MSc(Agr) Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development

Academic Year 2020/2021

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc Programme in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development represents a return to core values in the development of rural areas which are rooted in agricultural change as well as responding to new societal demands such as safe and ethically produced food, a healthier environment and sustainable and affordable energy.

Download the course brochure (pdf)

  • Equip graduates with capabilities in core analytical, conceptual, communications and research skills as well as providing the knowledge base required to develop careers in the broad arena of sustainable agriculture and rural development.

Careers & Employability

Graduates from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science respond to many of the major global challenges such as population growth, global warming, biodiversity, food security and food and health issues. Consequently, the opportunities for graduates globally in this discipline are excellent.

This programme is designed and delivered in a way that builds capabilities in core analytical, conceptual, communications and research skills, as well as providing the knowledge base required to develop careers in the broad area of sustainable agriculture and rural development. Graduates of this programme typically find employment in government, agricultural and rural development agencies, local development agencies, NGOs involved in rural development, as well as donor agencies and international development organisations.

Curricular information is subject to change


Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Programme is aimed at people from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds (including humanities, sciences, business) who are interested in pursuing careers in the broad arena of rural, community or overseas development, or in related public services or the consultancy sector.  Such roles include development managers, advisors, consultants, public servants, researchers.

The MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development is offered on both a full-time and part-time basis, offering a flexible approach by which students can equip themselves with the requisite skills and knowledge base to develop careers in the broad arena of sustainable agriculture and rural development.  The goal of our programme is to prepare graduates for roles of leadership, advocacy and influence in local, national and overseas development settings.  This is achieved by strengthening their capabilities in the relevant analytical, communications and entrepreneurship skills, underpinned by the provision of an enhanced understanding of the theory, policy and practice of rural development.  The learning environment fosters individual and group-based activities, which develop students’ skills of inquiry, critical thinking, self-directed and collaborative learning.  A variety of teaching and learning approaches are used including group project work, student presentations, individual assignments, field trips and case study work.   

    • Complete a research proposal related to a sustainable agriculture and rural development issue, undertaking relevant field and desk research, review and present literature and present and analyse relevant data.
    • Demonstrate enhanced problem-solving skills for application to issues in agriculture and rural development and the ability to formulate/evaluate potential solutions
    • Plan and implement strategic communications campaigns in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) settings;
    • Understand and interpret strategies applied in achieving the objectives of SARD in Irish, EU and developing country contexts.
    • Understand of the nature and practice of rural diversification;
    • Understand the context within which sustainable agriculture and rural development related policies are devised.
    • Understand the key principles and practices that make agriculture sustainable;

    MSc(Agr) Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development (X376) Full Time
    EU          fee per year - € 8875
    nonEU    fee per year - € 25600

    MSc(Agr) Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development (X377) Part Time
    EU          Year 1 - € 4490
    EU          Year 2 - € 4490 aa
    nonEU    Year 1 - € 12800
    nonEU    Year 2 - € 12800 aa

    aaSecond Year Fee applies to Students in 2nd Year in 2020 and who were a 1st Year Student on the programme in 2019/20
    ***Fees are subject to change
    Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

    • The Masters in Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development is designed to accommodate applicants with a variety of academic qualifications such as Agricultural Science, Life Sciences, Humanities, Arts, Business, Law and Engineering Degree Programmes.
    • Applicants must hold minimum of a lower Second class Honours degree (NFQ Level 8), or international equivalent, in a relevant area from a recognised higher education institution.
      Exceptions may be made for applicants who do not hold the minimum educational requirement if they can demonstrate substantial relevant professional or voluntary experience as detailed on a CV
       
    • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent. 
    • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information http://www.ucd.ie/alc/programmes/pathways/ 
    • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

    Graduate Profile
    Kenneth Chaula, Malawi,

    Assistant Chief Agricultural Extension officer, Department of Agriculture Extension Services
    Following graduation from the SARD programme, I was immediately promoted to the post of Assistant Chief Agricultural Extension officer, which is a senior position in government. Since then, I have been entrusted with several high level tasks, including being one of the teams developing our new Agricultural Policy. UCD is one of the most prestigious universities in Ireland and is ranked one of the best universities in the world. This programme has carefully taken into consideration the current challenges of most developing countries in Africa in terms of agricultural and rural development. The programme has been designed to help students understand policies and strategies for sustainable agriculture and rural development including trade policies. Built into the programme are cutting edge research methods that help students conduct independent, but effective research. The programme has opened up the world to me and has helped me attain most of my life goals both professionally and academically. These skills have enhanced my performance in my organisation. I would have no hesitation in strongly recommending students to consider this programme.

    The following entry routes are available:

    MSc(Agr) Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development FT (X376)
    Duration
    1 Years
    Attendance
    Full Time
    Deadline
    Rolling *
    MSc(Agr) Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development PT (X377)
    Duration
    2 Years
    Attendance
    Part Time
    Deadline
    Rolling *

    * Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised