MSc Rural Estate Management


Royal Agricultural University Campus


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

Academic Year

Commences 30 September 2024

This is a highly-regarded course which equips graduates for a rewarding and challenging career in the management of land, property, and business in the countryside.

Course overview

If you are looking to fast-track your way to a career as a Chartered Surveyor, look no further. This course, developed in partnership with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), is highly regarded by the industry where our graduates go on to secure roles with national, regional and international firms, as well as for private and public property owners.

This course is aimed at those people who are wanting to qualify as a Chartered Surveyor specialising in the management of rural land and property. As well as agricultural land and woodland, farms and rural estates will often include other types of property; for example, residential dwellings and non-agricultural buildings let to other businesses in addition to water or wilderness. They often, therefore, support a diverse range of rural businesses and enterprises including farming, food production, tourism and energy generation. In addition the way in which rural land and property is managed also plays a vital role in the health of the natural environment in rural areas, and also in the life of the communities within it. Land and rural property managers are therefore required to provide a wide range of advice to not only estate owners, but also farmers, tenants and rural business owners. This leads to a varied and interesting career.

To help prepare you for such a career this course covers a diverse range of subject areas including rural professional practice, planning and development, valuation, building construction and management, and law. You will also develop an essential understanding of sustainability and wider business management to enable you to provide effective advice about farm, estate, and other rural businesses whilst gaining an understanding of the multi-functionality of rural practice. Furthermore, due to our partnership with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), most of the graduates from this course will go on to complete the RICS 'Assessment of Professional Competence' to qualify as a Chartered Surveyor. In addition, the course can also prepare you to become a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. Part-time students already in relevant work may apply for APC registration upon enrolment.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), they have produced this short video highlighting their recent work.

Course content

The course may be studied full-time over 12 months, or part-time over a longer period. You will study eight modules and complete a research project, which is carried out over the summer and submitted in September.

You will study four modules in the first (autumn) semester followed by four modules in the second (spring) semester, and complete your research project by the end of September. You will attend lectures and group tutorials. There is also a range of practical sessions and visits to local farms, commercial properties and rural estates where owners, occupiers and their professional advisors can provide additional insights into the management of rural property. 

Assessed coursework features strongly throughout the course. Examinations will take place in January and June. Prior to starting the MSc, students receive reading lists and study material so that they can develop a basic grounding in study areas with which they are not familiar. 

The in-person teaching sessions are timetabled on Wednesdays and Thursdays each week for the full year (both semesters) which allows you to fulfil other commitments you may have, such as work, family and interests.  For part-time students the sessions are timetabled on one day per week only.

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.


  • 4015 Farm Business and Enterprise Management: Critically examine the financial performance of farming businesses
  • 4019 Rural Property Law: Critically evaluate the laws of land and property in the context of land management
  • 4038A Integrated Agricultural Systems: Explore complex systems including agroforestry, regenerative agriculture and vertical farming
  • 4413 Research Skills: Develop research competencies related to data collection and analysis
  • 4414 Dissertation: Undertake an independent research project with guidance from a supervisor
  • 4742 Planning and Development: Determine and evaluate property and land management institutional frameworks, mechanisms and constraints as they relate to planning theory, law and process relating to the UK
  • 4747 Management of Woodlands and the Natural Environment: Create a planting or management plan for real world plantation forest or semi-natural woodland
  • 4748 Rural Land and Property in Society: Evaluate the role that rural land management plays in a range of issues affecting society
  • 4749 Rural Valuation Practice: 
  • 4750 Land and Estate Management Strategy and Professional Practice: 

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

A qualification from the RAU in this challenging and rewarding area opens up a wealth of opportunities, with former students going on to work in the following areas:
  • Rural estate management
  • Land and property consultancy
  • Valuation
  • Residential sales and lettings
  • Entrepreneur / business manager
  • Utilities and compulsory purchase

"Completing the MSc Rural Estate Management course at the RAU has given me a solid foundation from which I have been able to develop the beginning of my career, providing a grounding in various competencies. Since graduating, I have hit the ground running with my career as a Graduate Surveyor at Batcheller Monkhouse in West Sussex."

Luke Davis, Graduate

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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 (in farming, property or countryside management) 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

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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