Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development

GradCert Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 30)

This Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) programme at UCD responds to contemporary and future transformations in agriculture and rural development. The programme takes a place-based approach to rural change and rural futures, and addresses how agriculture can contribute to sustainable development. It examines how farming and rural areas are changing, and how communities and government can address future challenges and opportunities. These issues are relevant in Ireland and internationally, in the Global South and Global North.

This programme prepares graduates for roles of leadership, advocacy and influence in local, national and international development settings. This is achieved by strengthening capabilities in the relevant analytical, communications and entrepreneurship skills, underpinned by the provision of an enhanced understanding of the theory, policy and practice of rural development.

The learning environment fosters individual and group-based activities, which develop students’ skills of inquiry, critical thinking, self-directed and collaborative learning. A variety of teaching and learning approaches are used including group project work, student presentations, individual assignments, field trips and case study work.

Graduates are awarded a 30-credit Graduate Certificate, NFQ Level 9.

The modules in this course comprise part of a more extensive graduate programme in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development. Students who complete the Graduate Certificate course can build on this course in future years to obtain the Graduate Diploma or a Masters Degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Option
Theory & Practice of Rural Enterprises RDEV40300
Strategic Communications RDEV40480
Sustainable Agriculture RDEV40490

Entry requirements

- Applicants must hold a minimum of a second class honours degree, or international equivalent, in a range of subject areas.

- Applications are welcome from people from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds including humanities, sciences and business who are interested in pursuing careers in the broad arena of rural and community development.

- Exceptions may be made for applicants who do not hold the minimum educational requirement if they can demonstrate substantial relevant professional or voluntary experience.

- Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Application dates

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:

Grad Cert Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development PT (X390)
1 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised


1 year part-time. Mode of Delivery: Face-to-Face.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2024/2025 September.

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
Graduates from this programme will be equipped with the required skills and knowledge base to develop careers in the broad arena of sustainable agriculture and rural development in Ireland or Internationally in both the public and private sector.

Graduates typically find employment in government, agricultural and rural development agencies, local development agencies, NGOs involved in rural development, as well as donor agencies and international development organisations.

Graduate Roles:
• Development Managers
• Advisors
• Consultants
• Public servants
• Researchers

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Minor Certificate (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider