Master of Science in Rural Tourism Management

Royal Agricultural University

Program Description

Master of Science in Rural Tourism Management

Royal Agricultural University

The tourism and event industry is seeking graduates with excellent business management and marketing skills, and entrepreneurial talent. There is also a need for a more professional approach as competition between enterprises, companies and destinations intensifies. Todays’ tourism specialists must have a thorough understanding of sustainability and cultural issues, and a sound grasp of the policies, consumer trends and theories that drive the industry. Our rural tourism and event champions will be those who can lead, communicate, innovate and optimise returns from our natural, cultural and built environment. This course is ideal if you are from the UK and abroad, with a range of first degrees (or equivalent) and want to:

  • Develop a new rural tourism or events enterprise
  • Manage an existing rural tourism or events enterprise
  • Advise on tourism and rural development in developed or developing nations
  • Manage tourism projects and initiatives in the public or charitable sector
  • Seek senior management positions in tourism businesses
  • Seek a career in rural event management

This unique and exciting MSc is a one year 180 credit course. You will study:

  1. Four core business management modules (worth 60 credits)
  2. Four tourism and event management focus modules (45 credits)
  3. One 15 credit (or two 7.5 credit) modules from the elective module list (15 credits)
  4. Undertake a focused research project (either a start-up business plan, development business plan or organisational study) or a traditional dissertation (60 credits)

You will engage in several trips to top regional tourism enterprises and events. In addition, each cohort will also 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. The course runs from October each year with teaching concentrated into the first two 10 week terms. Research and exams are the main focus of the third term. The summer months are spent completing the dissertation. Part-time study (one day a week or concentrated blocks) is also possible, and a January start may be available in due course. Exit routes at Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) and Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) are also available. We are currently seeking CMI (Chartered Management Institute) status for this course and APM (Association of Project Management) accreditation for the Project Management module.

  • Business Strategy
  • Financial Management
  • Marketing Planning & Strategy
  • Critical Issues in Management
  • Rural Tourism and Event Industry
  • Tourism and Development
  • Rural Tourism Enterprise
  • Event Project Management
  • Event Management (Equine)
  • Project Management
  • Operations Management
  • Entrepreneurial Start-up
  • Innovation Process & Practice
  • E-Business Systems and Technology
  • Family Business
  • Natural Resource Appraisal
  • Sustainable Development
  • Economics of the Environment
  • Equine Industry
  • Wine Industry
  • Game and Deer Management
  • Farm Business Management

You choose a suitable research enquiry, plan a research strategy, review and appraise relevant literature. You will decide on the most appropriate methods of collecting data and information. Learn how to manipulate and analyse data and information, then arrive at suitable conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.

This course blends practical hands-on learning with theoretical knowledge, drawing on in-house expertise and the RAU’s unique network of inspirational speakers, enterprising alumni, local businesses and international contacts. The course is delivered by a mix of traditional lectures (small groups), guest speakers, seminars, individual and student-led research, case studies and field visits. You will be expected to link with the industry to solve real-life problems and issues. There may also be short work placement opportunities with a local tourism or events organisation during the course.

Performance will be assessed using a range of techniques, including group and individual coursework (essays, reports and business plans), presentations and examinations. An element of reflective assessment will also be used following field trips and the study tour. Completion of one individual research project and dissertation is required in order to be awarded a Masters degree. You will study research methods as part of this element and benefit from a dedicated academic supervisor who will offer support throughout.

The normal entry requirement will be an Honours degree at upper second level (any subject). Students with a degree in a relevant subject (business studies, rural land management, marketing, countryside management, sustainable development, agricultural management) would be of particular interest. Mature candidates with significant relevant work experience and lower academic qualifications may also be considered for entry, following personal interview with the course manager. For students whose first language is not English, the University will accept International English Language Test (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.5 average with no element below 5.5. Students with other qualifications, including overseas awards and alternative English language qualifications, are advised to contact admissions via or by calling 01285 889912 to discuss the suitability of their award for entry to their preferred course of study

This is a new course, but 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
  • The sound management foundation provided in this MSc course will also open doors to other exciting and rewarding positions in business.
  • Recent surveys of 2013 graduates reveal that 97.5% of postgraduates are in employment or further study within six months of leaving the RAU. For more information click here.
  • This degree is currently subject to validation and course content is subject to change. It is due to launch in October 2015.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated July 20, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 year
Full time
Start date Sept. 2017
United Kingdom Cirencester, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price Request Info