RDEV40150 Policies & Strategies for Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module is designed to provide participants with an understanding of the national and international context within which policies relevant to sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) are framed; to identify the key institutions and actors at various levels of governance that are relevant to the development and implementation of SARD-related policies; to identify the main strategies used to enable SARD and critique these strategies in terms of delivering balanced and sustainable development in Irish, EU and developing country scenarios. The course will enable students to:- Understand the nature and importance of agriculture and rural area development in Ireland, the EU and in the Developing world- Identify and analyse the key drivers of change affecting agriculture and rural development with particular emphasis on public policies and programmes - Recognise the outcomes associated with change processes in rural areas including characteristics of poverty and deprivation.- Understand the dimensions of rural livelihoods within the framework of sustainable development and in particular the institutional arrangements that govern agricultural and rural development at the local, national and international levels.- Analyse the main strategies used in agricultural and rural development in Ireland/EU and in the Developing World- Understand the main ethical issues associated with agricultural and rural development interventions

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:1. Critically analyse key definitions, concepts,,measures and indicators related to SARD2. Map the identity and role of key actors and institutions (at various levels of governance) influencing the formulation and implementation of SARD 3. Critically assess the national and international context within which SARD related policies are devised 4. Critically assess the range of strategies applied in achieving the objectives of SARD in Irish, EU and developing country contexts. 5. Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical considerations associated with development interventions for agriculture and rural areas6. Contribute to the debate on sustainable agriculture and rural development as it relates to Ireland/EU and/or the developing world.

Indicative Module Content:

The main topics covered are:
Poverty and rurality
Sustainable development and rural livelihoods
Multifunctional agriculture and rural development
Human and social capital
EU and Irish policies for agriculture and rural development
Global development and food policy
Strategies for development
Governance of agricultural and rural development

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Small Group


Field Trip/External Visits




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The teaching and learning approach used involves the combination of: group work; lectures; critical writing; case-based learning and student presentations. The class environment aims to be interactive in a way that enables participation of students in discussing topics under review. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Literature review essay - meaning of development Week 2 n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Group Project: Analysis of SARD strategy Week 12 n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: End of trimester exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Essay: Literature review essay - policy and drivers of change Week 7 n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% 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, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided individually to students in form of written comments and grade on Assignments submitted. Students will have the opportunity to arrange a meeting with the Module Co-ordinator/ Lecturer to discuss the feedback provided The group assignment feedback will be provided to each group via Brightspace and the group members will have the opportunity to discuss this with the Module Co-ordinator/ Lecturer

Name Role
Dr Deirdre O'Connor Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Mon 09:00 - 12:50