This programme, now in its twenty second year, offers a thorough professional training from a team of teachers actively involved in research and consultancy in many different countries. It is aimed at those already working in rural development in developing countries, and for those wishing to do so. The core courses cover the political economy of agrarian change; rural development planning with regard to poverty and social exclusion; planning frameworks, including participatory and stakeholder approaches; social, political and demographic dynamics, rural livelihood strategies; health and education services. In addition, the theory and practice of a wide range of production-oriented policies, programmes and projects aimed at reducing rural poverty, are reviewed. These are combined with optional courses taken from a wide range and including gender issues, industrialisation, agricultural policy and planning, politics and development, quantitative methods. This programme is in receipt of two quota ESRC studentships.