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Graduate Diploma in Agriculture

Course Description


This intensive course in agriculture is unique to the Royal Agricultural University and provides an opportunity for graduates or professionals in other disciplines to re-direct their careers towards agricultural and associated rural industries.

Career prospects

Many graduates enter practical farming or take up commercial or administrative posts in the related land-based industries. Recent graduates have gone on to pursue
careers as:
• Farm Managers
• Farm Workers
• Senior Planners
• Project Managers
• Livestock Skills Instructors
Graduates may qualify for progression on to a Masters course.

Who is the course for?

The Graduate Diploma in Agriculture is particularly appropriate for students who are re-directing their careers towards agriculture. In addition to developing the pure agriculturist, the course provides students with a detailed knowledge of the UK agricultural industry.

Course structure

The course may be studied full-time over one academic year, or part-time over two, three or four years. Students complete three compulsory modules, followed by five modules selected from a wide range of undergraduate modules allowing them to tailor the course to meet their career aspirations. They can also undertake practical skills training courses at the Rural Innovation Centre to further enhance their employability.

Students participate in lectures, farm walks and visits, case studies, assignments, and management projects to develop their knowledge across curricular themes. A summer study tour exposes students to a variety of agricultural enterprises.
Prospective students are strongly encouraged to complete pre-course reading in order to secure a minimum basic knowledge of agriculture and to highlight possible areas of weakness.


General Agriculture
Farm Business Management
Farm Enterprise Management
Plus FIVE elective modules

The student view

Camilla Bowkett
After leaving a career in professional services to work on my parents’ organic farm, I quickly realised I knew next to nothing about agriculture. The Graduate Diploma in Agriculture at the Royal Agricultural University stood out because it covers a range of subject areas and has a managerial focus.
GDA surpassed all of my expectations and has been instrumental in taking on my new Estate Manger role. The lecturers were excellent and I particularly valued the University farm walks, farm visits, networking opportunities, and the Farm Business Management module. The RAU has given me the knowledge, ideas and confidence to take on this challenging role.

Visit the Graduate Diploma in Agriculture page on the Royal Agricultural University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Kate Little

1403.jpg "I was a general news journalist looking for a specialism, and, coming from a farming family, I chose the Graduate Diploma in Agriculture so I could join the farming press, but then I soon realised I wanted to 'do' farming rather than write about it. After the course, I set up my own goat dairy farming business in Cumbria and 99% of the know-how came from the Diploma - it simply got me thinking along the right lines. After two years, I sold my business for a decent profit and am now setting up a goat meat business.

The choice of modules on the programme is vast. You can select from each academic year - if it's basic principles you are looking to learn, you can pick up a first-year module, or, if you know exactly which area you want to focus on, you can choose third-year undergraduate or postgraduate modules.

I chose subjects I was interested in, including world farming and food chain studies to get a clear idea of the whole picture from 'farm gate to plate'.

As a farmer, I like to place my products locally - for me it's more profitable and it's easier to manage - but my graduate diploma has given me all the skills I need to think about what I'm producing, how to market it, and where my produce sits in local, national and international markets - and the effects those markets in turn have on my business.

This programme is perfect for postgraduates with an idea of what they really want to learn about, but who are prepared to be taken off in interesting new directions. If I wasn't so busy, I'd love to do the programme again and try all those other modules I never had time for first time around!"


RAU Cirencester Scholarship - Single Award

Deadline for applicationsApplications and all supporting information must be received by the University by the 15th August 2016. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Value of Scholarship(s)

up to £3,000 pa


These scholarships (paid as a tuiton fee waiver) will be available to all new RAU undergraduate and postgraduate students, both full and part-time, who live and/or have within the last two years studied within a 25 mile radius of Cirencester (not previously at the RAU) and who can demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and motivation to succeed by means of their Programme and Scholarship applications and supporting references. We will take into account academic and community achievements, past, present and potential, as well as overcoming hardship.

Application Procedure

You need to apply by using the online application form, together with supporting evidence. Please download and ask your referee to complete the Scholarship reference form; the referee should be your most recent school/university tutor or employer. We do not accept references from family members. Please note Scholarship applications cannot be considered without a satisfactory reference. Additional information may be requested at a later date

Further Information


Entry Requirements

An Honours degree from a discipline other than agriculture(2:1 or higher). Equivalent overseas and other UK qualifications may be accepted at the discretion of the University.Applicants of 25 years and over may seek admission on the basis of a curriculum vitae, but evidence of ability to study at degree level, such as proven managerial level experience, is essential.A period of relevant practical work experience within the agricultural industry is recommended as a means of enhancing understanding of the industry and the relevance of specific modules towards future career goals, but is not a prerequisite of joining the programme.

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Recipient: Royal Agricultural University
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