NUI Galway has officially launched a new Masters Programme in Rural Sustainability. The full-time, one year postgraduate programme is being co-ordinated by the Discipline of Geography within the School of Geography and Archaeology, and it already has a full complement of students in place for the first year of its operation.
The MA in Rural Sustainability has been devised in response to increasing attention nationally and internationally on the role and function of rural economies and societies. NUI Galway holds a distinguished tradition of rural research and teaching. As a European university that is itself situated in a rural and peripheral location, it seeks to continue its leadership role in rural affairs through providing a postgraduate career path in rural studies.
The programme was officially launched by Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc. This association with Teagasc, particularly with its own strong leadership in rural research, is an important component of the programme as it unites expertise in rural theory, research and practice, ultimately benefiting the student experience and future employability.
Professor Boyle says: “The programme is a clear response in a positive and proactive way by Geographers in NUI Galway to calls emanating regionally, nationally and internationally, which place rural issues high on current political agendas. This MA also allows for greater collaboration between NUI Galway and Teagasc.”
Teagasc is also sponsoring the Dr Patrick Commins Rural Research Award for the best overall MA student performance. This award is valued at €3,000 per annum. The late Dr Commins was a leading academic and researcher in rural issues and had a long and distinguished career with Teagasc. His reputation as an expert on rural affairs extended well beyondIreland, and his knowledge and experience was regarded as key to informing EU and wider international academic and policy debates.
Launching NUI Galway’s new MA in Rural Sustainability and the Dr Patrick Commins Rural Research Award were (l-r): Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc, and Mairín Commins, wife of Dr Patrick Commins.