Rural Development double degree programmes (IMRD+)

  • Application for 2023-24 open as from October 15, 2022.

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 at 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

General admission requirements

Academic requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree of minimum 3 years with good overall scores (at least a second class or equivalent, preferably higher) from a university level or recognized equivalent.
Candidates are expected to have basic science training (demonstrable in the transcripts) in the following fields: (1) mathematics and/or statistics, (2) agronomy and/or biology and/or environmental sciences and (3) social sciences and/or rural development. Candidates who cannot present a combined training of these fields will be evaluated on their aptitude, based on experience and knowledge of these fields, as demonstrated by CV or other evidence.

Language requirements

The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. 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
  • CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre
  • ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced)

Language of instruction is not 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, and in the latter case a certificate that the mode of instruction was English has to be submitted.

Additional requirements for ATLANTIS track

  • The applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average (4.00 system) on the last 60 hours of study;
  • Applicants whose native tongue is not English must also demonstrate proficiency in English by providing documentation of a TOEFL score of 550/79 (paper/internet), or IELTS score of 6.5, or proof of one year of university level study with instruction in English, or successful completion of the intermediate academic English test at the an accredited language center; and,
  • Pre-requisite courses including six (6) hours of mathematics (college algebra or above); 3 hours of statistics; 3 hours of economic principles; and 6 hours of courses in agricultural economics, rural development, social sciences, or agriculture and agribusiness-related courses.

Additional requirements for EKAFREE track

  • a minimum of a Bachelor's degree (students lacking sufficient subject related background might be obliged to take a pre-requisite course
  • a satisfactory grade point average;
  • letters of recommendations;
  • study plan (Statement Of Purpose);
  • oral interviews (specific for the Seoul National University);

Application Procedure

Complete the application form before 31 May of the year of envisaged start of the programme!

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 EUR4500 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 EUR850/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