BSc (Hons) Rural Land Management

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  • Statelyhome2

UCAS Code: N231

Mode of study: Full-time or part-time

Programme manager: Diane Martin

Telephone: 01285 652531 Ext: 2262

Apply for this Course

This highly regarded three-year degree offers you a proven route to rewarding careers in the management of land, property and business in the countryside. 

The course provides the diverse knowledge and skills necessary to prepare you for employment advising owners and occupiers of rural property on how to make the most of property assets and businesses. 

To prepare you effectively for your career, a wide range of subjects is covered. An understanding of agriculture and farm management is fundamental to rural professional practice, alongside the core property subjects of law, valuation, building construction and management, planning and development. You will also develop an essential understanding of wider business management to enable you to provide effective advice about farm, estate and other rural businesses in practice. 

The course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and, typically, graduates enter employment in rural practice surveying to undertake the two-year Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and qualify as chartered surveyors. Many graduates also seek qualification as Fellows of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) at the same time as completing the APC. During your time here, you can enjoy the benefits of a student membership of both RICS and CAAV.

Course Structure

Each year of the course comprises eight modules of study, divided informally into two streams under the headings of ‘Property’ and ‘Land Use and Business’.

Developing an understanding of agriculture and rural land use is an essential part of first year studies. You are also introduced to core property studies in law, valuation and building construction, and an understanding of economics, accounting and finance. You will learn what a landscape is, and how it can be modelled using maps or digital technology. 

These subject streams are developed and integrated as youprogress through the course, with the aim of preparing graduates effectively for professional practice.

In the final year, a double module of study is devoted to personal research for a dissertation on a subject of the your choosing, under the guidance of a member of academic staff familiar with the subject matter. You will also choose two further modules of study from a range of elective subjects to suit their specialist areas of interest. Popular electives include: Rural Business Diversification, Heritage Property, Commercial Property Management, Game and Deer Management, Forestry and Woodland Management, Corporate Finance, Wine Industry, and Marketing Communications. Specific modules offered are subject to change.

You will attend lectures, smaller group tutorials, practical sessions and visits, depending on the particular subject being taught. 

We have our own arable and livestock farms to demonstrate a range of farm enterprises, together with conservation principles and other property management issues. You will also visit local farms, commercial properties and rural estates where owners, occupiers and their professional advisers can provide additional insights into the issues arising in the profession of rural land management. 

A variety of methods is used to assess your performance, but assessed coursework features strongly throughout the course, often based on real life case studies which help you to see the practical application of the subjects they are studying. The case study material becomes more complex and challenging throughout the course, as you learn to integrate the subject matter studied in different modules. This culminates in the final year with case studies which are supplied by practising surveyors from their own portfolios of work.


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3


Valuation 1


Law 1


Building Technology


Landscape Modelling

Valuation 2


Law 2


Rural Buildings


Planning and Development

Agricultural Law & Valuation

Land Use and Business

Agriculture for Land Management


Rural Land Use


Business Environment


Business Finance

Rural Property Finance & Taxation


Farm Business Management


Rural Practice Management


Environmental Management

Contemporary Issues in Rural Land Management


Estate Management


Rural Professional Practice

Specialist Studies



Research Project


Elective 1


Elective 2

Course modules are subject to change. 

Work Experience

You are encouraged to undertake practical farming and professional experience before starting the course. If you take a gap year, it would be expected that you spend some part of it in relevant work experience. The course manager will be happy to provide further guidance to you about what work experience would be most suitable for your circumstances. If further advice is required relating to the nature of relevant work experience, you should contact Sue Roffe, by email in the first instance, at

Entry Requirements

2015 Entry

Offers will typically be made on a UCAS score between 260-300 points. You should also have achieved GCSE passes at Grade C or above in English and Mathematics.

Alternative entry routes are available if you have other qualifications, including a Diploma, AVCE, GNVQ, overseas qualifications and prior work experience, although entry is subject to approval by the course manager and admissions staff. 

2016 Entry

A typical offer for this course will be A Level BCC (minimum three A2 Level passes) or BTEC DMM. You should also have achieved GCSE passes at Grade C or above in English and Mathematics. 

Alternative entry routes are available for a range of other qualifications, including Scottish Highers, Irish Leaving Certificate at Higher level, International Baccalaureate, Diploma, AVCE, GNVQ, overseas qualifications and prior workplace experience are also available subject to approval by the course manager and admissions staff.  

Career Prospects

We have an excellent employment record, and the wide network of former students ensures a warm welcome for our graduates throughout the land management profession. Nationally and internationally recognised firms of chartered surveyors recruit regularly from the RAU.

We also place graduates in many other APC training jobs, as they arise, with smaller firms, private estates, county farm estates and other large landowners, such as the National Trust and utility companies. The academic staff of the School support individual students in their career applications and assist students in the first and second year to find work experience placements and internships for their vacations.

This work experience is invaluable to enable students to make their own contacts in the profession and gain an understanding of the diverse nature of professional work so that they can decide on the type of work that they would most enjoy. Some even decide to broaden their horizons beyond the rural sector to the residential and commercial property sectors. If they so wish, a transfer to the BSc (Hons) Real Estate is possible at the end of first or second year. Graduates who decide not to follow a career in the surveying profession have many alternatives open to them, including further study for a higher degree, or a career in law or accountancy, as well as normal graduate opportunities in industry and business.

Again, our network provides contacts in many suitable fields of employment.

Recent surveys of 2013 graduates reveal that 96.3% of undergraduates are in employment or further study within six months of leaving the RAU. For more information click here.

Recent Graduate Jobs

Below are a few examples of the jobs and the companies which graduates have gone on to work for after their studies.

  • Assistant Land Agent, Carter Jonas
  • Graduate Surveyor, Smiths Gore
  • Land Agent, Savills
  • Grain Buyer, ADM Ltd
  • Trainee Quantity Surveyor, JH Vaudrey & Son Ltd