Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 2 hour lecture per week
Lecture 1 x 1 hour seminar per week
Practical 4 x 3 hour practicals per semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment COURSEWORK - 2000 WORD REPORT  70%
Semester Assessment 3 Hours   ORAL EXAMINATION  30%
Supplementary Assessment RE-SUBMISSION OF REPORT  70%
Supplementary Assessment 3 Hours   ORAL EXAMINATION  30%

Learning Outcomes

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

    Outcome 1 Apply and review the theories of working with communities in a rural context;

Outcome 2
Analyse and define the problems facing rural communities;

Outcome 3
Evaluate community development interventions;

Outcome 4
Analyse the approaches for monitoring the implementation of community projects;

Outcome 5
Evaluate the effectiveness of community initiatives

Brief description

The latter half of the twentieth century has confronted people in rural areas with an almost unprecedented scale and pace of change (Buller and Wright 1989). Such change has led to substantial efforts over the last few decades to maintain rural communities through various programmes and initiatives (Moseley 2003). More recently, emphasis has been shifted from simply 'sustaining' rural communities as static and unchanging entities towards processes of development that are seen to be continuous and adaptive (e.g. Crabtree 2006). Such a view is necessary for making rural communities economically, socially and environmentally 'sustainable' over the long-term.

The module has relevance to students interested in working with local communities to achieve social, economic and environmental objectives. It therefore has direct relevance to students studying courses such as Tourism, Countryside management, Sustainable Rural Development.


The module will cover a range of topics including:

  • Introduction to rural development;
  • Complexity of rural communities;
  • The importance of local development;
  • Uncertainty and the importance of adaptive management and a continuous learning approach to development;
  • Case studies of community development;
  • Evaluating community initiatives.
The module is structured around the main assignment where students will learn a range of analytical skills to help them appreciate and manage the complexity involved in rural community development.


To expose students to a range of theories, tools and skills that are necessary to support community development in a rural context.

Specifically, the module aims to develop: understanding of the principles and theories of working with communities in a rural context; appreciation of the tools, mechanisms and interpersonal skills required to work effectively with rural communities; understanding of the complexities of defining problems and implementing projects in communities; and development of more effective critical analytical and interpersonal skills for working with rural community development.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will develop their communication skills through interview and group work.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will necessarily be required to develop critical thinking skills to deal with the complexity of community-based development
Information Technology A range of IT skills will be developed, including the use of appropriate packages to articulate the complexities in development work.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be learning practical skills as wells as theoretical knowledge. Many of the skills developed in the course have specific relevance to careers in community management and development.
Problem solving Students will be required to analyse, define and suggest solutions to real-world problems
Research skills Students will learn interview skills and other techniques for evaluating community problems and initiatives
Team work Much of the practical work will be based on working in groups, and students will have the opportunity to improve their inter-personal skills.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Buller, H and Wright, S (1990) Rural Development: Problems and practices Avebury Primo search Moseley, M J (2003) Rural Development. Principles and practice Sage Publications Inc Primo search
Recommended Background
Crabtree, Geoforum Sustainability begins at home? An ecological exploration of sub/urban Australian community-focused housing initiatives Volume 37: 519 - 535 Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5