The MSc Development and Rural Innovation is the international social sciences programme for students with a technical, life science or relevant management background with an interest in international development and beta/ gamma integration. In Development and Rural Innovation, we develop professionals who are able to deal with knowledge processes in dynamic contexts.
Crucial in Development and Rural Innovation is interdisciplinary thinking along human and technological dimensions of innovation. The arena for Development and Rural Innovation consists of a variety of fields of expertise such as water management, agriculture, disaster management, natural resource management, health & sanitation, and more.
Socio-technical innovation and change processes
Dealing with the links between technological developments and societies in which these are introduced and used requires a fundamental understanding of socio-technical innovation and change processes. In other words, you will be challenged to integrate your previously acquired technical competencies with new skills at an academic level of thinking in social sciences in order to make innovations work.
In agriculture, natural resource management and the food industry, there are two types of innovations: new technology and artefacts, and new socio-organisational arrangements involving a variety of societal actors. To direct these innovations, the modern world demands not only engineers, but also skilled professionals who understand the social and technological aspects of innovation processes and can apply that knowledge in a variety of contexts worldwide.
The Development and Rural Innovation programme aims to meet this need by training a new kind of scientifically-equipped professional. The challenge for Development and Rural Innovation students is to integrate their previously acquired technical competencies with new cognitive skills at an advanced conceptual level in the social sciences in order to make innovations work.
Development and Rural Innovation is a unique, predominantly social science programme consisting of an amalgam of disciplinary and problem-oriented courses. The programme is taught in an interactive style where learning from each other is emphasised. The programme is highly thesis-oriented. The subject matter, methodology and design courses serve primarily as preparation for an empirical research project. This entails writing a research proposal, conducting the research and completing a Master thesis, thereby offering students the opportunity to apply their newly acquired insights in a concrete situation (usually in their home country) on a topic of their choice that is relevant to their professional interests and preferences.
The academic year at Wageningen University is divided into six periods. The total master programme contains 120 ECTS (2 years) and consists of:
The first year invites and submerges you into the social sciences and allows you to build up your theoretical framework for your thesis.
The second year allows you to illustrate you are capable of delivering a solid piece of scientific research through your thesis. The second year also challenges you to work within a real programme or project during your internship. Based on prior working experience and education, exemption for the internship may be possible.
Accredited by: NVAO in: Netherlands