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Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development

GradCert Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 30)
The UCD Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development programme aims to provide those with experience and / or relevant qualifications in the Agri-Food sector with skills in rural entrepreneurship and communications. It is geared towards the pursuit of a more competitive, innovative and sustainable sector focused on the market place and modern consumer needs.
• Builds the requisite skills and knowledge base to develop careers in the broad areas of sustainable agriculture and rural development.
• Combination of lectures, small group work, field visits, computer laboratory-based activities and private study.

Vision and Values Statement
The Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development offers an oppurtunity for students to equip themselves with some the requisite skills and knowledge base to develop careers in the broad arena of sustainable agriculture and rural development. The goal of the programmes is to prepare graduates for roles in local, national and overseas development settings. This is achieved by strengthening their 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.

Programme Outcomes
• Understand the key principles and practices that make agriculture sustainable;
• Demonstrate enhanced problem-solving skills for application to issues in agriculture and rural development and the ability to formulate/evaluate potential solutions
• Understand and interpret strategies applied in achieving the objectives of SARD in Irish, EU and developing country contexts.
• Understand of the nature and practice of rural diversification
• Plan and implement strategic communications campaigns in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) settings;
• Understand the context in which sustainable agriculture and rural development related policies are devised.

Entry requirements

• The Graduate Certificate Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development is designed to accommodate applicants with a variety of academic qualifications such as Agricultural Science, Life Sciences, Humanities, Arts, Business, Law and Engineering Degree Programmes.
• Applicants must hold minimum of a lower Second class Honours degree (NFQ Level 8), or international equivalent, in a relevant area from a recognised higher education institution.
Exceptions may be made for applicants who do not hold the minimum educational requirement if they can demonstrate substantial relevant professional or voluntary experience as detailed on a CV
• 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.


1 year part-time.

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Career Opportunities
Where can I go after the UCD Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development programme?
Graduates of the UCD Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development programme 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 are awarded a 30-credit Graduate Certificate, NFQ Level 9.

Further Study
The modules in this course comprise part of a more extensive graduate programme in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development which leads to the degrees of MAgrSc or MSc (Agr) or to a Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.

The lectures, practicals and other activities involved in these modules are attended by students undertaking the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters courses and all students are evaluated in the same way.
Students who complete the Graduate Certificate course can build on this course in future years to obtain the Graduate Diploma or a Masters Degree.

Related Programmes
MSc(Agr) Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development FT

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Catherine Byrne
Contact Number:+353 (0)1 716 7192

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Option
Economics and Sociology in Rural Development

Theory & Practice of Rural Enterprises

Strategic Communications

Sustainable Agriculture


Who should apply?
Part Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

This course is particularly suited to graduates with an agriculture or science degree who have work experience in the Agri-Food, agriculture or rural development sectors. Applicants should ideally hold an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline, but those with other relevant qualifications and / or significant relevant experience within the sector will be considered for entry.

Application date

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
Grad Cert Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development PT (X390)
Duration: 1 Years
Attendance: Part Time
Deadline: Rolling *

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

Course fee

GradCert Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development (X390) Part Time
EU fee per year - €3,335
non EU fee per year - €8,265

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!