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ACE3017 : Rural Planning, Politics and Society

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Menelaos Gkartzios
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aims of the module are to: (1) Inform students on current planning policies and development issues specific to rural areas; (2) Inform students of contemporary rural economic, social and cultural issues; (3) Describe the variety of practices and conflicts that arise in the areas of rural planning and rural development; (4) Impart information relevant to both UK and international rural contexts; and (5) Improve students’ communication, IT, research and writing skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Rural policy in the post-war period
2. Defining ‘the rural’ and social construction of rurality
3. Agricultural policy and politics
4. Rural policy, regionalism and localism
5. Planning and rural areas
6. Rural interest groups and politics of the rural
7. The new rural economy
8. Creativity, art and the countryside
9. Rural social and demographic change
10. Rural areas, sustainable development and resilience
11. Poverty and social exclusion in the countryside
12. The rural housing question

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation for individual essay Semester 2
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:3011:30Revision and completion of Semester 2 examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading135:3035:30Independent reading (literature suggested)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars (including student presentations and discussions)
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity116:0016:00Group work for seminar presentations
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity115:0015:00Preparation for group presentation Semester 2
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study164:0064:00Lecture and seminar follow up
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures cover the basics of rural planning and rural policy-making, i.e. contemporary rural policies, the role of interest groups and institutions as well as mechanisms of rural planning and rural development. Particular emphasis is given on various land use and/or community conflicts as well as local, regional, national and international dimensions of rural development issues. Small group teaching enables students to examine key social issues in the countryside with reference to social science literature written from a variety of different perspectives. These seminars allow for students to review cases of particular or contemporary interest, engage critically with rural policies and analyse their impact on rural societies.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M50Presentation of a research proposal in a group of 2 or 3 (to include peer assessment)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment strategy involves individual and group work, presentations, continuous assessment and final year exams. The group presentation (50%) enables students to develop their group working skills and to reflect on the methodological issues relating to conducting research on rural issues. This allows for critical engagement on areas of policy failures and conflict as well as comparative reflection of different cases of rural development and planning issues. The end-of-year exam (50%) tests students’ understanding of the theoretical material presented in the course and their ability to apply it to contemporary management situations.

Reading Lists