Course Overview

The Certificate, Diploma and BSc in Rural Development reflect a creative distance-learning multi-university approach to studying changing economic, social and environmental issues in rural areas. The programme will provide students with a sound theoretical and applied knowledge of all aspects of Rural Development. The course modules are complemented by online teaching and weekend workshops at the participating universities. In addition, the programme provides the option for continuing professional development on a module by module basis. 

Who is the course intended for?


The course is targeted towards mature learners seeking a third level qualification with an interest in rural affairs and community development as well as Rural Enterprise managers and entrepreneurs, Enterprise support and Local authority staff and Rural and Community Development activists seeking continuing professional development opportunities. 

Applications and Selections

Apply here for BR3 - Certificate in Rural Development

Apply here for BR4 - Bachelor of Science (Rural Development) modular


Dr. Nadine Jeserich, Programme Coordinator
School of Business and Economics
NUI Galway
T: + 353
91 492177 

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Students are required to attend the 5-6 weekend workshops at the participating universities between September and April, engage with the online learning system (Blackboard) and carry out regular assignments. All modules are individually assessed. Typically this assessement consists of assignments and end-of-year/end-of-semester written tests.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants should meet the University’s requirements for mature students, that is anyone over 23 years of age for the purposes of full-time study and 21 years for students interested in taking a course on a part-time basis.

Additional Requirements


1 year for Certificate, 2 years, part-time for the part-time Diploma or 1 year full-time Diploma and further 2 years for the BSc

Next start date

Please contact the programme coordinator

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please contact the programme coordinator

Next start date

Please contact the programme coordinator

NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended learning

ECTS weighting

Continuing Professional Development - 10 ECTS, Certificate - 30 ECTS, Diploma - 60 ECTS (30 per annum); Degree – 180 ECTS



PAC code

Course Outline

Level 1 Diploma (Part-time or Full-time)

Introduction to Rural Development, Rural Organisation, Rural Economy, Rural Environment, Rural Society, Communications for Rural Development

*Options: Community Education OR Social Farming OR Food Business


Level 2 Degree - Full-time

Year 1

Rural Research Methods, Integrated Rural Development Policy, Rural Enterprise, Integrated Rural Community Planning, Professional Placement.

*Options: Rural Tourism OR Renewable Energy OR Social Economy

Year 2

Marketing & Business Skills for Rural Enterprise, Financial Management, Project Planning and Development, Research Project/Minor Thesis

*Options: Marine and Natural Resources OR ICT and Rural Development OR Conservation & Management of the Rural Landscape OR Eco-politics of food and nutrition


*Not offered in all years and subject to min. enrolment


Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Students of the programme find employment as Rural Enterprise Managers, Rural Entrepreneurs, Enterprise Support Staff, Local
Authority Staff, and Rural and Community Development Activists.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€Dip 1,967, Degree 3,345

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

Find out More

Dr Hugh Kelley, Director
Dr. Nadine Jeserich, Programme Coordinator
School of Business and Economics 
NUI Galway 

T: + 353 91 492177