MSc Agroecology


Royal Agricultural University Campus


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

Academic Year

Commences 30 September 2024

The MSc in Agroecology draws on our extensive expertise in combining academic and applied learning to support you to be well-informed, skilled, and confident in contributing to the development of resilient agroecosystems. Our network of professional links and affiliations with agricultural, land-based and environmental initiatives both in the UK and abroad ensures that you gain breadth and depth in your studies, agroecological experience, and research.

Course overview

Agroecology is gaining increased attention today for its contributions to farm and food systems, to social innovation, and to research. Agroecology supports the development of resilient food ecosystems. It does so by drawing on science, social studies, and ecological principles to foster synergies between plants, animals, humans and the wider environment. Central to agroecological initiatives is that they are economically viable, that they support human and social values, and that they are ecologically responsible. The integration of these three domains requires interdisciplinary thinking, observation, innovation, and contextual application.

The MSc Agroecology covers the fundamentals of Agroecology, including its ecological approach to developing and maintaining resilient food systems. You will access and learn from RAU’s wide network of local and national business links, farms, social enterprises and food system innovators through seminars, site visits and placements.

You will study Agroecology on a campus that has, since its inception 175 years ago, been guided by the founding purpose of ‘caring for the land’ and be taught by lecturers with a breadth of experience in teaching, professional practice, and research. There will be the opportunity to blend on-campus study with site-based experience ensuring that there is a tight link between theory and practice.

Your professional competencies will be developed through dedicated modules which support you in the development of skills and competencies for future – or ongoing – work in the agriculture and environmental sectors. These will include studies in agroecological principles and practices, the role of agroecologically-oriented farm advisors, how farming and land management can make the transition to becoming more agroecological as well as how to contribute to the ecology of the whole food system through policy, practice, and social enterprise.

This course is delivered in partnership with The Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group.

FWAG south west logo

Course content

The course may be studied full-time over 12 months, comprising seven core modules and two elective modules, followed by a Research Project carried out over the summer culminating in a review of a key topic and an academic paper.

You will gain a broader understanding of relevant issues through knowledge acquisition, intellectual enquiry, debate, and team/individual research.

In addition to lectures, you will participate in case studies, seminars and management projects. This approach fosters teamwork and complements individual study and student learning.

Here at the RAU we are always looking for ways to support our students. We recognise that a number of our UK domiciled students may be working or have caring responsibilities alongside studying which can sometimes make it difficult to attend all lectures in person. As such we have the ability for you to join lectures and seminars through a live stream, and if you are unable to do this recordings of lectures will be available after they have been held. Please note that this type of study participation is only available to registered UK based students due to UKVI visa restrictions.

The in-person teaching sessions will be timetabled on set days so that you can fulfil other commitments you may have, such as work, family and interests. For part-time students the module sessions are timetabled with fewer days a week.

The modules available for this course are shown below. They may change for your year of study as we regularly review our module offerings to ensure they’re informed by the latest research and teaching methods.


  • 4745 Fundamentals of Agroecology:
  • 4744 Organic and Regenerative Systems:
  • 4756 Applied Farmland Ecology (FWAG):
  • 4746 Agroecology Principles in Practice:
  • 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
  • 4413 Research Skills: Develop research competencies related to data collection and analysis
  • 4414 Research Dissertation: Undertake an independent research project with guidance from a supervisor

Plus a choice of TWO elective modules:

  • 4722 Climate Change and Sustainability: Critically assess the causes and impacts of climate change
  • 4727 Managing Global Soils in a Changing Climate: Understand the fundamentals of soil processes key to protecting this precious resource
  • 4747 Management of Woodlands and the Natural Environment: Create a planting or management plan for real world plantation forest or semi-natural woodland

The availability of electives to individual students will be dependent on timetabling considerations and on sufficient students electing to take part.

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

Our graduates will be equipped to work in international, national, regional or local based roles.

The skills gained throughout the programme will set you up to work in the following areas:

  • Policy
  • Advisory
  • Food chain
  • Retain
  • Production
  • Research
  • Educational services
  • Further higher education study
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Entry requirements

An Undergraduate Honours Degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university or overseas equivalent, or a professional qualification and/or experience considered to be equivalent to the above. For information on international qualifications, please, see our country specific pages. For countries not listed please contact

We welcome applications from applicants with non-standard qualifications who are able to demonstrate knowledge, experience and skills developed in the workplace or elsewhere and which are relevant to the programme of study. Applicants will need to use their personal statement to provide further details supported by a CV. All non-standard applications will be considered by the Programme Manager on a case-by-case basis and applicants can expect that an interview may be required as part of the admissions process.

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our English language requirements for the level of study. For postgraduate taught programmes this is IELTS Academic min. overall 6.5 with no element below 5.5 (or equivalent). English language tests usually have a validity of two years from the date the test is taken.

Offers will typically be made in line with the academic requirements set out above. Offers can be conditional or unconditional. An unconditional offer will be made to applicants who have already met the conditions and provided evidence that conditions have been met. Where academic or language requirements have not yet been fulfilled, applicants will receive a conditional offer stating the requirements that must be met. 

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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 (September entry)

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

  UK Overseas/EU
Full-time £10,950 per year £18,050 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.


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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