Understanding rural societies

Welcome to Tristan Berchoux’s teaching website on rural studies. You will find the materials (slides, readings, practicals) that I used while teaching at the University of Southampton (BSc Geography, MSc Sustainability) and at the University of Winchester (BSc Geography, BSc Economics, BA Sociology)

Aim and objectives

This module will take a critical approach to issues of rural development and sustainable resource management at multiple scales, ranging from the global to the local. Through reference to diverse case studies and geographical contexts the module will explore links between development theory, policy and practice and their implications for the environment. Through this study and associated practical elements, students will become effective communicators of geographical ideas. Students are introduced to the importance of communicating appropriately for multiple audiences, using data where appropriate, and explore a range of textual, oral and visual methods to communicate, including weblogs and short ‘pitch’ presentations for policy audiences.

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the contested nature of rural development and climate change adaptation in theory and practice
  • Critically analyse the impacts of contemporary rural development and climate change adaptation practices on different spaces and places and environments;
  • Synthesise a range of appropriate evidence to support ideas and arguments;
  • Analyse the communication process within rural studies and effectively link genre, communication style and audience;
  • Communicate geographical issues effectively;
  • Synthesise visual and textual elements for effective communication.


See the dedicated website: https://ruralsoc.netlify.app/syllabus/