BSc (Hons) Rural Land Management (Foundation Year)




Royal Agricultural University Campus


4 years (full-time)

Academic Year

30 September 2024 to 30 May 2025

This course offers proven routes to rewarding careers within rural business, estate management, consultancy and property in the countryside. Bidwells, Strutt and Parker, Carter Jonas, Dalcour Maclaren, Savills, Fisher German and Brown&Co are some of the nationally recognised businesses our graduates have gone on to work for – and so could you. 

Course overview

This degree course with a foundation year incorporates an extra year of study at the start of your course, so that you can progress with confidence. It will develop the skills you need for your later studies. It is particularly suitable if:

  • You don’t have the grades for immediate entry onto a three-year course
  • You have non-traditional qualifications or experience
  • You’re starting university after some time away from education
  • You’re looking for more support during the transition into university study

Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), you will learn the fundamentals of rural professional practice as well as planning and development, law, valuation, building construction and management. You will develop an essential understanding of sustainability and wider business management to enable you to provide effective advice about farm, estate and other rural businesses while gaining an overall understanding of the multi-functionality of rural practice.

This degree is the ideal launch pad into the world of rural land management, or other sectors, depending on your career aspirations, and you can gain some additional real-world experience and carve your first steps into your future career through the work placement.

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.

RICS logo

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.

Work placement

In your third year you will complete a minimum of 70 hours of work experience as an assessed part of your course. Our Careers Team run a careers fair each year, providing you with an opportunity to meet with potential employers.

The Integrated Foundation Year is suitable for applicants who have taken level 3 qualifications (A levels, BTEC etc.) in the UK. Overseas students who have not studied in the UK and completed their secondary education in their country, should look at taking an Integrated Foundation Programme in order to meet the entry criteria for the degree programmes offered by the RAU.

Please note that a foundation year is not the same as a foundation degree (FdSc). A foundation year will usually lead onto a three-year degree course, whereas a foundation degree is a standalone qualification generally studied for two years.

For UK students (as of March 2020) a visa may not be required but this may change. For non UK/EU nationals (current Tier 4 visa students), the student will have to arrange their own visa.

Many of our students are also recognised as the future of the industry. Hear from Grace Gardiner, finalist in the South West Women in Property Student Awards 2020, talking about sustainability in land management. 

Top 10 land and property management



Course content

You will learn through a series of lectures, seminars, group tutorials, practical sessions and visits to local farms, commercial properties and rural estates. Modules are assessed through a range of coursework, often based on real-life case studies and sponsored by land management firms, which help you to see the practical application of the subjects you are studying. In your third year, case studies are supplied by practising surveyors from their own portfolios of work.

Modules are assessed through a range of coursework, often based on real-life case studies and sponsored by land management firms, which help you to see the practical application of the subjects you are studying. In your final year, case studies are supplied by practising surveyors from their own portfolios of work.

You will complete a research project in a subject area of specific interest. The course is also flexible and it is possible to transfer on to the Real Estate degree if certain conditions are met.

A part-time learning route to study is available.


Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and societies activities.


Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Each credit equates to 10 hours of total study time. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

Full time students normally take modules worth 60 credits per 15 week semester but this can vary depend on your elective choice. Part time students taking proportionally fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for your degree is based on marks obtained for modules taken at level 5 and level 6 (weighted 30:70 accordingly).

The modules available for this degree 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.

Foundation year

The Foundation year will provide a common core of academic and study skills sufficient to prepare you for subsequent study and academic success at undergraduate level. It will give core underpinning knowledge, skills and understanding in key areas of contemporary issues, provide underpinning subject-related skills and knowledge in key areas required for undergraduate study, including Mathematics, Numeracy and IT. It will also provide generic skills and academic knowledge to support your confidence and discipline as appropriate for higher education study and give subject-specific grounding, in terms of research topics and study focus, to support progression into degree level study in your chosen degree.

  • 0IFY1 Managing Landscape: Consider the geographical, human and ecological features of landscapes
  • 0IFY2 Digital Skills: Acquire skills on information literacy and learn about the impact of AI in academia
  • 0IFY3 Rural Business Skills: Using diverse business case studies, learn to apply numerical skills to make informed business decisions
  • 0IFY4 Land Related Studies: Evaluate the range of different land uses and considers the factors affecting why areas have been selected for specific uses
  • 0IFY5 Change in the Countryside: Identify the characteristics that define ‘place’, the ‘outdoors’ and key characteristics of the countryside
  • 0IFY6 Enterprise and Marketing: Analyse the characteristics of a thriving business including e-commerce and personnel management
  • 0IFY7 Environment and Conservation Data Handling: Carry out practical data collection fieldwork in semi-natural and human-made environments
  • 0IFY8 Agriculture and Farming: Develop a basic understanding of the management of different farm enterprises

Year one

In the first year, you will develop an understanding of agriculture and rural land use. You will be introduced to core property studies in law, valuation and building construction, and gain an understanding of economics, accounting and finance.

  • 1014 Building Technology (pre-requisite to to 2334 & 2336)
  • 1015 Law 1 (pre-requisite to 2030): Understand and explain how the English legal system is organised and administered through the courts
  • 1016 Valuation 1 (pre-requisite to 2037):  Explain the factors which underpin value in the property market
  • 1044 Agriculture for Land Management (pre-requisite to 2336): Learn how to manage a range of livestock species and cereal crops
  • 1320 Fundamentals of Land and Property: Gain an overview of the topics covered in Land and Property programmes
  • 1321 Land and Property Economics: Develop an understanding of basic macro and micro economic concepts in land and property markets
  • 1440 Academic and Practical Skills: Learn and try out a range of practical skills used in the land and farming sectors
  • 1443 Business Finance and Accounts: Learn the fundamentals of accountancy and use software to create and clearly present financial information

Year two

  • 2030 Law 2: Apply legal knowledge to the creation, existence and determination of legal estates and legal interests in land
  • 2037 Valuation 2: Identify and use the appropriate method of valuation to meet a range of client requirements and different property types
  • 2066 Business, Property Finance and Taxation: Interpret financial statements and recognise how company finance should be structured
  • 2333 Planning Law and Practice: Demonstrate a sound working knowledge of the statutory Town and Country Planning system and its procedures
  • 2334 Surveying, Inspection and Measurement: Undertake a building inspection report,  including advising on the condition of properties and the identification of common building defects
  • 2335 Forestry, Land and Resources: Consider and explore topics such as energy generation and usage and sustainable resource management
  • 2336 Agricultural Systems and Buildings:
  • 2337 Personal and Professional Development Skills and Employability: Review and critically assess professional communication standards and other competencies needed for successful client and business management

Year three

In the final year, you will complete a research dissertation on a subject of your choosing, and select two elective modules to suit your specialist areas of interest.

  • 3033 Agricultural Law and Valuation: 
  • 3244 Estate Business Management and Diversification: Learn about the factors which drive diversification and how they impact estate management
  • 3245 Infrastructure and Compulsory Purchase: Demonstrate understanding of the statutory and non-statutory framework for the development of infrastructure projects
  • 3300 Research Project / Dissertation: Develop a detailed research proposal that presents a well-developed research aim supported by clear research objectives
  • 3341 Contemporary Issues in Land, Property and Society: Critically analyse a range of issues affecting the land and property sector

Plus a choice of TWO electives selected from a broad range, including:

  • 3007 Commercial Property Management: Integrate and synthesise relevant information and principles from various disciplines including law and town and country planning to solve problems encountered in commercial property management
  • 3080 Heritage Property: Understand the key concepts behind heritage decisions including statements of significance and conservation management planning
  • 3090 Forestry and Woodland Management: Explore the significance of forestry in climate mitigation, timber production and farm diversification
  • 3215 Advanced Residential Agency: Advise on a marketing strategy for sale purposes, of a range of different types of residential property, including town houses, new homes, and country houses sold with or without land
  • 3246 Development and Development Appraisal: Prepare a development appraisal to an appropriate professional standard
  • 3316 Changing Consumer Behaviour: Interpret consumer behaviour using concepts from diverse disciplinary perspectives including psychology, sociology, anthropology and consumer culture

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 have gone on to work for the likes of the National Trust and other national, international and regional landowners, county councils and utility companies. Others have secured work with private estates and chartered surveyors. You can expect to find work in any number of the areas connected to rural property management, including: 
  • Land and property consultancy
  • Valuation
  • Estate management
  • Residential sales and lettings
  • Entrepreneurs/business managers
  • Auctioneers
  • Utility and compulsory purchase

In the last two years, the main property employers of Rural Land Management graduates have been:

Bagshaws, Balfours, Batcheller Monkhouse, Bell Ingram, Bidwells, Brown & Co, Bruton Knowles, Buccleuch Estates, Carter Jonas, Cheffins, CKD Galbraith, CLA, Colliers International, Cooper & Tanner, Dalcour Maclaren, Duchy of Cornwall, Fenn Wright, Fisher German, Fisher German Preistner, George F White, Godfrey Payton, Halls, Hinson Parry & Co, Hobbs, Parker Kivells, Knight Frank, Lambert & Foster, Maxey Grounds & Co, Moore Allen & Innocent, National Trust, PJSA Chartered Surveyors, RH & RW Clutton, Rendells, Savills, Stags, Strutt and Parker, Staffordshire County Council, Symonds & Sampson, Taylor & Fletcher, United Utilities Water, Valuation Office Agency, Webb Paton, Whirledge & Nott, Wright Manley.

"The course gave me a solid understanding of the theoretical knowledge I require to work professionally in the industry. Following from my summer placement, I secured a graduate job as a Rural Surveyor and am working on some fantastic rural estates."

Lucy Rowton-Lee, Graduate

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Entry requirements

Typical offers

Required: GCSE minimum five GCSEs at Grade C/4 including English Language and Mathematics (or Maths Numeracy for Welsh applicants) plus satisfactory level 3 qualifications:

  • A-Level: (example grades  EEE) – minimum of 48 UCAS tariff points across either three A-levels or two A-levels and two AS level subjects or equivalent qualifications
  • C&G Advanced Technical/BTEC - Level 3 Extended Diploma (1080) at Pass-Pass-Pass
  • International Baccalaureate: 24 points
  • Access to Higher Education: Pass course with 45 credits at level 3 (Pass in Functional Skills level 2 are accepted in lieu of GCSE English & Mathematics)

Visit the UCAS website to calculate your UCAS Tariff points from the qualifications and grades achieved.

You may also be eligible for a contextual offer if you’re from one of our link colleges, have been in care, from a non-white ethnic background, live in an area with low progression rates to university or you are a veteran/child of an armed forces family.

Flexible entry

The University welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. A wide range of qualifications and experience are accepted in order to join University degree programmes. The University always considers evidence of personal, professional (APL) and educational experience, (APEL), which show an ability to meet the demands of their intended programme of study.

Further information

Alternative entry routes are available for a range of other qualifications. Prior experience is also considered, subject to approval by the programme manager and admissions staff.

Read more general information about our entry requirements.

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.

For any further help, please contact our admissions team:  

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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 modules, re-sit fees or coursework resubmission). Any costs associated with work placements will be the student's responsibility.

2024-25 Applicants

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

  UK International
Full-time £9,250 per year £15,300 per year

For part-time study, please contact for further information.

Please also refer to the funding your time at university page.

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

If you are an Irish national you can check if you meet the requirements for Home Fees. Please visit the UKCISA website and consult the pdf guide “England HE – who pays Home Fees”. First check category ‘3 years in Republic of Ireland/UK/Islands, settled in UK’ or ‘Brexit temporary offer for courses starting before 2028: Irish citizens with residence in Europe or overseas territories’. You will possibly need to be fee assessed when you submit an application for study to the RAU.


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

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Ready to take the plunge? Apply now

Applications to study at the Royal Agricultural University must be made through the UCAS system. This applies to all undergraduate courses.

Applications should be made by the UCAS deadline to ensure we are able to offer you a place on your first choice course. However, if you have missed the deadline please contact as there are usually places available.

If you would like to apply during UCAS Extra or Clearing, please check that we have places available.

Applicants wishing to study on a course on a part-time basis will need to apply directly to the RAU.