Rural Development and Agricultural Policy


The social and economic development of rural Ireland is integral to the wellbeing of our country as a whole and to our quality of life. Ireland’s economy, heritage and culture is heavily dependent on the contribution of rural areas. Rural areas hold much of Ireland’s natural resources, biodiversity and visitor attractions, and rural communities are important guardians of our heritage, culture and natural capital.

The Rural Development and Agricultural Policy Module covers some of the challenges which many rural areas in Ireland contend with an older demographic profile, a relatively narrow enterprise base, the implications of climate change for traditional industries such as farming, a high property vacancy rate in towns and villages, and a greater vulnerability to the effects of economic downturn.

The module looks at how nationally and internationally  rural development is integrally linked to policies across a wide range of areas including spatial planning, enterprise growth, job creation, social cohesion, community development, public services, communications infrastructure, agriculture, the marine, climate adaptation, tourism, heritage, health and leisure.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain and discuss rural development and agricultural policy in Ireland.

  2. Identify the main opportunities and constraints relating to the development of the rural economy.

  3. Discuss the contribution of LEADER and other National and EU Programmes in supporting rural communities.

  4. Outline and evaluate conflicts of interest that can occur in the management of natural resources and its possible impacts on rural communities.

  5. Describe and evaluate different approaches  to the management of our land and natural resources.

  6. Explain and discuss the origins of sustainable development  in rural devlopment.

% Coursework 30%
% Final Exam 70%