Rural Development double degree programmes (IMRD+)

  • Applications for 2020-2021 are closed. Application forms for intake 2021-2022 will be available as of 1 October 2020

European UnionBilateral cooperationVLIR-UOS


The IMRD+ consortium offers you the opportunity to study rural development in its diversity of international approaches and applications with a specific focus on agricultural or applied economics. The 2 year master programme (120 ECTS) is jointly organized by the IMRD consortium (6 EU institutes), the University of Arkansas and a consortium of South Korean Universities leading in agricultural economics and rural development. IMRD+ offers a combination of basic and specialized theoretical and practical training in technical, economic and social sciences. This competitive master programme has a high extent of international student mobility, making it possible to learn from specialists worldwide.

  • Study at different universities and compare international views on rural development and agricultural economics
  • Gain practical experience through a 1 month case study in Italy or Slovakia
  • 1/3 of our graduates start a PhD; others work at UN, FAO and in the agribusiness industry
  • Study in Europe, the US or South-Korea, depending on the learning path you choose.
  • European and US students can obtain a double degree. A MSc in Rural Development and a MSc in Agricultural Economics (University of Arkansas, US).
  • European and South-Korean students can obtain a double degree. A MSc in Rural Development and a Master of Arts in Economics (Korea University), or Agricultural Economics (Seoul National University).

IMRD+ offers you the opportunity to study rural development in its diversity of international approaches and applications. Depending on the focus and mobility track you choose:

  • Learning path ATLANTIS >> MSc in Rural Development and MSc in Agricultural Economics: European and US students can combine this degree with a MSc in Agricultural Economics (University of Arkansas, US) and obtain a double degree at the end of the programme.
  • Learning path EKAFREE >> MSc in Rural Development and MA in Economics: European and South-Korean students can combine this degree with a Master of Arts in Economics (Korea University), or Agricultural Economics (Seoul National University).

Learning Outcomes

The International Master of Science in Rural Development (IMRD) delivers experts in integrated rural development, specialized in agricultural economics, sociology, policy and decision making. Graduates will be part of a unique international network of specialists in agronomics and rural development with a focus on socio-economic and institutional aspects.


Structure of the programme (for European students):

  1. General Entrance Module - Semester I of 30-35 ECTS
    All students start at Ghent University
  2. Advanced Modules I and II - Semesters II and II of each 15-40 ECTS
    Choose a mobility partner according to the requirements of the programme (study in at least 2 European partners, include if possible a stay at a non-European partner)
  3. Case Study - 10 ECTS - Nitra University, Pisa University (all students) or Can Tho University (for student with a VLIR scholarship)
  4. Thesis Module - Semester IV  30 ECTS - thesis partner university
  5. Add elective internship or language courses if this fits your educational goals and after discussion with the educational coordinator

Course programme

All course details can be found in our programme catalogue.

Admission Requirements

Academic requirements

  • Applicants must have at least a Bachelor's degree of min. 3 years from a university or recognized equivalent in preferably bioscience engineering or agricultural sciences, (preferably agricultural economics) with good overall scores (at least a second class or equivalent, preferably higher).
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate through their transcripts basic science training in: (i) mathematics and/or statistics; (ii) agronomy and/or biology and/or environmental sciences; and (iii) social sciences/sociology and/or rural development and/or economics.

Language requirements

The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL IBT 80
  • TOEFL PBT 550
  • ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a minimum of 6,0 for writing
  • CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre
  • ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced)

Language of instruction is no longer accepted, except applicants who are nationals from, or have obtained a bachelor and/or master degree in a higher education institute with English as mode of instruction in USA, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland or Canada. In the latter case, a certificate that the mode of instruction was English has to be submitted.

Application Procedure

Complete the application form before 31 May 2020!

Apply for admission to the consortium via the eConsort online platform.

  1. First you need to register to the platform;
  2. you will then receive an email with a link where you can complete the application form.

For all questions regarding tuition fee, accommodation, visa matters, etc. please contact

After having submitted your application file in EConsort, your academic admissibility to the programme will be assessed. In case the outcome is positive, you will have to complete your file by sending legalised copies of your Bachelor degree and Transcripts of Academic Records, as well as a valid language certificate to our offices. You will be informed throughout the application process on how to proceed.

Please note that without legalised documents your file cannot be processed. More information about the legalisation procedure.

Practical Information

Partner universities within Europe

Partner universities outside of Europe


  • Programme cost for Programme Country* students is set at 4.500 € per academic year. In general, the programme countries are the EU countries.

* for a detailed list of countries considered Partner or Programme Countries: Erasmus Mundus programme .

  • Living & Accommodation expenses: estimated 850/month

Contact & Info

Check the IMRD website for detailed information

for all questions in concern to your application process.
IMRD Secretariat 
Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium