Master in Rural Development (Rural development II) will be an innovative, interdisciplinary, and 1-year certificate (60 ECTS) program that provides participants with a broad understanding of socio-economic factors affecting the transformation of rural society. The course content will be designed to build upon the technical knowledge of previous and current students of agriculture and other faculties related to rural development, and prepare them for practical implementation of rural development policies in the Western Balkan region. Master in Rural Development is primarily meant for those learners who have lack of knowledge of the problems in rural development, because of the limitations of previous Higher Education.
Master (or specialized) studies will be simultaneously organized and implemented at universities at Banja Luka, Novi Sad, Tetovo and Tirana.
The program will provide students opportunity to improve skills and knowledge of:
- understanding historical development and current situation in rural economies;
- sociological and demographical characteristics of rural society, rural community and rural culture;
- understanding of relation between economic, social and ecological dimension of rural development;
- environmental protection as function of sustainable development;
- creation and realization of policies and methods for rural development;
- planning and support to local and regional development;
- identification and promotion of rural entrepreneurship;
- creation and management of projects in agriculture and rural development;
- improving quality of life in rural areas;
- research methods which help to understand factors of rural development; and
- communication and presentation skills, and increased competencies in utilizing modern technologies in field of the rural development consultancy and rural development.
The project consortium, after many workshops and under tutorship from professors from partner EU universities (Reading, Wageningen, Helsinki and Prague), developed curriculums for subjects which will have same content at all Balkan universities. Students will be required to take 4 compulsory/core courses: 1. Rural development, 2. Rural economy, 3. Rural ecology and 4. Rural sociology. Besides compulsory courses students choose 4 elective subjects from extended list of 20 elective subjects offered to II cycle of studies at study group of Agricultural Economy and Rural Development at University of Banja Luka. In school year 2012/13. students choosed elective subjects: 1. Project management in agriculture, 2. Entrepreneurship in rural areas, 3. Consultancy in agriculture and rural development, and 4. Development of cooperatives.
After completing 8 exams (which accounts for 40 ECTS) students will work on and defend master thesis (which accounts for 20 ECTS) under supervision of lecturer from master studies.
Upon completing master studies in rural development students will be capable to continue their carrier in consultancy, development agencies, local, entity or country administration, project units, cooperatives and other carriers in rural development.