Master of Science in Rural Estate Management


Program Description

The aims of the course are to enable you to acquire the specialist knowledge and skills necessary for professional practice as a rural property manager and for entry to the relevant professional bodies, such as RICS and the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV).

It is an intensive 12-month study programme with an emphasis on the practical integration and development of the traditional core elements of a land management course. Modules are designed to provide an understanding of the areas of professional involvement and practice that will have to be considered when delivering advice on all manner of decisions relating to rural estate management.

The final part of the course will take the form of a research-based dissertation on a topic of your choice. To assist you with your dissertations, there is a series of workshops on research methodology and the preparation of a research dissertation. In addition, a member of staff is assigned to supervise your dissertation and you will also have a personal tutor.

The eight core modules run concurrently for the first eight months of the course, with final examinations taking place at the end of May. The dissertation needs to be submitted by the middle of September, which gives you the opportunity to write up your dissertations over the summer. Please note, all of our degree courses begin at the end of September each year (see the term dates on our website).


Rural Policy - A review of the policy creation and implementation process in the fields of planning and social policy, environmental policy and agricultural policy.

Agriculture - Introduction to agriculture and farm production systems. Agricultural resource appraisal, including the use of farm buildings and fixed equipment, diversification and new enterprises.

Environment and Woodland Management - Management of woodlands for timber, landscape, habitat, and sporting objectives. Rural conservation and environmental considerations including policy, environmental assessment and protection.

Rural Planning and Development - The components of the Town and Country Planning system. Development plans, development control, and the process of development.

Business Management - Introduction to management theory and practice with particular reference to the management, taxation and financing of rural estates.

Rural Valuation - The mathematics of valuation. Investment and the property market, valuation of freeholds and leaseholds, valuations for various statutory purposes.

Rural Property Law - A general overview with particular attention to Landlord and Tenant law and statutory provisions relating to the rural environment.

Rural Asset Management - Appraisal of rural property and estates, identification and evaluation of alternative uses of rural buildings, and other rural assets, and preparation of rural asset plans.

Dissertation - A dissertation of a target length of between 15,000 and 25,000 words on an approved topic of the student’s choice, normally related to a field of rural practice surveying in his/her own region or country.

What is the learning Style?

You will attend lectures, smaller group tutorials and practical sessions, depending on the particular subject being taught. We have our own arable and livestock farms to demonstrate a range of farm enterprises, both conventional and organic, together with conservation principles and other property management issues.

You will also visit local farms, commercial properties and rural estates where owners, occupiers and their professional advisors can provide additional insights into the issues arising from the management of rural property. Leading professional practices also support the course, both practically and financially, with prizes being awarded for various assignments.


A variety of methods are used to assess your performance, but assessed coursework features strongly throughout the course, often based on case studies which help you to see the practical application of the subjects you are studying.

Pre-university work experience and preparation

You are encouraged to undertake practical farming and professional experience in the property sector before starting the course.

This work experience not only gives you an invaluable insight into the diverse work undertaken by rural property managers but is also a good opportunity to make some useful contacts – indeed a few students get job offers as a result of such work experience, even before they start the course.

The Course Manager will be happy to provide further guidance to you about what work experience would be most suitable for your circumstances. You are also encouraged to undertake pre-course preparation work. Prior to starting the course, you will receive reading lists and study material so that you can develop a basic grounding in study areas with which you may not be familiar.

Entry Requirements

The normal minimum entry requirement will be an Honours degree at upper secondary level.

Mature candidates with significant relevant work experience and lower academic qualifications may also be considered for entry, following a personal interview with the Course Manager.

If your first language is not English, we will accept the International English Language Test (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.5 average with no element below 5.5.

If you have other qualifications, including overseas awards and alternative English language qualifications, you are advised to contact Admissions to discuss the suitability of your award for entry onto the course.

Career Prospects

Relevant areas of work include those directly involved in managing all types of rural property from private farms and estates, to the landholdings of public and private institutional bodies. The professional work of the rural property manager is wide-ranging. This may include: Agency (the sale of land and rural buildings) Tax and financial strategy Compensation claims Tenancy agreements and their review Farm business planning and diversification Forestry Property development.

We have an excellent employment record and a wide network of former students in the land management and property profession. Nationally and internationally recognised firms of chartered surveyors recruit regularly from this course. We also place graduates in many other APC training posts, including smaller firms, private estates and other large landowners, such as the National Trust and county councils.

This MSc will also open doors to a variety of careers outside the surveying profession, including Planning and environmental consultancy Research and education Leisure management Rural conservation Investment management.

Last updated Jan 2019

About the School

Established in 1845, we are recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the delivery of education, research and consultancy, in and relating to, agriculture and the rural environment. Our ... Read More

Established in 1845, we are recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the delivery of education, research and consultancy, in and relating to, agriculture and the rural environment. Our Heritage The Royal Agricultural College (RAC), now the Royal Agricultural University (RAU), is the oldest agricultural college in the English speaking world and has been at the forefront of agricultural education since 1845. Our historic campus in the Cotswold countryside provides a stimulating and unique learning environment. Read less