Diploma in Agroecology


Royal Agricultural University Campus


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

Academic Year

Commences 30 September 2024

The course 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.

If you are interested in studying Agroecology but cannot commit to the full MSc programme then studying for a Diploma (PGDip) may be the route for you. It is designed to give learners a broad and thorough grounding in the sector to pursue a variety of careers. 

What is a Postgraduate Diploma?

The PGDip - or Postgraduate Diploma – is an MSc level course that sits between the PGCert and the full MSc. It allows you to study a subject in depth but without undertaking the Dissertation element. Consequently, it takes substantially less time to complete than the MSc, while still covering the same taught elements. To complete this qualification, you will take seven modules (120 credits).

Full-time students can complete the course in as little as two semesters (one year). Part-time students can choose to spread the course over up to two years, giving you lots of time for thinking and writing between modules. It is ideal for students who want to study a specific subject but would rather not commit to a full MSc with its attendant time and financial costs.

The PGDip can be a great way to boost your career, or enter a new industry. We recognise that life can be unpredictable so the PGDip is built to be as flexible as possible. Should you desire to continue your studies, PGDip credits can be used to contribute towards an MSc qualification later down the line. Conversely, if you need to cut your studies short for any reason, it is also possible to convert the PGDip to a PGCert after the completion of four modules.

*Please note, Visa students must be full-time (a min of 15 hours per week) and will need to attend all sessions in person due to UKVI visa requirements.

Course content

This programme has specifically been designed to meet the needs of postgraduate learners many of whom may be combining study with work and/or caring or other responsibilities. Teaching is designed to be fully flexible, to allow full participation for both part-time and full-time students.

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.

Course structure

Our PGDip is designed to be ultra-accessible. All classes are offered both in person and synchronously online, with session recordings available for students unable to attend a particular session.


Timetables are normally available one month before registration.


  • 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

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

It also provides an excellent grounding for further academic study, for example at MSc level.

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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 admissions@rau.ac.uk.

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 2 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 £7,300 per year £12,033 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 N/A

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 admissions@rau.ac.uk before you apply to confirm your eligibility.

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.



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