GradDip Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development

Academic Year 2020/2021

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 60)

The Grad Dip 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)

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. No

Part Time option suitable for:

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

The Grad Dip Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development is designed to accommodate applicants with a range of academic qualifications including life sciences, humanities, arts and business. Applicants are usually expected to have an honours university degree.  Exceptions can be made for graduates with a pass university-level degree combined with substantial relevant professional or voluntary experience.

The Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development offers an oppurtunity for students to equip themselves with some the requisite skills and knowledge base to develop careers in the broad arena of sustainable agriculture and rural development.  The goal of the programmes is to prepare graduates for roles  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.   

    • 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;

    GradDip Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development (X449) Full Time
    EU          fee per year - € 5780
    nonEU    fee per year - € 17070

    GradDip Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development (X450) Part Time
    EU          Year 1 - € 3095
    EU          Year 2 - € 3095 aa
    nonEU    Year 1 - € 8535
    nonEU    Year 2 - € 8535

    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.

  • Applicants must hold a minimum of a second class honours degree, or international equivalent, in a range of subject areas including life sciences, humanities, arts and business.
  • 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.

  • 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:

    Grad Dip Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development FT (X449)
    Duration
    1 Years
    Attendance
    Full Time
    Deadline
    Rolling *
    Grad Dip Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development PT (X450)
    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