Module Identifier RD25620  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Ioan Fazey  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery 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 TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment COURSEWORK - 2000 WORD REPORT  70%
Semester Assessment3 Hours ORAL EXAMINATION  30%
Supplementary Assessment RE-SUBMISSION OF REPORT  70%
Supplementary Assessment3 Hours ORAL EXAMINATION  30%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Apply and review the theories of working with communities in a rural context;

2. Analyse and define the problems facing rural communities;

3. Evaluate community development interventions;

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

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:

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

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  
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  
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.  
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.  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Buller, H and Wright, S (1990) Rural Development: Problems and practices Avebury 0566070189
Moseley, M J (2003) Rural Development. Principles and practice Sage Publications Inc
** Recommended Background
Crabtree, Geoforum Sustainability begins at home? An ecological exploration of sub/urban Australian community-focused housing initiatives Volume 37: 519 - 535.


This module is at CQFW Level 5