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 have excellent employability, and one in ten start their own business with support from the RAU Enterprise Programme.


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 80%
  • Postgraduate 20%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 97%
  • Part Time 3%

Where students come from

  • UK 88%
  • EU 4%
  • Other 8%

Student gender

  • Male 49%
  • Female 51%

Undergraduate Open Days

Open days allow you to experience the university first hand, and help you decide if it's the right place for you​.

Student Services and Facilities


  • The library is the central information resource for students offering a wealth of knowledge in print and online, plus a team of library staff ready to help students with their research needs.
  • Library services include a one-stop search function ('Find it @ RAU'), access to thousands of e-books and e-journals and hundreds of print journals, access to market research databases, self-issue, return and renew, cashless payments, interlibrary loans, inductions, workshops and one-to-one advice.
  • Other facilities include quiet study spaces, a collaborative learning area, over 140 Windows PCs, the ability to connect laptops to printers and full Wi-Fi coverage across campus and accommodation.

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.
  • A sexual health clinic runs on campus once a week.

Counselling services

  • 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 students who have any worries or concerns which may be impacting on their academic learning or emotional well-being. In addition, a Student Counsellor Health and Well-being Officer runs regular well-being drop-in sessions together with a confidential counselling service for students to talk about personal issues. Students also have access to an external telephone counselling service which operates 24/7.
  • 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 help and guidance.

Disability support

  • The university has a Disability Officer who manages all issues 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 supports the needs of 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; the university encourages students to declare their dyslexia or disability as early as possible so it can ensure that the right provisions for their needs are in place when they arrives.

Other services and facilities

Specialised course facilities include:

  • Access to 491 hectares of nearby farmland, and access to their financial data, giving students an unrivalled opportunity to learn in the field. Harnhill Manor Farm and Coates Manor Farm comprise both livestock and arable, while Fossehill Farm offers an equestrian centre with livery facilities. Students also have access to a nearby dairy complex and benefit from plenty of trips and visits.
  • The RAU has its own vineyard and produces Cotswold Hills wine to be marketed commercially. Students can get involved in the whole process, and the RAU's ale and cider brand Muddy Wellies, through the Enterprise Programme in order to gain hands-on experience and key employability skills.
  • The Rural Innovation Centre 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. Laboratories on campus and at the Rural Innovation Centre allow students to undertake research related to their selected modules, with support from their lecturers.

Students' Union

  • The Royal Agricultural University Students' Union (RAUSU) organise social events which are held on and off campus and play a key role in supporting the students to raise money for charity.
  • The Student Union officers are elected by the students; they represent the student voice and help students with any problems they have.
  • The friendly and supportive RAU community helps students to feel at home.


  • 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.
  • The RAU launched its Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme in 2007 to support and mentor students setting up their own businesses. The University has since strengthened its commitment with its agri-tech innovation hub, Farm491, offering business support to start-up companies and a new Growth Hub on campus.

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 – equestrian commentator on the BBC, has covered championships all over the world, including six Olympic and Paralympic Games.


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