Taught course (will run subject to approval)

Rural Tourism Management

Royal Agricultural University · School of Business and Entrepreneurship

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirement will be an Honours degree at upper second level (any subject) or equivalent overseas qualification.

Mature candidates with significant relevant work experience and lower academic qualifications may also be considered for entry, following interview with the course manager.

Students with other qualifications, including overseas awards and alternative English language qualifications, are advised to contact admissions via admissions@rau.ac.uk to discuss the suitability of their award for entry to their preferred course.

Months of entry


Course content

The tourism and events industry is experiencing continued growth and diversification, becoming one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. In 2013, word tourism alone generated 9% of GDP and accounted for 1 in 11 jobs (UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2014). Much of this economic activity occurs in rural areas and draws on the value of the local environment and culture. Research by VisitBritain shows that tourism related employment now accounts for 3.1 million jobs in the UK – almost 10% of the entire workforce. The UK events sector currently contributes around £36.1 billion a year to the economy and is forecast to grow to £48.4 billion by 2020. Now is the time to become a leader in the rural tourism industry.

Rural tourism is an entrepreneurial sector, drawing on our natural environment and cultural assets; and increased leisure time and consumer spend. It includes:

  • Accommodation (country hotels, camping and glamping sites, farmhouse B&Bs, safari lodges, cottages)
  • Destinations (historic houses, heritage sites, farm parks, designated landscapes)
  • Retail outlets (farm shops, craft villages)
  • Activities (horse riding, conservation holidays, nature treks, trans-national trails)
  • Events (festivals, food fairs, functions, country shows, team building)

You will gain an understanding of the key issues and techniques involved for developing and managing rural tourism, and examine the economic, environmental and social concepts and frameworks that define the industry.

The MSc in Rural Tourism Management is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute. Upon successful completion of the degree, you will be awarded CMI Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership and will therefore become a Member of the Chartered Management Institute (MCMI). You can then apply to the CMI for full Chartered Manager status if you wish.


The course may be studied full-time over 12 months or part-time over two years, plus one year to complete the Research Project.

You will study eight modules; five tourism and event management modules, two business management modules, and one research methods module.

If you do not wish to undertake the Research Project you may choose to take a Postgraduate Diploma following successful completion of eight modules.

This course blends practical hands-on learning with theoretical knowledge, and is delivered through lectures, guest speakers, seminars, individual and student-led research, and case studies. Modules are assessed through group and individual coursework, presentations and examinations.

You will engage in several trips to top regional tourism enterprises and events. In addition, each cohort will take part in a student-led international study tour. This challenging problem-based learning tour will be designed by the students to help meet their own group needs and interests.


  • Contemporary Theories in Rural Tourism Management
  • Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development
  • Entrepreneurship for Rural Tourism and Events
  • Agri-tourism
  • Rural Event Management
  • Financial Management
  • Marketing Planning and Strategy
  • Research Methods
  • Research Project


It is anticipated that graduates with an MSc in Rural Tourism Management will go on to progress their career in:

  • Their own start up or diversified rural tourism or events enterprise
  • A successful rural tourism company
  • The public sector
  • The charitable sector
  • A rural tourism sector body
  • A tourism and rural development organisation on the international stage
  • A rural event management company
  • Academic research

Information for international students

For students whose first language is not English, the University will accept International English Language Test (IELTS) with a minimum overall score of 6.5 and no element below 5.5.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Scholarships and bursaries are available - please check our website for further details.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
36 months

Course contact details

Jonathan Brunyee
+44 (0) 1285 652531
+44 (0) 1285 650 219