Why RAU?

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. We pride ourselves in combining knowledge and industry connections with an innovative, forward-thinking approach.

A Top 10 UK University

The RAU is now ranked 7th in the UK for Student Satisfaction by the Times Higher Education (THE).*

We outscored the national average in seven of the eight areas covered in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2019, including ‘The Teaching on My Course’, ‘Student Voice’, and ‘Learning Opportunities’.

We also ranked in the top ten at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, in both the Job Prospects and University of the Year categories, based on feedback from our students.

*THE ranking of NSS 2019 results

Graduates in demand

Established in 1845, the RAU has a wealth of experience. Our academics work closely with business leaders and employers to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to start their careers.

  • 93%* of our graduates are in employment or further study six months after leaving the RAU.

The current global challenges of food security, climate change and Brexit provide unprecedented opportunities for the land-based sector and, importantly, for our students.

Every year, more than 100 students spend part of their course gaining a practical insight into the working world, expanding their employability skills and their network of contacts, thanks to placements across multiple sectors. 

RAU graduates leave prepared for successful careers in their chosen field, whether that be leading innovation and change in industry, informing future land-based policy, or setting up their own businesses; which many of our entrepreneurial students do with great success.

*2016/17 UK-based leavers studying a first UG degree, full time. Source: HESA

Community

Our students are a name, not a number. The RAU is large enough that many facilities are on-site, yet small enough to create a close-knit community that inspires students to consider us a home from home. Students are known to staff by name and supported by personal tutors.

The sense of Learning Community at the RAU was ranked 9% higher than the national average in the 2019 NSS.

  

The RAU is like a family. All the lecturers know your name and are more than happy to help with coursework, exams and work placement questions. – Jess Godber, final year Real Estate student

Location

Our stunning 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 night spots, it’s easy to see why so 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.

High calibre teaching

The RAU creates an environment where students can master the practical and theoretical skills that will open doors to new opportunities.

Our academics care about their subjects and their students. Working alongside business leaders and employers, they deliver courses that provide the tools, mind-set and networks students need to play leading roles in shaping the future of the industry.

  • 96% of our final-year undergraduates surveyed by the 2019 NSS reported that our staff were good at explaining ideas – 7% higher than the national average.
  • Our silver TEF award reflects the RAU’s commitment to excellence in education and the student experience.

Inspiring enterprise 

We help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset, whatever their course.

This year we became just the 6th University - and the first small, specialist - to be made a Centre of Excellence by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE).

Our award-winning Enterprise Programme provides an inspiring and supportive environment, enabling students to develop and launch their ideas with expert help. More than 50 businesses have been set up so far. 

Entrepreneur Levi Roots, who won investment on Dragons Den with his Reggae Reggae Sauce is a regular judge on our annual Grand Idea business competition, alongside other top business names like Julian Dunkerton, co-founder of Superdry. 

You can be anything that you want to be, provided that you have the planning, the passion and the perseverance. The students at the RAU are proving that they have the entrepreneurial spirit. – Levi Roots, Reggae Reggae Sauce and Grand Idea Speaker

Connection to our global network

Students joining the 17,000-strong global alumni network follow in the distinguished footsteps of entrepreneurs, politicians, writers and Olympic athletes. 

This powerful network of alumni spans the globe and offers fantastic opportunities for professional development and socialising. 

What I enjoy most about the RAU are the limitless possibilities which come from networking and building relationships with professionals in industries outside of University life. – Lewis Bebb, President of the RAU Students’ Union

Social life

The RAU has a very active Student Union, who are always busy developing fantastic activities, societies, clubs and social events. There are a range of sports on offer from football, netball, rugby and hockey to clay pigeon shooting, darts and horse riding. A choir, International Society, Officer Training Corp, Racing Club, Beekeeping and an Entrepreneur Society are just a few of the groups to join.

The SU also supports projects in the community, including those at local markets and schools and even the renovation of a garden at the nearby railway station.

Nearby attractions include Badminton Horse Trials, Cheltenham Races (including the renowned Gold Cup), Gloucester and Bath rugby, as well as shopping and cinemas at nearby Cheltenham, Gloucester or Swindon.

Royal seal of approval

Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the College in 1845 and sovereigns have been patrons ever since, visiting the institution in every reign. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales became President in 1982 and recently presented awards to students at graduation.

Book a postgraduate open day

Book your place now for your opportunity to visit the University and get a real feel for what life as a student is really like.