Rural Studies (MPhil)

Newcastle University the United Kingdom

For more information about Rural Studies at Newcastle University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
12 Months

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts
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International course fees
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All study options

About Rural Studies at Newcastle University

MPhil and PhD supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our broad range of research areas relate to land use, natural resources and environmental change; rural planning, community governance and resilience; rural change, culture and wellbeing; and rural economy, enterprise and innovation.

Areas of research include:

  • impact and implications of 
    • ‘local-global’ processes and relationships for rural areas
    • characteristics and performance of rural businesses and households
    • rural governance
    • demographic ageing and social change
    • living with environmental change

    Opportunities are available for postgraduate research in the following areas:

    Land use, natural resources and environmental change
    • multifunctional land use and the evolving role of small farms
    • land use and food security
    • the management and governance of natural resources
    • agri-environment policy
    • environmental valuation and choice modelling
    • access to land for outdoor recreation and leisure
    • protected areas management
    Rural planning, community governance and resilience
    • relationship between rural development policy and communities in a changing political landscape
    • rural policies and the role of communities in policy development
    • neo-endogenous or networked rural development
    • rural housing and trends in counter-urbanisation
    • community asset management
    • rural partnerships and stakeholder relationships
    • community resilience
    Rural change, culture and wellbeing 
    • perceptions of rurality
    • rural social change
    • the role of rural women
    • the needs of a changing rural community
    • wellbeing and quality of life
    • rural social capital
    • social exclusion and rural poverty
    • changing perceptions of farming
    Rural economy, enterprise and innovation
    • rural enterprise and its economic contribution
    • innovation and entrepreneurialism
    • networks and knowledge exchange
    • the nature and needs of rural enterprise
    • technological adoption and innovation in agriculture
    • linkages between urban and rural economies
    • business collaboration and networking
    • expertise and knowledge exchange
    • social and community enterprise
    • the green economy.


We offer a number of different routes to a research degree qualification, including full-time and part-time supervised research projects. We attract postgraduates via non-traditional routes, including mature students and part-time postgraduates undertaking study as part of their continuing professional development. Off-campus (split) research is also offered, which enables you to conduct trials in conditions appropriate to your research programme.


Centre for Rural Economy

The Centre for Rural Economy is a Newcastle University Research Centre specialising in interdisciplinary social science, researching rural development and policy, food and society, and the wellbeing of rural communities.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMPhilHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out
  • The awardMPhilHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study24 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out
  • The awardPhDHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study36 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out
  • The awardPhDHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study72 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

See our course fees and funding webpage -

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

We usually expect research experience and/or a postgraduate qualification, such as a MRes or MSc, for PhD study. Please contact us if you are in any doubt.

International Students

To study this course you need to meet our Band 2 English Language requirements:

Direct Entry : IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills)

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. 

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

Pre-sessional English Course Requirements

  • 6 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills)
  • 10 week Pre-sessional entry:  IELTS 5.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.0 in all sub-skills)

You can study a pre-sessional English course at our INTO Newcastle Centre.

You may need an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate. You'll need to get this before you can get your visa or study on this programme. We'll let you know about the ATAS requirement in your offer letter.

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