Professional Doctorate in Rural Estate and Land Management

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    Register Your Interest

    The course

    The REALM (Rural Estate and Land Management) courses provide a first step on the route to qualification as a chartered surveyor. All prospective chartered surveyors must complete the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) offered by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), and the programmes provide the academic foundation for candidates wishing to pursue the rural APC.

    The MProf and MSc REALM programmes are both validated by RICS under the RICS-Harper Adams University Partnership agreement, recognising the high regard in which the courses are held. The MProf in particular, is one of a very small number of courses in the country to have this distinction with regard to the rural APC, which is why you are required to study 12 modules (180 credits) rather than eight (120 credits). The postgraduate certificate (PgC) provides a route for students who may fall short of our exacting entry requirements to get up to speed before transferring to either the MProf or MSc programmes.

    Modules cover the main areas required for professional practice, in particular providing the necessary legal foundations for practice, and covering the all-important areas of the UK planning system, land tenure, rural valuation, primary production in agriculture and forestry, countryside and environmental management. A wide choice of modules means that you can tailor the programme to your own requirements.

    The MProf programme is particularly popular with part-time students, often graduates who are able to combine suitable employment with study and progression through the APC.

    Employment prospects in rural practice are good, and successful graduates have gone on to a wide range of jobs in recent years on rural estates and with local and national firms of rural surveyors and agricultural valuers. Feedback from students shows that the intensive modular structure is well-received, along with the practical slant of many of the assignments. This is underpinned by the professional standing of many of the tutors, who are active with the profession at the highest levels nationally and act as Assessors for the APC.

    How will it benefit me?

    The MProf/MSc will enable you to analyse a range of stakeholder interests and their influence, generally and site specifically, in rural land management. You will become competent in a range of techniques for rural land management and appraisal, be able to appraise the value and worth of rural land, and review the role of property in organisations.

    Students also become skilled at evaluating and exploiting the latest developments in technology, and developing performance indicators in rural estate management and strategy. You will learn to formulate land management strategies which meet objectives for sustainable management while taking into account legislature, regulations, ethics and morals, the environment, amenities and commercial needs.

    You will also learn to evaluate how previously implemented land management strategies have achieved their objectives, and adapt them to new requirements within an evolving economic, social, legal and political framework, with due regard to developments in sustainable development and biodiversity. You will become competent in professional methodologies used by chartered surveyors to manage and appraise rural land and property.

    MProf (180 credits from)

    • Research and Information Skills (REALM and Business)
    • Estate Management Law
    • Land Tenure Systems
    • Rural Asset Valuation
    • Agricultural Tenancies
    • Rural Estate Taxation and Planning
    • Planning Law and Policy

    MSc (180 credits from)

    • Research and Information Skills (REALM and Business)
    • Estate Management Law
    • Land Tenure Systems
    • Rural Asset Valuation
    • Agricultural Tenancies
    • Rural Estate Taxation and Planning
    • Advanced Research Methods
    • Planning Law and Policy
    • Major Research Project

    Accredited by: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

    The MProf and MSc programmes are both validated by RICS under the RICS-Harper Adams University Partnership agreement, recognising the high regard in which the courses are held.

    Option Choices

    The RICS accredited REALM programme (MProf/MSc) has been designed to meet the requirements of individuals entering or progressing within the rural chartered surveying profession. Whilst the programme is designed to allow students to navigate their own path of study depending on their areas of interest, we are often asked for advice on the modules which support core chartered surveying practice. In addition to the mandatory modules we would advise you to consider choosing the recommended modules (see above), subject to your first degree subject and work experience.

    The twelve module MProf offers the opportunity to gain a strong grounding in a range of subjects.

    Those with a cognate undergraduate degree (such as agriculture related) or those who have extensive work experience may prefer the MSc route, which includes a 30 credit research project.

    If you have any queries about the above, please contact Carrie de Silva, the Postgraduate Coordinator for the Land Management area.


    Most students join the course with the intention of proceeding to professional qualification as a chartered surveyor. This is indicated by the designatory initials MRICS (Professional Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).

    Harper Adams alumni are to be found working for private firms of surveyors, as well as organisations such as Natural England, the Country Land and Business Association and conservation organisations. Past students have also obtained jobs in estate management, including with the National Trust.

    Many Harper Adams students study part-time while employed in relevant work. This means that for some of their modules they are able to use projects at work as part of their assessment.

    Many graduates also go on to become Fellows of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV). This is a specialist professional body representing and briefing over 2,600 agricultural valuers across the country. Agricultural valuers practice in a diverse range of agricultural and rural sector work. This can include providing advice to owners, landlords and tenants on the value of their assets, tenancy matters, sale and purchase, taxation, compulsory purchase, auctioneering, conservation matters and farm business management.

    Visit the Rural Estate and Land Management page on the Harper Adams University website for more details!

    Related VideosVideos
    (Student Profile)

    Archie Ruggles-Brise

    Deciding to return to higher education can be a difficult decision, especially when looking to balance studies and work. However, it can be an excellent opportunity to expand your skillset and challenge your preconceptions to find a new and potentially better way of working. This is true for Archie Ruggles-Brise who studied MProf Rural Estate and Land Management part-time and graduated in 2020.

    Already working as a rural estate manager, Archie “looked at a number of institutions offering courses covering land management at postgraduate level in order - initially at least - to bolster my understanding of the land management sector, in particular professional advice.

    “I have been commissioning advice for many years and felt it was time I understood better the basis of the guidance I was being offered so that I could ask better questions, and have a better understanding of the answers.

    “Only Harper offered a teaching structure that I could incorporate into running a business and family life. Other part-time courses required regular weekly attendance or simply didn’t offer a viable part-time option.

    “When I met tutors from Harper I was impressed by their approach and experience teaching older students. As well as their business-friendly course structure, they bring in outside expertise to supplement academic teaching, have a full range of site visits and vibrant links to industry.

    “What made it work was the ability to fit the taught week blocks around my other commitments. This meant I ended up doing four modules in each of the four academic years I studied, involving 4 weeks out of the office each year, arranging backup cover and working in evenings during the taught week at Harper. At the outset, the postgraduate course leader made it very clear this level of extra commitment would be required, so I went into the course with that expectation, which was invaluable.”

    "The course has been the stimulus to look again at what we do and try to build alternative approaches that make the best use of my existing knowledge, and the new understanding I have gained from my time at Harper.

    “I’d encourage anyone thinking of returning to study to give it serious thought. For those in a similar position to me, with considerable work and family commitments, I’d suggest that my experience is proof that it can be done, and done well, so give it a go!"


    The Harper Adams Club Postgraduate Scholarship - Single Award

    Our Alumni Association, The Harper Adams Club, awards an annual scholarship of up to £2,000 to assist a Harper Adams graduate to undertake an MSc course at Harper Adams.

    Value of Scholarship(s)



    Candidates must have been awarded a first degree or HND at Harper Adams and have been accepted for a full- or part-time Masters course

    Application Procedure

    .The scholarship is awarded on a competitive basis by means of an interview.

    Further Information


    NFU Mutual Charitable Trust Centenary - 0 Awards

    NFU Mutual’s annual Centenary Award is now open for applications. The award provides bursaries to pay up to 75% of course fees for selected students who are undertaking a postgraduate course in agriculture (Masters or PhD) within the UK. The Centenary Award was created by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust in 2010 to celebrate NFU Mutual’s 100th birthday, with the objective of creating a legacy for the future. To date, 43 agricultural students have received bursaries to help further their studies.The award is open to individuals who have gained, or are expected to gain, a 2:1 or above in agriculture or a related degree, and have been accepted or provisionally accepted on a Masters or PhD course in agriculture in the UK, in autumn 2021.

    Value of Scholarship(s)

    Coming soon


    The award is open to students from the UK who have gained, or are expected to gain, a 2:1 or above in agriculture or a closely related degree, and have been accepted or provisionally accepted on a Masters or PhD course in agriculture in the UK

    Application Procedure

    Further information about the scheme can be found on the NFU Mutual website:

    Further Information

    Entry Requirements

    A good honours degree (normally 2:1 or equivalent) in any subject. This requirement may be relaxed in respect of cognate degrees or for candidates with extensive, relevant professional experience. Other candidates may also be considered for the PgC programme. In addition, all candidates will be expected to provide references, and may be considered by interview and/or evidence of their relevant experience and motivation for the course.

    FindAProfessionalDoctorate. Copyright 2005-2021
    All rights reserved.