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NES3105 : Rural Planning, Politics and Society

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Menelaos Gkartzios
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


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
(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 completion110:0010:00Preparation for group presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:3011:30Preparation for final written assignment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00lectures dealing with the module topics
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading145:3045:30Independent reading for seminars (literature suggested)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching52:0010:00Seminars (including student presentations and discussions)
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity160:0060:00Group work for seminar presentations
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study153:0053:00Lecture and seminar follow up
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Online 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

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)
Written exercise2M50Written alternate assessment
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2MStudent led seminars allow students to discuss research papers and current policy literature - an opportunity to monitor learning
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment strategy involves 2 summative assessments, both individual and group work, as well as continuous formative assessment (through the student-led seminars) and a final year essay. 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 contemporary areas of policy failures and conflict as well as comparative reflection of different cases of rural development and planning issues. Student peer assessment is also implemented as part of the evaluation of the group presentations. The end-of-semester written essay (50%) tests students’ understanding of the theoretical material presented in the course and their ability to apply it to contemporary management and policy situations.

Reading Lists