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Rural Development and Natural Resource Management MSc with a major in Rural Development

Would you like to make an impact on climate change by learning more about rural development and natural resource issues? Then this is the right Master’s programme for you.


Welcome to an international Master’s programme that teaches you how to analyse and define the problems of rural development and natural resource management in a global context. Attracting students from all over the world, the courses included in the programme will give you in-depth understanding of rural livelihoods, governance of natural resources, food systems and power inequalities so that you can use your knowledge to have a positive impact on development, poverty and climate change. 

This 2-year programme investigates these subjects in the context of societal development and offers opportunities for both broadened and in-depth studies. At the end of the programme you will have gained a deeper insight into development issues with a social science perspective on natural resources and globalisation.  

With a Master’s degree in rural development, your skills will be in demand and you will be equipped to start an academic career in a ministry, government agency, an international organisation, or in aid. You will also be able to continue your studies towards a PhD.


Name: Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme
Level: Master
Language: English
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Next start: Autumn semester 2024

Tuition Fees: Citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland are required to pay application and tuition fees.

First semester: SEK 62500
Total: SEK 250000

Application deadline for international students: 2024-01-15
Application deadline for Swedish students: 2024-04-15

Study location: Uppsala
Pace of study: Full-time
Teaching form: On-campus
Application code for Swedish students: 81021
Application code for international students: 81031


Admission to the Rural Development and Natural Resource Management – Master’s programme requires a first-cycle qualification comprising 180 credits and including specialised studies within a main field of study comprising 90 credits within one of the following disciplinary domains:
- social science
- natural science
- humanities

Applicants with the equivalent qualifications obtained by means of a degree from another country, or with the equivalent knowledge obtained in some other way, may also be regarded as fulfilling the specific entry requirements.

This programme is taught in English. The applicant must further have a level of English equivalent to upper secondary school English, called English 6. An applicant with a first-cycle qualification from SLU comprising 180 credits automatically fulfils this requirement. Special rules apply for applicants with qualifications from one of the Nordic countries and some English-speaking countries.

Specific requirements apply for admission to the individual courses included in the programme.


Degree awarded on completion of the programme

Upon completion of the programme, the degree of Master of Science is awarded. Other general qualifications may be awarded, provided that the requirements for them are fulfilled. More information can be found in SLU´s degree regulations.

Students who fulfil the qualification requirements for a degree will be issued a degree certificate upon request. The degree certificate will specify the qualification as Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a Major in Rural Development.

Degree requirements

A degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in rural development is awarded to students who fulfil the course requirements (courses with a Pass grade) of 120 credits, of which at least 90 credits at second-cycle level, according to the following:

  • at least 30 credits of courses with specialised study in the main field rural development (A1N; A1F),
  • at least 30 credits from an independent project (degree project) in the main field rural development (A2E).

In addition, the student must hold a degree of Bachelor or professional qualification of at least 180 credits or an equivalent qualification.



Admission: There are two admission rounds for this Master's programme. The first admission round is open to all international applicants at www.universityadmissions.se. SLU strongly encourage all international students to apply in this first admission round.


The programme includes various courses that enable students to develop a broad understanding of rural development and natural resource management. Students will also have the opportunity to cultivate specialised knowledge of the various dimensions involved.

Students will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting research. They will learn how to facilitate and manage developmental projects, and work with various tasks that intend to stimulate learning through active participation.

The programme’s courses cover topics such as rural livelihoods, gender, governance and sustainable management of natural resources, global food systems and food security, social theory and research methods.

Visit the student pages to find out more.


A Master’s degree in rural development and natural resource management creates job prospects in fields such as projects or organisations related to development, academia, research, the private sector, consultancy firms, policy design and facilitation, governmental or non-governmental organisations and local, national or international institutions.

Degree awarded

Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a Major in Rural Development.


Year 1

Year 2


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Meet our students

Curious about what our students think of this master’s programme? Ida shares her experiences at SLU in this interview.

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Our researchers. Your teachers.

Seema Arora-Jonsson is a professor of rural development. Watch the film and get to know her and her work better.

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