MA Agriculture and Rural Development
- Full Time
- Degree of Master of Arts
- Course Length
- 1 years
- Course Start Date
- September 2024
Gain an overview of agriculture, rural livelihoods, rural policy and politics. You’ll strengthen your analytical prowess and graduate with a set of widely transferable skills.
Focus on agriculture, rural livelihoods and poverty alleviation, in the increasingly globalised context. Take an interdisciplinary perspective on the global, national and local level processes that shape agriculture and rural development. And integrate your knowledge by using a mix of social sciences, economics and natural resource studies.
You’ll cover the policies and practices of the major international institutions in rural development – including the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organisation, United Nations Development Programme and La Via Campesina. You’ll also gain cutting-edge insights on the relationship between agriculture and rural development.
With these topics back at the top of the international development agenda, you’ll graduate ready to take on a fulfilling career or further study in the area.
Please note we are changing our name to the School of Global Development from 1 August 2023, as we mark our 50th Anniversary.
Gain first-class training in how agriculture can contribute to poverty alleviation and rural development in low-income countries.
This course combines theoretical knowledge with empirical insights and case studies, giving you a well-rounded view of the issues at hand.
You’ll take advantage of the teaching team’s hands-on experience with agriculture and rural development in a large variety of low-income countries – giving you a unique and relevant perspective from the people who’ve been there.
You’ll cover agriculture, rural livelihoods and rural policy and politics, and get to grips with the policies and practices of the major international institutions in rural development. You’ll even cover civil society organisations such as La Via Campesina who fight for workers’ rights and Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement – the mass social movement formed by rural workers who fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas.
Study and Modules
For one of your core modules, you’ll take the Globalised Agriculture and Food Systems module, where you’ll discover how forces operating at the global scale affect food and agriculture. These forces include trends in farming and trade, environmental change, policy developments, and social movements. Food security is a central theme, and you’ll explore different ways food security is defined and how it is contested internationally. You’ll also look at environmental change, changing diets (more resource intensive foods like meat, and processed foods), post-production concerns and global-scale changes in food prices.
You’ll also study Rural Livelihoods and Agrarian Change, where key developmental challenges, such as poverty farming livelihoods, migration and gender equity, are explored.
You’ll consider different approaches to understanding rural livelihoods and will be equipped with the tools and frameworks to critically assess different strategies for livelihood-building and their implications for poverty and inequality, including those of class and gender.
Your final compulsory module is Rural Policies and Politics. Around three-quarters of the world's poor live in rural areas and within most developing countries the gap between the rural poor and better off urban residents continues to widen. The lives of the rural poor can be greatly influenced by policies in areas such as agriculture, land, social protection, natural resources, health, education and trade. This module reviews important policies and issues in these and other areas. It also guides you to critically analyse policy choices within specific contexts.
You’ll also choose from a range of optional modules, giving you the chance to concentrate on areas of particular interest to you.
A range of optional seminars and workshops are also offered, which help to strengthen your skills. Sessions to support learning – in particular essay and dissertation writing – occur throughout the year.
International Development Research Groups
You can also take advantage of the world-class research going on at UEA. Research in the School of International Development addresses contemporary challenges in developing and transition economies via disciplinary and multi-interdisciplinary approaches. Regular seminars featuring presenters at the cutting edge of development research are open to you as a student in the School.
Optional A Modules(Credits: 60)
Optional B Modules(Credits: 40)
Optional C Modules(Credits: 20)
Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching methods include mainly lectures and seminars. Your lectures go beyond the customary ‘chalk-and-talk’ approach, and include a range of interactive tasks and activities. The use of technology is also widespread, for example through visual representation of empirical evidence in international development (e.g. through statistical programs). Other examples include the use of online reading materials and lecture screencasts.
Through seminar group work and presentations, you’ll also be able to develop transferable skills such as articulating an argument both orally and in writing and presenting academic information in a clear and cogent manner.
You’ll read suggested academic articles and books, submitting assignments as specified for each module. Your independent study gives you the chance to prepare for in-class sessions and assignments, and to concentrate on the areas that interest you the most.
The main form of assessment is written coursework assignments which enable you to demonstrate learning in depth. In most cases there is considerable scope for you to focus on areas that you are particularly interested in. Depending on the modules you choose, part of your assessment may also be based on other tasks such as exams and presentations.
You will undertake either an academic dissertation or an assessed work placement. The dissertation enables you to build research and information management skills as you use primary and secondary data to address a specific question. Critical analysis, application of theory to real world problems and extended report writing skills are developed in both the dissertation and the assessed work placement or internship. The latter also provides an opportunity to gain career-enhancing work experience.
- Degree Classification
- Bachelor's 2.1 or equivalent
- Degree Subject
- Social Sciences
- English Foreign Language
Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):
IELTS: 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in Listening and Reading with 6.0 in Writing and Speaking)
Test dates should be within 2 years of the course start date.
We also accept a number of other English language tests. Review our English Language Equivalencies for a list of qualifications that we may accept to meet this requirement.
If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:
This course is open to UK and International applicants. The annual intake for this course is in September each year .
Additional Information or Requirements
Applicants should normally have a good undergraduate degree from a recognised higher education institution. The University will also take into account the employment experience of applicants where relevant.
If you do not meet the academic requirements for this course, you may be able to study the International Pre-Masters programme offered by our partner INTO UEA. This programme guarantees progression to selected Master's degrees if students achieve the appropriate grade. For more details, please click here:
Our Admissions Policy applies to the admissions of all postgraduate applicants.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2024/25 are:
UK Students: £10,150 (full time)
International Students: £21,200 (full time)
If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home students).
We estimate living expenses at £1,023 per month.
Further Information on tuition fees can be found here.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.
How to Apply
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
To apply please use our online application form.
If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying, please do contact us:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.
After the Course
Upon completing your MA, you’ll be equipped with a range of transferable skills, which means you can pursue a variety of exciting careers both in and beyond international development.
You’ll also be well qualified to enter a PhD programme, with a view to continuing to an academic career both in the UK and overseas.
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
Example of careers that you could enter include:
Governmental and non-governmental organisations
Discover more on our Careers webpages.