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Royal Agricultural University

When the RAU opened as a College in 1845, it had 25 students. Our goal is to nurture people’s enthusiasm for the environment, and to help them make a difference by developing their skills and their perspective.


The first 25 students were admitted in September 1845 and the following year student numbers increased to 108. Many of those early students went on to careers in Colonial Agricultural Administrations and the Diplomatic and Foreign Service.


The University motto is 'Arvorum Cultus Pecorumque'; a quote from Virgil's Georgics, it means 'Caring for the Fields and the Beasts'. What more appropriate maxim could there be for a University which, in every facet of its teachings, now incorporates a wider understanding of our countryside?


  • The RAU has been at the forefront of agricultural education for more than 170 years. From sustainable agriculture, food security and equine science and management, to business, real estate, rural land management and the rural economy, our researchers are regularly called upon by the media for their expert opinion on a range of topical issues and policies.
  • Our research portfolio focuses on applied, near-market research. This produces a dynamic learning environment in which our students and researchers drive to build their knowledge and understanding for the sake of the world’s future. 


  • 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.
  • We place a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship, creating opportunities for our students to develop their own business ideas and receive tailored support. From student societies to workshops and awards, budding entrepreneurs can benefit from the knowledge and experience of their lecturers and the strong industry links the University has carefully cultivated over the years.

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Student services

At the RAU there is always someone to support you. Our dedicated student advice and support network are committed to looking after your physical, mental and emotional health throughout your RAU journey. Students are at the heart of everything we do and ensuring you have a positive experience during your time here is our number one priority.

Housing services

The RAU is a place you can call home. There is a wide range of accommodation available to suit all tastes and budgets. There are eight halls of residence across the campus, all with their own individual qualities and characteristics. You can opt to stay in full-board, half-board or self-catered accommodation.

Library services

The RAU library is the central information resource for students on all courses. 

You will find a wealth of knowledge, either in print or online, plus a dedicated team of library staff ready to help you with your research needs.

Our facilities:
  • Quiet study spaces
  • Collaborative learning area
  • Full Wi-Fi coverage

ICT services

Here at the RAU, we know IT is an integral part of our students’ lives, both for learning and research, and for relaxing and communicating with family and friends. All our students can bring their own laptops, tablets and smartphones and use our network for academic purposes and for personal internet access. Free copies of Microsoft Office 365 are available for downloading onto these devices.

Medical services

We have a University health centre on campus, run by a local doctor’s surgery specifically for our students.

Campus life

  • Our stunning campus, which is walking distance to the historic local town of Cirencester, is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is within striking distance of urban adventure. Bath, Bristol, Oxford and Cheltenham are all within an hour of the University and London is less than 90 minutes away by direct train.
  • Cirencester is a bustling market town and thriving cultural hub. With plenty of restaurants, country pubs, unique boutique ships and popular night spots, it’s easy to see why so many students enjoy their time here.
  • Our campus has its own launderette, gym, café, bar and shop. The shop sells a variety of snacks, food, confectionary, newspapers, drinks, stationery, toiletries and RAU clothing/merchandise.

Sports facilities

There is a great range of facilities for sports, both on and off campus, including a gym, an allweather sports pitch and table tennis tables. Many of our sports teams compete in the British Universities and Colleges Sports League (BUCS).

Student clubs

  • 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, snow sports, horse riding, tennis, water sports and more. A choir, International Society, Officer Training Corp, Racing Club, Beekeeping and Entrepreneur Society are just a few of the groups you can be part of, as well as volunteering and community work. 
  • There are plenty of opportunities to socialise throughout the year with events like the summer ball and activities organized including film nights, sports tasters, trips off campus and themed nights out.

  • We have been made a Centre of Excellence by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE)
  • Our Real Estate and Rural Land Management degrees are accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Cirencester, England, United Kingdom

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