Rural Poverty and Development

Modular value: 20 credits

Module convenor: Robert Leurs

AIm of the Module

The aim of this module is to critically evaluate a number of rural development policy interventions, in the context of the various definitions and perceived causes of rural poverty.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students should be able to:

  • Understand and critique different definitions of rural poverty
  • Articulate different causes of rural poverty
  • Critically evaluate a number of different rural poverty policy interventions
  • Describe a number of different rural poverty policy interventions
  • Articulate the possible impacts of globalisation on the rural poor

Teaching and learning approach

The module will be delivered using a range of methods such as videos, interactive presentations, case studies and student presentations.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction (causes of rural poverty and evolution of practice)
  • Land policies and the poor
  • Agricultural markets and trade
  • Basic needs approaches
  • Microfinance
  • Social safety nets
  • Migration
  • Technological transformation
  • Natural resource based livelihoods
  • Globalisation and rural poverty


  • The assessment of the module will consist of one 2000 word assignment worth 30% of the total mark and one 3000 word assignment worth 70% of the total mark.

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