YSS-60806 Cutting Edge Issues in Development and Rural Innovation

This Study Handbook is published with reservation. It is not official yet.


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Field practical80
Group work10
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. H Maat
dr. R Fletcher
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. SR Vellema
dr. ir. H Maat
dr. ir. PA de Vries
dr. R Fletcher
Examiner(s)dr. ir. H Maat
dr. R Fletcher

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

CPT-21304 Introduction to Technology, Agro-ecology and Development M; CPT-23804 Introduction to Communication and Innovation Studies M; SDC-21804 Introduction to the Sociology of Development, Knowledge and Change M.

Assumed knowledge on:

YRM-20806 Research Design & Research Methods.


This course provides insights and hands-on exercises for becoming an academic professional working on short-term commissioned jobs in the field of development and rural innovation. This requires a capacity to reflect on and anticipating new developments in the field and become a flexible and critically engaged academically trained expert. This course focuses on those capacities. Students become responsible for their own learning process, stimulating ownership and responsibility for completion of a commissioned assignment on an academic level with practical implications. The course offers students the opportunity to deepen and apply their knowledge acquired from previous courses. A major activity of the course is a field research practical abroad where students work in small groups on the commissioned assignment.

Cutting Edge Issues, together with the course Facilitating Interactive Processes (CPT-60306), forms the Academic Master Cluster (AMC) for the MDR programme.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- assess the state of knowledge of topical issues and socio-technical change in emerging complex problems in the field of development and rural innovation, using information technology and collective primary data collection;
- conduct, within limited time and space, an integrated socio-technical analysis of a changing practice;
- define and prioritize lines for further analytical action and design one or more solutions ;
- apply social science perspectives and theories to a practical situation, using cognitive skills at an academic level ;
- interact professionally with a commissioner, and work in a demand-driven fashion without sacrificing a critical academic stance and ethical standards;
- work in a complex project environment, arriving at an effective task division and group working procedures;
- transform research findings into concrete and feasible practical recommendations;
- implement reflexive learning by assessing their own performance and contribution to a professional team as well as an assessment of the contribution of other team members.


Student group work; Literature retrieval; A multiple days' field research practical abroad is part of the activities. Students write and present a report and engage in any other activity required to achieve their learning goals.


Assessment of the quality of the end product (75%). A peer review of activities and output (15%). An assessment of the group collaboration process and outcomes (10%). Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


As to the contents, student will collect relevant reading material themselves on the topic of their choice.

Compulsory for: MDRDevelopment and Rural InnovationMSc4WD+5WD+6WD