M.Sc. Integrated planning for rural development and environmental management

University of Lleida

Tuition fee:
  • € 1,800 / Year (EEA)
  • € 1,800 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: October  2015
Duration full-time: 24 months
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Catalan
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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This Master is designed to train professionals in the area of planning for the development of rural areas and environmental management through the analysis and integration of natural, economic and social components conforming rural systems, and the application of modern techniques for resource evaluation and information management as tools for decision making in rural space planning.

The specialization profile of this degree enables students to undertake technical responsibilities in this domain as well as to perform high-level scientific research. The working activity of this Master's graduates focuses on the administrations environmental, planning and development departments; on technical consulting companies; on environmental management enterprises; on the environmental area of the main industrial corporations; on research and on education.

The Master is organized by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ) of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) and the School of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering (ETSEA) of the University of Lleida (UdL). It is an official Master of the Spanish university system with a clear international character, and it has been on offer since 1976, its contents being updated and revised for each new edition. The Master has a duration of two years (120 ECTS) and is delivered on a face-to-face mode, full time basis. The Master begins every second year.

In the Master, 54 lecturers from 7 different countries participate, coming from universities, research centres, public administration services, private enterprises and international institutions. The quality of the lecturers guarantees high-level training and constant updating of topics. The diversity of their origin, both geographical and institutional, contributes to the dynamism of the courses and enables the students to contrast different theories, methods and results.

The Master is open to students from all over the world, although they come mainly from CIHEAM member countries (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey), from Europe and Latin America.


The programme is structured in two parts. The first part (60 ECTS) has a professional orientation and covers lectures and practicals, individual and team study and work, and technical visits. This part is delivered by UdL lecturers and guest lecturers of renowned experience from international institutions and universities, research centres, services of administrations and companies from various countries.

The second part (60 ECTS) focuses on the introduction to research, critically applying the knowledge, skills and competences acquired in the first part to problems related to planning and environmental management of rural areas. This part of the Master is carried out in the UdL or in other universities, research centres or companies of acknowledged prestige, usually in Spain or in the country of origin of the participant, under the supervision of a Practicum tutor and a director for the research project, who should be a PhD with experience and prestige in the subject of the research.

All the units included in the programme correspond to a postgraduate level second-cycle, according to the European Space for Higher Education (ESHE) and are delivered in a face-to-face mode. The units for each part of the programme are shown below. The Study guide for each Unit provides detailed information on contents, competences, learning activities, learning assessment, etc.

FIRST PART OF THE MASTER (60 ECTS) * Unit 1 Planning for sustainable rural development (4 ECTS) (Compulsory) (first year, first semester)
* Unit 2 Natural resources (5 ECTS) (Compulsory) (first year, first semester)
* Unit 3 Natural and agricultural production systems (7 ECTS) (Compulsory) (first year, first semester)
* Unit 4 Environmental economics and policies (6 ECTS) (Compulsory) (first year, course)
* Unit 5 Socioeconomics of rural areas and development policies (5 ECTS) (Compulsory) (first year, course)
* Unit 6 Spatial and socioeconomic analysis (9 ECTS) (Compulsory) (first year, course)
* Unit 7 Land use allocation and modelling (9 ECTS) (Compulsory) (first year, second semester)
* Unit 8 Integrated planning project (15 ECTS) (Compulsory) (first year, course)Inventory (4 ECTS) (first semester)
Diagnosis of the physical, social and economic environment (4 ECTS) (second semester)
Generation and evaluation of alternatives and plan of action (7 ECTS) (second semester)

SECOND PART OF THE MASTER (60 ECTS) * Unit 9 Introduction to research (30 ECTS) (Compulsory) (second year, third semester)Basic tools for the elaboration of scientific and technical documents and publications (6 ECTS)
Rural Planning Practicum (24 ECTS)

* Unit 10 Masters final work (Master Thesis) (30 ECTS) (Masters final work) (second year, fourth semester)


Access is open to candidates of any nationality who have the academic level qualifying them to carry out postgraduate studies in their country of origin, or the equivalent to 240 ECTS credits of undergraduate studies. The Master is held biennially, so candidates can enrol in the first part of the programme every two years.

The first part of the Master is designed for a maximum of 25 students complying with the following conditions:

a) University degree, preferably in agronomy, forest sciences, biology, geography, environmental sciences, economics and landscape architecture.
b) Sound knowledge of computers as a user. Experience in using geographical information systems (GIS) will be taken into consideration.

c) Knowledge of Spanish, which will be the working language. Lecturers may speak in English or in Spanish. Simultaneous interpreting into Spanish will be provided in those lectures delivered in English; therefore, students are required to prove their knowledge of the Spanish language before the start of the Master. From July to September, an intensive Spanish language course is organized for those students who may need it. At the end of this course, students must achieve a B1 level equivalent to that laid down in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
d) Knowledge of English, since part of the Master documentation may be written in this language. This knowledge must be credited by an A2 level certification, equivalent to that laid down in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), or equivalent level in their country of origins certifications. If necessary, this accreditation may be replaced by a written comprehension test of scientific English to those pre-admitted not providing such certification.


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