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Professor James Kinsella


James Kinsella

School of Agriculture and Food Science
01 716 7760
University College Dublin, School of Agriculture and Food Science, Agriculture and Food Science Belfield Dublin 4


He began his career as a volunteer worker with an international NGO where he worked as a humanitarian worker in Ethiopia and Somalia and as an agricultural development worker in Tanzania and Kenya. On returning to Ireland in the early 1990s he joined University College Dublin where he completed his PhD on farm household decision making processes. Since joining UCD in 1995 he has lectured on: sustainable agriculture and rural development; communications; agricultural extension; social farming; project planning and management; and strategies for development. He took a sabbatical in 2001-3 and worked as Development Specialist with Irish Aid in Zambia where he was responsible for supporting programmes in health, HIV/AIDS, water, sanitation and agriculture. He has a long association with establishment, co-ordination and delivery of taught masters' programmes including: the MAgrSc Programme in Rural Development and MAgrSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development; and more recently the MAgrSc in Agricultural Innovation Support and MAgrSc in Agricultural Extension and Innovation Programmes which is delivered in collaboration with Teagasc. His research work encompasses: rural livelihoods analysis; rural development policy impact; agricultural extension effectiveness; agricultural innovation; piloting of social farming; and measuring social capital. He currently supervises PhD and MSc studies related to knowledge transfer in agriculture and on-farm innovation. He lives with his family on a drystock farm in south Kilkenny and remains actively involved in his local community through sports coaching and voluntary organisations.


  • Subject Head: Rural Development
    University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland2006 - 2009
  • Head of Section: Agribusiness and Rural Development
    University College Dublin, Prof., Dublin, IrelandAug 2011
  • Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
    University College Dublin, Ireland19 Dec 2016


  • Information/Press Officer
    Teagasc2 Apr 1991 - 15 Sep 1991
  • Programmes Administrator
    Rural Development International1 Aug 1990 - 28 Feb 1991
  • Deputy Field Director
    Concern (Tanzania)1 Sep 1987 - 30 Aug 1989
  • Education Officer
    Concern (Dublin)1 Mar 1987 - 30 Aug 1987
  • Programme Officer
    Irish Department of Foreign Affairs20 Aug 2001 - 19 Aug 2003
  • Voluntary Development Worker
    Concern (Ethiopia)7 Jan 1985 - 9 Jun 1984
  • Volunteer Development Worker
    Concern (Tanzania, East Africa)10 Jun 1985 - 11 Aug 1987


  • BAgrSc
    University College Dublin
  • MAgrSc
    University College Dublin
  • PhD
    University College Dublin