- get acquainted with local rural development issues in a non European context
- experience living and learning in an entirely different cultural context
The learning outcomes of the one month case study organized in summer are:
- Knowledge and Comprehension: students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of basic theoretical framework to understand the new challenges of sustainable rural development, focusing upon new forms of food production and consumption. They will demonstrate reflexive attitude awareness and abilities to carry out rural research. They recognize/know typical food’s actual and potential benefits for local development, and particularly for farmers, better understanding what organic, local/regional and fair food strategies do mean and entail. Students grasp some more general issues concerning the situation of local development and the challenges of agricultural-rural sustainability (e.g. survival of small-scale farmers, rural governance and sustainable food chains). They will understand resources, problems, dynamics of the territory through a direct meeting with its realities and its key-players.
- Application: students will be able to integrate theory and practice for systematic analysis of diverse social-economic-environmental-institutional aspects of sustainable rural development. They will have insights on potential and use of visuals methods for rural research (as means for investigation, documentation and reporting). They will practice audio-visual techniques (i.e. photo and video)
- Analysis: students will develop personal (critical views), and creative spirit of research re-elaborating new knowledge and reflecting on the research process carried out (reflection on approach and methods / self-reflection). They will analyze a series of features coming out from field visits
The master thesis enables the student to develop his/her research skills and attitude. The following learning outcomes are brought forward:
- Define a research problem;
- Formulate clear research questions and hypotheses;
- Set up an appropriate methodology;
- Carry out a critical literature study;
- Collect quality data meticulously (using existing data sets or data obtained by lab or field work and/or surveys);
- Process data in a correct way;
- Analyze data in a critical way;
- Make a concise synthesis;
- Draw up a final manuscript – scientific report;
- Take into account all formal aspects of the final manuscript with respect to construction of thesis, language and style, figures and tables, references.
- Show the necessary independence, motivation, dedication and initiative while obtaining final competences 1-10;
- Give a clear oral presentation of the results of the work;
- Argue in a well founded manner during the discussion.
Students can also opt for additional elective courses or language course, and for an internship, allowing them to obtain following learning outcomes:
- determine, with a team and in interaction with a client organization, the goals of a project and formulate tasks and a project plan on the basis of their disciplinary knowledge and general academic skills and attitude; adjust, in interaction with the client, the formulated project goals and plan when and if necessary;
- defend and sell their viewpoints and conclusions in a professional and representative way and academically correct;
- contribute at an academic level to the execution of an project both in terms of process and content related to their own disciplinary training by gathering, selecting and analyzing information and integrating this into project deliverables;
- implement reflective learning by an assessment of their personal functioning in and contribution to a professional team and reflection on this in writing and during an assessment interview.