Royal Agricultural University

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 170 years. Its portfolio of courses includes agriculture, animal science, business and enterprise, environment, equine science, farm management, food supply, real estate, and rural land management. Graduates are highly employable with course completion rates among the highest in the UK, while the RAU'S Enterprise Programme is supported by entrepreneurs such as Levi Roots of Reggae Reggae Sauce.


In or close to the countryside


The university (including student accommodation, teaching, and leisure facilities) is located on one site

Full Service
Full Service

Offers degrees in a wide range of subjects


Specialises in a single subject area, or a small range of subjects

UCAS Code: R54

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Silver is awarded to institutions that deliver high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for their students, and consistently exceed "rigorous national quality requirements" for higher education in the UK. Find out more about TEF.

Student Statistics

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 88%
  • Postgraduate 12%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 96%
  • Part Time 4%

Where students come from

  • UK 88%
  • EU 4%
  • Other 8%

Student gender

  • Male 51%
  • Female 49%

Student Services and Facilities

Libraries and Information Services

  • The library is the central information resource for students, with a team of staff ready to help with research needs; students can access over 30,000 print volumes, more than 100,000 e-books and a large number of full-text academic e-journals and specialist databases, many of which can be searched via a one-stop search facility.
  • Students can also self-issue, return and renew; make cashless payments; and use interlibrary loans, while making use of quiet study spaces and a collaborative learning area.
  • The RAU has over 140 PCs in four computer rooms – one open 24 hours a day – with Wi-Fi access available across the whole campus. All lectures and teaching resources are available on Gateway, the RAU's virtual learning environment.

Student jobs

  • A range of part-time work is available in the university; students can apply to become a student ambassador and sign up for varied work on and off campus to fit around their studies, or they can opt to work flexible hours in the university catering department.
  • There are also many opportunities for part-time work in Cirencester and the local area.
  • The RAU student Job Portal lists both internal and external job opportunities and is an invaluable resource for students.

Careers advice

  • The Careers team offers a range of resources to help students and recent graduates capitalise on the skills and experience gained at the RAU and prepare themselves for an increasingly competitive job market.
  • One-to-one advice and support is given on finding and developing a career, including identifying and developing skills, finding a job or work placement, writing a CV, performing at a job interview and considering further study options. The Careers Service also runs a programme of Autumn Careers Fairs plus other employer events and workshops throughout the year.
  • The RAU Job Portal lists hundreds of job opportunities for students and alumni alike; and Academic Placement Supervisors support students in finding a work placement related to their course of study, to further enhance their employability.

Health services

  • A clinic on campus has a doctor and nurse available at set times to assist with medical concerns and for general health advice. Prescriptions can be collected from the Medical Centre.
  • A sexual health clinic runs on campus once a week.

Counselling and Mental Health Support

  • The RAU has a dedicated Student Support Services team to help students throughout their RAU journey.
  • The Student Support Services Manager is the first port of call for anyone with worries or concerns which may be impacting on their academic work or emotional well-being; a Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Officer runs regular drop-in sessions together with a confidential one-to-one counselling service for students to talk about personal issues.
  • The STARs (Student Team Advice Representatives) are a team of friendly current students who have been trained by the Student Support Services team to offer peer-to-peer support and guidance.

Disability support

  • The university has a Disability Officer who supports students needs around medical or physical disability, such as sight, speech, hearing or mobility impairment, or a long-term medical condition; all communication with the Disability Officer is confidential.
  • The Disability Officer is also there to help students with dyslexia or other forms of specific learning differences and ensures all students are able to reach their full potential; there are many adjustments that can be made to students' programmes of study and exams, for example.
  • The RAU provides a range of facilities for students who need extra support, including a text magnifier and assistive software such as Read&Write, Mind Genius and SensusAcess, while Dragon Naturally Speaking can provide assistance in exam situations.

Other services and facilities

  • The university farms are based at two locations: Coates and Harnhill, and are a focus for research. Current projects being undertaken include an investigation into reduced cultivation and improvements in soil organic matter and fertility. Field and plot trials are undertaken on the farms by a range of companies on an on-going basis and the farms provide a number of demonstration areas.
  • All enterprises are run on a commercial basis, giving RAU students the opportunity to access their physical and financial data. Students also have access to a nearby dairy complex and benefit from plenty of trips and visits.
  • Fossehill Farm is the home of RAU's equine enterprise, set in the Cotswold countryside and within easy reach of the main university campus. Run as a commercial unit, it provides student livery, DIY livery and polo facilities, as well as supporting the RAU with equestrian education and academic research.
  • The Rural Innovation Centre at Harnhill Manor Farm allows students to take part in a range of City & Guilds Lantra-approved rural skills training courses, to complement their classroom-based learning and enhance their employability. Courses include arboriculture, tractor driving, administration of medicines, lambing and sheep shearing. Laboratories on campus and at the Rural Innovation Centre allow students to undertake research related to their selected modules, with support from their lecturers.
  • The RAU has its own vineyard and produces Cotswold Hills wine to be marketed commercially. Students are involved in the whole process, alongside the RAU's ale and cider brand Muddy Wellies, in order to gain hands-on experience and key employability skills.
  • Other facilities include an on-campus surgery, launderette, café and shop, gym and sports facilities, all a short stroll from student accommodation.

Students' Union

  • The RAU Students' Union is dedicated to helping everyone at #OurRAU make the most of their time. Alongside sports like rugby, hockey and tennis, there are many clubs and societies including a choir, International Society, Officer Training Corp, Racing Club, Beekeeping and an Entrepreneur Society.
  • SU officers are elected by students to fulfil roles such as Campaigns and Well-being Officer, Sports Officer and RAUSU Chair, creating a friendly supportive atmosphere that makes students feel at home.
  • There are plenty of opportunities to socialise throughout the year with events like the summer ball and activities organised including film nights, sports tasters, trips off campus and themed nights out. Students can also take part in volunteering and community work.


  • The Royal Agricultural University was the first agricultural institution in the English-speaking world. It was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1845 and sovereigns have been patrons ever since; His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales became President in 1982.
  • In 2013, the RAU was awarded full university status in recognition of its provision as a higher education institution and formally changed its name to Royal Agricultural University.
  • Having launched its Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme in 2007 to mentor students setting up their own businesses, the university strengthened its commitment in 2018 by opening the Alliston Centre - home to RAU's own agri-tech innovation centre, Farm491 and to the Growth Hub, which supports Gloucestershire businesses of all kinds.

Fascinating Fact

  • The Royal Agricultural University welcomed the cast and crew of BBC One's Poldark on campus as they filmed for the second series. The star-studded cast descended upon the university’s quad to create a Cornish marketplace, complete with markets stalls, vendors, and a local pub.

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • Jonathan Dimbleby – television personality and political commentator.
  • Tim Payne – England, British Lions and Wasps rugby union player.
  • Simon Coveney TD – Irish Fine Gael politician who has served as Tánaiste since November 2017, minister for foreign affairs and trade, and deputy leader of Fine Gael since June 2017.
  • Tim Hadaway – director of the games and championships department at the FEI, advising organising committees for Olympic and Paralympic games.
  • Andrew Balding – racehorse trainer based at Park House Stables, Kingsclere near Newbury.
  • Mike Tucker – former equestrian commentator on the BBC, he covered championships all over the world, including six Olympic and Paralympic games.


Royal Agricultural University, Stroud Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 6JS