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Rural Futures Planning & Innovation

Your Course
Much is known about major trends impacting on rurality; however, despite considerable knowledge about these impacts, past and present, we still struggle to deal with uncertainty about the future for the rural, and to plan for the possible, probable, and desired shape of that future. This programme approaches such challenges by focusing on how innovation contributes to future planning for rurality; how to envisage and plan for alternative, feasible and desirable future developments in the rural based on the promotion and implementation of innovation across various spheres. It considers how innovation is linked to improvements—in methods, processes, products, services or technologies; how it can be about promoting a culture of innovation that supports and nurtures new ideas; whether innovation interventions are pitched at appropriate scales and with relevant supports.


1. The programme is delivered by staff who: have established reputations in internationally and nationally funded rural research and publications; have active networks with key international and national rural institutions; and extensive teaching experience ranging from undergraduate to PhD levels.

2. The focus on futures planning is unique, emphasising progression towards desired rural futures.

3. The programme emphasises field-based and applied approaches to teaching and learning, developing strong ruralspecific and other skills valued by employer.

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements
A Level 8 Degree, or equivalent, with a standard of H2.2 overall, with H2.1 in a relevant discipline.


1 year, full-time

Careers or further progression

Career Opportunities
Graduates of this programme will be able to consider careers in a number of areas dealing with rural innovation, development and planning, including the following: government departments; public service organisations; local tourism and heritage organisations; local development organisations; international aid organisations. Further study opportunities—graduates of this programme will be able to continue their studies to PhD level in a range of disciplines at NUI Galway.

Further enquiries

Dr Marie Mahon
T: +353 91 492 376

Application date

WHEN TO APPLY: NUI Galway does not set a deadline for receipt of applications (with some exceptions). Offers will be issued on a continuous basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible. See the weblink below for full details of when and how to apply.

Online Application
Applications to most postgraduate programmes at NUI Galway are made online via

The application system will be open from 1 October 2019 to accept applications for entry to the 2020–21 academic year.

Applications are submitted via an online form, and a step-bystep guide will assist you through the process. Applicants should select the Course Instance Code(s) for the programme(s) that they are interested in, which are available on each course page of this prospectus and are also on each course website ( An application fee will be required and this is a nonrefundable. You will require an active email account to use the system.

Supporting Documents
When making an online application, most programmes require additional documentation to supplement your application, such as an essay, samples of work, a CV, etc. To see what supporting documents, if any, may be required for your programme, please visit: After submitting an application you must then upload the supporting documents.

Enrolment and start dates

2020–21 academic year

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