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Master in

Integrated planning for rural development and environmental management

Last edition: 1st part: 26 September 2016 – 9 June 2017 / 2nd part: September 2017 – June 2018 ··

Master in

Integrated planning for rural development and environmental management

General information on the Unit

Contact hours: 49 (35 lectures, 14 practicals)
Personal work hours: 76
Character: Compulsory
Venue: Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza
- Developed during the first academic year of the Master, the subjects of methodologies for the socioeconomic analysis in rural areas are developed at the beginning of the first semester, since they are essential for the optimum development of Unit 8. The rest of the subjects in the Unit are developed in the second semester.
- The assessment of this Unit is carried out through the global assessment of the group work results and a written exam corresponding to the subjects of methodologies for the socioeconomic analysis in rural areas, which is done in the first semester, and another written exam corresponding to the rest of the subjects, which is done in the second semester.
Requisites and permanence
There are no previous requisites
Learning methods
Combination of theoretical and practical classes, work in groups and technical visit.
Lecturers may deliver the course in Spanish or in French. In the second case, simultaneous interpretation into Spanish is provided. The documents supplied by the lecturers may be written in Spanish or in English.


Presentation of the Unit and context within the syllabus

The methodologies for rural areas characterization and socioeconomic analysis are presented, considering the rural and agrarian transformation within the context of globalization and analyzing development processes both in developed and developing countries. The importance of social participation in development processes and plans is stressed. The role of agricultural and development policies in the revitalization of rural areas and the propitiation of establishing viable development alternatives, such as rural tourism, is also discussed.



Specific competences

  • ­ SC3 Considering the social and economic processes in an area, and assessing the implications of different legislations, policies, actions and activities on its development. [focusing on the economic processes]
  • ­ SC4 Characterizing and assessing the different sub-systems (physical, economic and social) and elements interacting in rural areas, and diagnosing their potentials and limitations. [focusing on the economic sub-system]
  • ­ SC7 Understanding and valuing the usefulness of applying different methodologies and tools to the design of environmental and development policies, to the improvement of the management and to the integrated planning of a territory.
  • ­ SC8 Acknowledging the importance of society’s participation in planning projects for the development of rural areas, and applying methodologies and techniques to promote this participation.

General competences

  • ­ GC1 Integrating scientific and technical knowledge and applying them discerningly.
  • ­ GC3 Analyzing results or strategies and elaborating conclusions which contribute to clarify the problems and to find possible solutions.
  • ­ GC6 Team-working and promoting exchange and collaboration attitudes with other students, researchers and professionals.


Learning outcomes

The student, at the end of the learning of this Unit:

  • Can characterize rural populations and their structure in relation to planning problems.
  • Is aware of the current rural issues and the factors underlying its social and economic transformation, and understands how the agricultural policies and other public policies affect the dynamics of rural areas.
  • Assesses the usefulness of different types of actions and regulations impacting on the development of rural areas by favouring the dynamism of their economic life and facilitating institutional cooperation, social involvement and visibility.
  • Is aware of the importance of stakeholder participation in the process of planning and implementing development actions in rural areas and the issues involved in social participation, and knows the participatory methodologies.
  • Knows and critically assesses the impact of agricultural and developmental policies of the European Union.
  • Has gained experience, through case studies, in integrated rural development activities and projects, emphasizing Leader programmes and rural tourism.



  • Social and economic structures in rural areas
    • Methodologies for socioeconomic analysis in rural areas: sources of data, census, indicators, survey planning and demographic processes
      • Agrarian structure as a rural
      • Population geography
      • development factor
      • Sociological analysis
  • Social and economic transformations in rural areas within the context of globalization
    • Regional dynamics in rural areas
    • Comparative analysis of developed and developing countries
  • Social participation and local development in rural areas
  • Case study: Impact analysis through social participation processes in the Mediterranean region
  • Rural economics and policies for integrated rural development
    • Rural development and agricultural policies in the European Union and in the Mediterranean region
      • EU cohesion policies and structural funds. Leader projects
      • Rural development policies in the CAP
    • Leader projects. Rural development in Aragón regions, Spain
    • Case study: Rural tourism as an alternative for rural development
    • Field visit: Leader projects and rural tourism

Learning activities

Learning activity 1: Lectures combined with case studies
ECTS: 4.1
Hours: 103
Percentage of contact: 34%

Learning activity 2: Group work, consisting in carrying out studies of demography and agrarian structure applied to specific areas.
ECTS: 0.5
Hours: 12
Percentage of contact: 50%

Learning activity 3: Practical work on stakeholders analysis and the application of social participation techniques, based on a real case study with a socially shared diagnosis and formulation of alternatives.
ECTS: 0.2
Hours: 4
Percentage of contact: 50%

Learning activity 4: Technical visit to a rural area where a Leader project has been implemented and which avails of investment for rural tourism. During the visit there will be a discussion with the different stakeholders on the issues raised by the definition and implementation of these projects.
ECTS: 0.2
Hours: 6
Percentage of contact: 100%


Assessment method

Assessment system 1: Written exams, composed by questions provided by the different lecturers of the Unit. The questions are concrete and require a short development. The exam assesses the content of lectures and the understanding of the processes observed in the technical visit and the methodology applied in the practical work.
In the written exams, the questions are marked according to the technical and conceptual precision of the answer, and to the reasoning approach.
Weighting: 90% of the final score of the Unit

Assessment system 2: Global assessment of the results of the group work by the tutoring lecturers. Understanding of the methodology applied and validity of the results obtained will be assessed. The score will be the same for all components of each group.
Weighting: 10% of the final score of the Unit



Antonio ALEDO, Univ. Alicante (Spain)
Fernando O. BAPTISTA, Univ. Técnica Lisboa (Portugal)
José María DE JUAN, KOAN Consulting S.L., Madrid (Spain)
Paloma FÁBREGAS, CEDER Somontano, Barbastro (Spain)
Francisco GARCÍA PASCUAL, Univ. Lleida (Spain)
João P. GUERREIRO, Univ. Algarve, Faro (Portugal)
Dionisio ORTIZ, Univ. Politécnica Valencia (Spain)
Ángel PUEYO, Univ. Zaragoza (Spain)
Enrique RUÍZ BUDRÍA, Univ. Zaragoza (Spain)