PLAN3005W Rural & Landscape Planning

Academic Year 2024/2025

Rural areas worldwide face complex economic, social and environmental challenges, which interact to produce varied patterns of change and development outcomes. On aggregate, rural regions face problems of decline with out-migration (the rural exodus), an ageing population, agricultural decline, a lower skills base and lower average labour productivity, which then reduces the critical mass needed for effective public services, infrastructure and business development and innovation, thereby creating a vicious circle of decline. However, ‘rural’ is not always synonymous with decline, with accessible rural areas experiencing a population turnaround, while many rural regions have seized the opportunities to build on their existing assets to forge successful new development pathways (the ‘new rural economy’) based on services and consumption. This module examines the nature of rural change, addressing social and economic restructuring while examining changing demands on the rural environment. The module then examines approaches towards rural development and enhancing the economic and social well-being of rural places. Finally, the module will appraise the role of spatial planning in balancing social and economic challenges facing rural areas with managing land-use change and competing demands for rural space and resources. Through seminar-led lectures, guest lectures and independent study, students can critically reflect on contemporary rural planning in different socio-spatial settings.

The key module aims are:

1. To provide an insight into the evolution of rural development.
2. To develop an awareness of various dimensions of rural and landscape planning.
3. To consider various concepts surrounding rural and landscape change.
4. To provide an insight into the role of planning in rural settlement management and landscape conservation.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completing this module, students will be able to:

1. Critically appraise concepts and theories surrounding rural social, economic and environmental change.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of rural places and the different challenges they face.
3. Describe and explain concepts of rural development and pathways towards enhancing the rural economy.
4. Understand rural land-use change and competing demands for rural resources and landscapes.

Indicative Module Content:

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module is delivered through a mix of lecturer-led seminars and guest lectures. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Exclusions:

This module is delivered overseas and is not available to students based at the UCD Belfield or UCD Blackrock campuses.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment(Including Essay): Assignment: The plan of an individual essay Week 6 Graded No


Exam (Online): Essay: A 2000-word individual essay Week 15 Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

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