The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has been at the forefront of agricultural education and a key contributor to the land-based sector for more than 175 years.
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, Gloucestershire, the University has over 1,100 students and offers many programmes at postgraduate level.
Alongside access to arable and dairy farms and an equine centre, students also benefit from an award-winning Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme and Farm491 – RAU’s agritech business incubator – created to encourage innovation in the sector.
Postgraduate study areas
There are research and taught MSc and research courses to choose from in the following areas:
We pride ourselves on combining the knowledge and industry connections that stem from our rich heritage with an innovative and enterprising approach. This combination continues to open doors for our students, and we were ranked in the top ten at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards in 2023 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.
Over half of the research we produce at the RAU has been assessed as “world-leading and international in quality” in the latest round of the national Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF, 2021).
In Research England's Knowledge Exchange Framework, the university was grouped into the STEM cluster – small specialist universities in medicine, science, and engineering – ranking second out of the nine institutions in the cluster. The university was recognised as having very high or high engagement in five of the seven criteria on which it was judged.
The university moved up 22 places in the Complete University Guide 2024 coming in at number 73. Of the 130 universities listed it was joint third in achieving the highest change in rank position. The RAU also ranked in the top 10 universities in the UK for the best student experience and was the highest-ranking university in Gloucestershire, according to the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.
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 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, many of whom are keen to help graduates achieve career success.
Students from many different countries study here, travelling from far afield. 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 will provide you with advice and guidance from initial enquiry, right through to application and enrolment.
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.
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 nightspots, 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 90 minutes away by direct train.
Accommodation and facilities
There are over 300 bedrooms on-campus with catered and self-catered facilities and a mixture of en-suite and shared bathroom facilities available.
The University health centre, IT suite, library, launderette, cafe, bar and shop are all just a two-minute walk away. Campus accommodation includes Wi-Fi, housekeeping and car parking
You can also choose to live off-campus. The University will also help you to secure privately rented accommodation in your second and third years.