The methodology consists of a combination of basic and specialised training in technical, economic and social sciences, staggered across three terms, a one-month case study during the European summer period and an individual Master’s dissertation research project in the fourth term. The programme includes a high extent of student and scholar mobility, making it possible to learn from specialists within and outside of Europe. Non-European students study mainly in the European Union, European students have opportunities to study within and outside the EU.
Each two-year programme consists of one basic module (one term), two specialised training modules (two terms), a case study during the European summer period and a final term dedicated to the Master’s dissertation research and writing. The basic and specialist modules offer training in Agricultural Economics; Rural Economics and Management; Institutional and Resource Economics; Sustainable Territorial Approaches to Rural Development; Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Sociology. An absolute condition to obtain the Master’s degree is to fulfil the mobility requirements of the programme, i.e. to study at at least two of the partner institutes, and to participate in the case study. The IMRD has a policy of equal distribution among partners offering course units in the same term. The Erasmus Mundus track provides several mobility trajectories within and outside the EU and is offered to both European and non-European students. For this track scholarships under the EU Erasmus Mundus programme are available. The Atlantis track allows comparative analysis of EU and US rural development and agricultural economic problems and policies and is offered to European and US students. The Ekafree track likewise focuses on a comparative analysis of EU and South Korean rural development and agricultural economics topics and policies.
All tracks are also open to self-sponsoring students or students with other scholarships. For all tracks specific scholarships are awarded each year by the IMRD consortium.