MBA Food and Agriculture


Royal Agricultural University Campus


1 year (full time) or 2+ years (part time)

Academic Year

Commences 30 September 2024

Leaders face urgent global challenges which are highly prominent in the food and agricultural sector. This course equips you with the leadership skills and specialist knowledge that is required to navigate dynamic business environments, whilst enabling you to take a strategic role in shaping the future of the sector.  

Course overview

This course will prepare you to address global challenges and to successfully navigate through a time of uncertainty and change in the food and agriculture sector, through the development of responsible leadership skills and management expertise.

You will study business modules in responsible leadership, sustainable business strategy, and financial decision making, which comprise the foundation of the MBA curriculum. You will study a further five sector-based specialist modules which cover the economics of food production, challenges and solutions for achieving a more sustainable agricultural future, the significance of scale in farming and food supply, food marketing and sustainable consumption practices, and the policy environment in which the agri-food industry operates.

The aim of the course is to develop responsible leaders with the skills needed to shape the food and agricultural sector for a more sustainable future, whether as senior leaders, consultants, entrepreneurs, or policy advocates. To that end we encourage you to choose a dissertation research topic that has the potential to be impactful and create change. The research skills module will equip you with the skills required to develop and execute your own research investigation.

An important part of the MBA experience is the opportunity to explore sector issues with your peers in a collegiate environment. Your course peers will, like you, be existing managers with at least three years professional work experience at a managerial level, who are keen to bring about change and make an impact in this sector. Discussion and debate, critique and team problem solving will ensure you are prepared for the changing landscape of business within the food and agriculture sector.

UN Sustainable Development Goals: This programme has been designed to foster greater knowledge and awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are mapped to our modules to ensure that at each stage of the programme we are identifying how these goals can be developed as part of business strategy and managed within a business.

Course content

You will study nine modules comprising a mix of business and sector- specific subjects over the autumn and spring semesters, concluding each module with a summative assessment. As you work through these modules you will develop your area of research interest, you will craft a research proposal and then undertake your research, submitting your dissertation by the end of the summer.

Learning on the MBA focuses on problem solving; you will draw on your own work experience, and that of your peers as well as new learning from the modules to explore emerging challenges and to develop innovative solutions. You will question your own assumptions and develop new ways of thinking about your area of interest. We adopt a variety of teaching approaches which include case studies, group project work, seminar discussions, lectures and presentations, with an emphasis on the practical. You will learn from site visits and from our guest speakers. Directed learning tasks will enable you to prepare well for class and to take an active part in discussion. Modules will be assessed through a variety of methods including business reports, presentations, case study analysis, decision-making exercises and policy critiques, all of which are designed to blend management theory with professional practice.

In terms of workload, you should anticipate that the MBA is the equivalent of a full-time job. Part-time study over two years equates to approximately 50% of a full-time role. You will also find yourself occupied, should you choose to be, with the all the other opportunities that studying at the RAU offers, such as additional talks, student conferences and enterprise events.

Course structure

The course is studied full-time over a period of one year although you may also choose to study part-time over two or more years to fit around other commitments. The course is structured around nine core modules which are equally weighted, followed by your choice of a research project which enables you to conduct an intensive study of a particular area of interest to you. We provide supervisory support for your research project (Dissertation) and discussions with your supervisor are often rewarding and motivating. The range of business and food and agriculture modules offered on the MBA have been informed by the requirements of a Master’s in Business Administration and by industry dialogue so you can be sure that you will have every opportunity to develop the leadership skills and specialist knowledge needed to succeed in the food and agriculture sector.

Your future career

As a potential MBA student you may already be well-placed in your chosen career and wish to take this time to develop additional skills and knowledge to progress further within it. You may be taking a career break to re-think your future or planning to transition from your management role to a position in the food and agriculture sector. Whatever your career intentions, you can use your MBA Dissertation research to help you to achieve them, tailoring your research to suit your aims. Moreover the opportunities to engage in industry dialogue with our range of contacts and to learn from our enterprise team may prompt new career ideas.


  • 4038A Integrated Agricultural Systems: Explore complex systems including agroforestry, regenerative agriculture and vertical farming
  • 4203 Small Scale Farming and Local Food Supply: Examine how small scale farmers contribute to food systems on a national and global scale
  • 4409B Facing Global Challenges in Food and Agriculture: Discuss challenges affecting food production, including the global population increase and the energy crisis
  • 4413 Research skills: Develop research competencies related to data collection and analysis
  • 4414 Dissertation: Undertake an independent research project with guidance from a supervisor
  • 4763 Responsible Leadership and People Skills: 
  • 4764 Sustainable Strategies for Business Excellence:
  • 4766 Financial Decision Making Skills:
  • 4769 Economics of Food Production:

* Optional additions to the course will incur additional charges

Disclaimer information

The University has established various rules and regulations that you must agree to and follow if you accept an offer to study with us. View our full disclaimer notice.

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Careers and graduate destinations

The MBA prepares students for senior leadership roles in the food and agriculture sector, enabling you to take an existing career to a strategic leadership level, transition into the food sector, develop a new business opportunity, or consider research and consultancy.

Opportunities include:

  • Consultant in the food and agriculture sector
  • Leadership role in international NGOs
  • Corporate or government advisor
  • Food and agriculture policy maker
  • Advocate for food and agricultural transformation
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Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have:

  • A minimum 2.2 honours degree from a UK university, or an equivalent academic qualification from a comparable international institution and a minimum of three years professional work experience at a management level (sector specific experience is not required)
  • Students whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with no element below 5.5 or equivalent
  • International students will also need to achieve IELTS Academic or equivalent at the appropriate level for your programme of study. English language requirements for international students.
  • Mature applicants with lower qualifications but with extensive management experience may also be considered
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Tuition fees cover the cost of a student’s academic studies. This usually includes teaching costs, registration and examination fees (not repeat or trailing module fees or dissertation extensions).

2024-25 Applicants

For the academic year 2024-25 the tuition fees for this course are:  

  UK Overseas/EU
Full-time £16,000 per year £22,000 per year
Part-time Fees are calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of modules taken. Please refer to Tuition Fees webpage Fees are calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of modules taken. Please refer to Tuition Fees webpage

Tuition fees may be subject to an inflationary increase each year as set out in our Access and Participation Plan 2019/20.

For full details, please visit the fees and funding webpage.

Please note: International students can study on a part-time basis only if they are in the UK with a different type of visa (other than Student Visa/Tier 4 General) that allows them to undertake part-time study and their visa does not expire prior to the end date of the proposed course of study.

Please contact before you apply to confirm your egibility.


The University offers a range of generous fee waivers and bursaries. To find out more about the scholarships, awards and bursaries available, please visit the scholarships webpage.

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