Are you interested in Rural Development and would like to pursue a third level qualification?

Applications are now invited for the Diploma and Bachelor of Science in Rural Development by Distance Learning starting in Autumn 2012:

University College Dublin in association with University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Galway and National University of Ireland, Maynooth have developed a collaborative taught programme for people interested in a Diploma and/or Degree in Rural Development by Distance Learning.  This course is of particular relevance to people that are active in Rural Development in their local communities and who would like to have the opportunity to study for a 3rd level qualification regardless of where they are based in the country.  The programme is taught over a series of weekends with support materials for home study.  The Diploma can be achieved in one year and the Bachelor of Science can be achieved within 3 years.  However, for those that may not be able to commit to this level of study, the length of the course can be extended through part-time arrangements to suit the needs of the student.

Funding: It is the only 3rd level qualification eligible for support through the Rural Development Programme (LEADER) Training Fund.  Therefore many students over the years have received support with fees from their Local Development Company.

Our modules include: Introduction to Rural Development Policy; Rural Society; Rural Economy, Rural Environment, Rural Enterprise, Communications, Marketing, please see the link below for more information on the curriculum.

Our programmes are flexible.Study from the comfort of your own home with study materials provided for all modules.  Attend occasional support weekends in each of the universities involved support materials for home study.  Participate in local study hubs.

Study at your own pace, you can achieve a Diploma within one year of study and a BSc within 3 years study, however if you are not able to commit to that level of work, fewer modules can be taken per year according to the time that you have available.

Our Staff comprise leading UCD, UCC and NUIG academics in rural development.  Each University provides a tutor to help guide students to develop their academic skills.

Our graduates This course offers professional development opportunities for rural entrepreneurs, enterprise support, local authorities, rural and community development activists

Who can apply:

This course is aimed at mature students (over 23 years of age) who have 2 years voluntary or paid work experience in the area of rural development.  There are no Leaving Certificate requirements for this course.  Basic computer skills a necessity.  Assessment of eligibility is based on the aforementioned criteria and an informal interview.

For more details visit

For further information please contact:

Aideen McGloin, Agribusiness & Rural Development, School of Agriculture & Food Science, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland, Tel: 01-716 7858, Email:


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