Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Rural Economy, Society and Policy
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Ten x 2 hour seminars
Other Presentation session The module will include a fieldtrip


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2,000 word literature review  30%
Semester Assessment 2,000 word report based on fieldtrip  30%
Semester Assessment 2,000 word policy recommendation  30%
Semester Assessment Presentation  10%
Supplementary Assessment Re-submission of 2,000 word literature review Re-submission of 2,000 word report based on fieldtrip Re-submission of 2,000 word policy recommendation Re-run of presentation   100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Identify the key economic, social, cultural, and political changes in and their impacts on rural spaces.
  2. Evaluate the way rural policies have dealt with these changes, and sought to focus rural development strategies.
  3. Evaluate the responses of rural communities, organizations and businesses to these changes and policies.
  4. Formulate recommendations that would develop these policies to improve the experiences of their users.
  5. Apply key geographical concepts to understand rural changes and their implications.

Brief description

This module examines the changes in rural economies, societies, and practices over the last 50 years, and the way that policy-makers have addressed these changes. The module commences by addressing definitions of the rural and evaluating a genealogy of how it has been approached by researchers and policy-makers. It then focuses on changes in economic activities in rural areas, the challenges and process which have brought forward these changes, and how rural societies have responded. The module then considers social changes in rural areas, and their impacts on rural lives. The fieldtrip for this module builds on the background knowledge provided by the seminars and allows students to have a first-hand account of the changes in rural practices, the challenges they bring, and the impacts of particular policies.


  1. Conceptualizing rurality
  2. Resources: exploitation and conservation
  3. Selling and consuming the countryside
  4. Catastrophes and transformation: recession, resilience and new rural economies
  5. Governance and managing rural development
  6. Access, mobility and connections
  7. Rural migrations
  8. Rural cohesion and exclusion
  9. Rural conflicts and mobilization
  10. Future directions in rural research
  11. Presentations

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number May be developed through engaging with policy reports.
Communication Developed through interaction in seminars. Written skills developed by the written coursework. Oral skills developed by the presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance There are opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning and performance in seminars.
Information Technology Developed through reading online sources in preparation for seminars and research for assignments.
Personal Development and Career planning Developed through engaging with policy consultation as an assignment.
Problem solving Developed through the policy recommendation.
Research skills Developed mainly through the literature and policy review. Also developed through preparation for seminars.
Subject Specific Skills Developing an understanding and application of key concepts relating to rural geography and policy.
Team work Developed through the seminars, and possibly by the fieldtrip.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Cheshire, L. (2006) Governing Rural Development Aldershot: Ashgate Primo search Cloke, P (Ed) (2003) Country Visions Harlow: Pearson Primo search Cloke, P, Marsden, T. and Mooney, P. (2006) Handbook of Rural Studies London: Sage Primo search Gallent, N., Juntti, M., Kidd, S. and Shaw, D. (2008) Introduction to Rural Planning London: Routledge Primo search Ilbery, B. (Ed) (1998) The Geography of Rural Change Harlow: Pearson Primo search Milbourne, P. (Ed.) (2011) Rural Wales in the Twenty-First Century: society, economy, and environment Cardiff: University of Wales Press Primo search Woods, M. (2010) Rural London: Routledge Primo search Woods, M. (2005) Rural Geography London: SAGE Primo search Aguayo, B. E. C. (2008) Globalizations Global villages and rural cosmopolitanism: exploring global ruralities 5, 541-554 Primo search Carolan, M (2008) Sociologia Ruralis More-than-representational knowledge/s of the countryside: how we think as bodies 48, 408-422 Primo search Castree, N (2008) Environment and Planning A Neoliberalising nature: the logics of deregulation and reregulation 40, 131-152 Primo search Halfacree, K. (2007) Journal of Rural Studies Trial by space for a 'radical rural': introducing alternative, localities, representations and lives 23, 125-141 Primo search Halfacree, K. (2008) Population, Space and Place To revitalize counterurbanization research? Recognising an international and fuller picture 14, 479-495 Primo search Heley, J. and Jones, L. (2012) Journal of Rural Studies Relational rurals: some thoughts on relating things and theory in rural studies 28, 208-217 Primo search Woods, M (2003) Journal of Rural Studies Deconstructing rural protest: the emergence of a new social movement 19, 309-325 Primo search Woods, M. (2007) Progress in Human Geography Engaging the global countryside: globalization, hybridity and the reconstitution of rural place 31, 485-507 Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7