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Masters in Managing Rural Development

About the course

All countries are subject to continual social and economic change, and the rural sectors of developing countries are often pivotal to this process. In a context of increasing globalisation, an understanding of the underlying driving forces of this process and its consequences are critical. This programme provides graduates with an interdisciplinary base from which to approach the diverse issues involved in rural change.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Program Aims

The programme gives students the opportunity to develop:

  • a critical awareness of the social, economic and management issues underlying socioeconomic change
  • conceptual and analytical skills relevant to the social and economic dimensions of agriculture and related industries
  • a set of operational skills pertinent to working in the public, private or NGO domains
  • the ability to engage with, and influence, rational debates concerning the optimal direction of rural sector change
  • enhanced communication and presentation skills
  • the ability to access the rural development literature and to pursue effective research.

Career Progression

Students on this programme have a wide range of backgrounds and may include (but are not limited to) agronomists, engineers, veterinary personnel, economists, anthropologists, sociologists, educationalists, health professionals, community development workers, managers, and others. Typically they will find work in:

  • development projects, typically focused on small farms and the households associated with these farms
  • aid agencies and NGOs concerned with rural change
  • programmes concerned with health, nutrition and other rural development issues
  • government ministries and other public sector organisations concerned with the rural sector
  • consultancies related to a wide range of government programmes.

Structure and Syllabus

MSc: 10 modules (4 core, 4 elective plus 2 research)
Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules (4 core plus 4 elective)
Postgraduate Certificate: 4 modules (at least 3 core plus up to 1 elective)

Core modules

Economics and institutions for development (C116) [this module must be taken in the first year]
Gender and social development (C140)
Management in rural development (C131)
Rural development (C230)

Elective modules

Agricultural trade and policy (C110)
Food security and social protection (C125)
Managing knowledge and communication for development (C123)
Marketing for small agribusinesses (C138)
NGO management (C132)
Project planning and management (C134)
Socioeconomics of rural livelihoods (C135)
Understanding poverty (C119)
Water resources management (C126)
Rural finance (C128) [scheduled for 2012]
One module selected from another programme

Research modules (MSc only)

Research methods (R106)
Research report (RR01)

Short courses

Many modules can also be taken as short courses for professional development or as a taster of the full degree, diploma or certificate programme. To apply please fill in the short course application form available on the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (SOAS) website [external link].

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