University profile

Royal Agricultural University

2023/24 edition

About Royal Agricultural University

​The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has been developing leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators since 1845, making it one of the UK's leading agricultural universities. Courses include agriculture, business and enterprise, environment, heritage, archaeology, equine studies, farm management, food security, real estate, and rural land management. Today, the RAU is a global university with more than 1,600 students from 46 countries. We combine knowledge and industry connections with an innovative, forward-thinking approach that continues to open doors for our graduates. Set in 25-acres of picturesque green grounds in Cirencester, there is access to arable and dairy farms and an equine centre, students also benefit from an award-winning Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme and Farm 491 – RAU’s agritech business incubator – created to encourage innovation in the sector. In 2023, the RAU was ranked in the top ten at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards in the Small or Specialist category and was also shortlisted for a special Whatuni Student Choice Award linked to Cost of Living support provided to our students.

Postgraduate study areas

There are more than 10 different research and taught MSc and research courses to choose from.

  • Agriculture and food
  • Business and enterprise
  • Cultural heritage and archaeology
  • Real estate
  • Rural estate management
  • Research degrees

Our MSc Agricultural Technology & Innovation and MSc Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security programmes are open for January 2024 entry.


We pride ourselves on combining the knowledge and industry connections which stem from our rich heritage with an innovative, forward-thinking and enterprising approach. It is this proven combination which continues to open doors for our students, and 90% of our postgraduates are in employment within six months of leaving (based on a five year average up to 2015/16 of UK-based leavers studying full time. Source: HESA).

We have a strong reputation for fostering partnerships with some of the world’s leading businesses, government bodies and organisations in the agritech sector. This ensures that our students can access a breadth of academic and professional opportunities, from work experience and industry placements to learning about the latest developments in the sector from renowned guest speakers.


An added advantage for our graduates is the support of our alumni. A powerful network of around 17,000 former students positioned across the globe, with members living in countries including Africa, South America, Australia and the United States, many are keen to help graduates achieve career success.

Career prospects

A comprehensive careers advice service helps to ensure that a consistently high number of RAU graduates go on to enjoy success in their specialist area of study, and make a significant contribution to a wide range of professions internationally.

International support

We have a diverse community of around 1,200 students from around 43 countries. Our goal is to nurture people’s enthusiasm for the environment, and to help them make a difference by developing their skills and their perspective.

The RAU has links around the world. Students from many different countries study here, travelling from as far afield as Armenia, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, New Zealand, South Africa, the USA, Zambia, and Zimbabwe amongst others. Overseas universities, government bodies and organisations have forged strong connections with the RAU since its early days. Former students have gone on to work for governments, influential companies and set up their own businesses.

We understand that you may or may not have previously lived or studied in the UK and could need some additional support. We will provide you with advice and guidance from initial enquiry, right through to graduation. Once you arrive at the RAU, you can enjoy a thriving student community and benefit from a strong support network of international students.

English language requirements

All students are required to hold a recognised English language qualification of at least GCSE grade 4 (grade C for older GCSEs) or an equivalent standard before they apply for a student visa.

For students whose first language is not English, the University will accept International English Language Test (IELTS Academic) with a minimum score of 6.5 average with no element below 5.5 taken within the past two years, and in some cases other equivalent recognised English language qualifications which meet CEFR B2 level.

Student support

The University is large enough that many facilities are on-site, yet small enough to create a close-knit community that inspires students to consider it a home from home. Students are known to staff by name and supported by personal tutors.

The RAU has a dedicated Student Support Services Team to help students throughout their RAU journey.

It’s a caring ethos that the student community shares, in the form of their own peer-to-peer support groups. Community Assistants are a team of current students who have been trained by the Student Support Services Team to offer help and guidance.


RAU’s picturesque campus is within walking distance of the bustling town of Cirencester, a thriving cultural hub, surrounded by beautiful Cotswold countryside.

With plenty of restaurants, unique boutique shops and popular night spots, many students never want to leave – even after graduating.

Urban adventure is close by too - Bath, Bristol, Oxford, and Cheltenham are all under an hour from the University and London is less than 75 minutes away by direct train.


There are over 300 bedrooms on campus across 10 halls of residence with catered and self-catered facilities and a mixture of en-suite and shared bathroom facilities available.

The uni surgery, launderette, cafe, bar, gym, and shop are all on campus. Campus accommodation includes Wi-Fi, housekeeping, car parking and security, and rent is inclusive of these bills. Accessible rooms are available in four of the halls.

You can also choose to live off campus, which the university can help you with. The university will also help you to secure privately rented accommodation in your second and third years.

Student facilities

Students benefit from a range of different farming systems on sites close to campus, including the predominantly arable-cropped Coates Manor Farm. They also enjoy access to Kemble Farms Ltd (a large dairy operation) and Leaze Farm (a 300-cow autumn block calving herd). These are located on the 15,000-acre Bathurst Estate as part of an innovative partnership for teaching, learning, and knowledge exchange. The Alliston Centre is home to both the Cirencester Growth Hub (Gloucestershire businesses) and Farm491 (agri-tech entrepreneurs). There is also a health centre, IT suites, a gym and library.

Recently, the RAU was awarded £5.8m by The Office for Students to build a new Land Laboratory Teaching Centre which will provide an integrated, state-of-art, facility to train students in climate-smart, resilient agriculture and land management. The University also launched its Innovation Village plan in 2023 - a concept for a sustainable, carbon neutral, Innovation Village which will be home to a community of entrepreneurs, policymakers, practitioners, and researchers committed to addressing the major global challenges we all face

How to apply

Applications to study for Master’s and research degrees need to be made directly through the University.

Please apply via our website, using the online application form. Go to the webpage of the particular course you are interested in and press the ‘apply’ button. This will also give you some supporting information about the application process. Alternatively, if you are unable to access the online form you can call Admissions on 01285 889 912, or email.

Applications are welcome at any time during the year (the main application period is between November and May) however it is recommended that you apply as early as possible.

Contact details

+44 (0) 1285 889912
Stroud Road
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