastructure constraints; Possible effects of EU quota elimination and other direct aids post 2013 on the Irish farm incomes.
Non traditional farming based rural enterprise
Contribution of artisan food products, agri – tourism, bio-enterprises and other alternative farm enterprises in sustaining the rural economy.
Analysis of rural development policy and implementation
Formulation and implementation of rural development strategies at international, national and local levels. Analysis of EU rural development strategy 2007 – 2013 and beyond; The effects of Leader programmes and other projects and grants provided through County Enterprise Boards, County Development Boards and other bodies in relation to community development and social inclusion in rural areas.
Development of innovative products, services and amenities
Future prospects - The knowledge based bio economy, agri-food, green recreation; the importance of innovation and competitiveness in the development of new rural enterprises; Agricultural enterprises suitable for part time farming and off- farm employment that are capable of generating a sustainable income; Rural tourism and the development of green recreational services.
Learning and Teaching Methods
Lectures, tutorial, visits to rural enterprise, guest speakers from various support agencies and organisations associated with rural development
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%

Full Time

Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Class Test Key issues in sustainable rural devlopment 1,2 20.00 0 0 Week 6 0
Group Project Carry out a case study on a successful rural community or project. Present findings 3,4 40.00 0 0 Week 9 0
Project Outline a plan for developing a rural development project in a local area 4,5 40.00 0 0 Week 14 0
No Project
No Practical
No End of Module Formal Examination
Reassessment Requirement
A repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload & Resources

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Related to course content 4.00 Every Week 4.00
Directed Reading Related to course contenet 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Independent Study Related to course content 2.00 Every Week 2.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 9.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 4.00
This course has no Part Time workload.
Recommended Book Resources
  • OECD 2008, Sustainable development: linking economy, society, environment (OECD insights), OCED
  • O Hagan, J.W., Newman, C. 2011, The Economy of Ireland; National and Sectorial Issues, 11th Edition Ed., Gill and Macmillan
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Barkley, A, and Barkley, P.W. 2013, Principles of Agricultural Economics, Routledge
  • McAreavey, R. 2012, Rural Development Theory and Practice, Routledge
  • Savitz A. 2006, The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too, Jossey-Bass
  • Mc Donagh, J. 2002, Renegotiating Rural Development in Ireland, Ashgate Publishing Group
  • Devereux, S. Sabates-Wheeler, S and Longhurst, R. 2011, Seasonality, Rural Livelihoods and Development, Routledge
  • Bryden, J., Efstratoglou, S., Ferenczi, T., Knickel, K. Johnson, T., Refsgaard K and Thomson K. 2011, Towards Sustainable Rural Regions in Europe, Routledge
  • Chang, H. 2011, Public Policy and Agricultural Development, Routledge
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
DK_SAGRI_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Agriculture 8 Mandatory
DK_SSUAG _8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Agriculture 2 Mandatory