Skip to main content

Rural Studies Research

The Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) is a world-leading group of academics. They specialise in interdisciplinary social science and applied policy research.

Achieving equality and sustainable development in rural areas

CRE works towards the achievement of equality and sustainable development in rural areas. They seek to achieve these aims at local, national and global levels.

Our rural development research covers farming and farm families, rural communities and businesses. It's informed by our desire to work collaboratively with stakeholders. We seek to exchanging knowledge and ideas. We want to develop creative solutions to pressing problems facing rural areas.

National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise

We lead the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise. The Centre aims to foster innovation and enterprise across rural economies. We share knowledge gained to inform policy and support services for rural enterprise.

Recent projects have applied social science methods to public policy. We've engaged in practice-led work in the arts and creative practice in the rural economy.

Pioneering policy with UK government

We pioneer, test and promote innovative policy evaluation approaches with UK Government departments. They include development of a series of case studies with Defra. These focus on policy for future agriculture following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Other research has explored questions such as:

  • the role of women in farming
  • how understandings, practices and responses to endemic livestock disease have changed over time
  • how rural communities and enterprises have responded to the Covid pandemic