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Royal Agricultural University

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1845
    • Size:
    • Small (<5000 students)
    • Type:
    • Public
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
    • Specialization:
    • School of Agriculture 1
    • Climate:
    • Temperate
    • Location:
    • Cirencester, England, United Kingdom
    • Phone:
    • +441285652531
    • Email Address:
    • N/A
    • Setting:
    • Suburban, town

The History of the Royal Agricultural UniversityUniversity of Suffolk

The Royal Agricultural University was founded as the Royal Agricultural College in 1842, at a meeting of the Fairford and Cirencester Farmers’ Club. Concerned by the lack of government support for education, Robert Jeffreys-Brown addressed the meeting on "The Advantages of a Specific Education for Agricultural Pursuits". A prospectus was circulated, a general committee was appointed and Henry Bathurst, 4th Earl Bathurst was elected president. Funds were raised by public subscription: much of the support came from the wealthy landowners and farmers of the day, and there was no government support. Construction of the main building, in Victorian Tudor style, began in April 1845 and was designed by S. W. Daukes and John R. Hamilton, and built by Thomas Bridges of Cirencester. The first 25 students were admitted to the college in September 1845.

Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the college in 1845 and sovereigns have been patrons ever since, visiting the college in every reign. His Royal Highness Prince Charles became president in 1982.

The college gained full university status in 2013 and changed its name accordingly. It had 1,150 students in the 2018/19 academic year and saw a 49% rise in applications between 2008 and 2013. The Royal Agricultural University was named the safest university in the South West in 2013 and is ranked top in the UK for spending on facilities.

Academic Highlights

The Royal Agricultural University provides students with entrepreneurial extra-curricular activities. These activities include weekly inspiration and developmental sessions, a vibrant student enterprise society and an entrepreneurship program titled: Think It, Try It, Launch It, Grow It. At Westminster Kingsway College, we have a variety of options to help you begin your journey, whether that be to university, further study or your dream career. We offer A Levels, T Levels, vocational courses, apprenticeships, and Higher Education courses – there is something for everyone at West King.

Life in the Royal Agricultural University

The university has a range of sports facilities on campus, including a gym, an all-weather pitch, and squash and tennis courts. Students participate in a wide range of sports including; clay pigeon shooting, cricket, equestrian, field sports (hunting, fishing, and shooting), football, golf, lacrosse, hockey, netball, polo, rugby, rifle shooting, rowing, tennis, and yachting.

The Royal Agricultural University is just one of three remaining British universities (the others being the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford) to maintain their own beagle pack. Founded in 1889, the RAC Beagles is run by the students who whip in and hunt the hounds, and until the 2004 hunting ban, hunted hares in the countryside around Cirencester.

The university competes in the BUCS League.

School Ranking

In 2018, the RAU was ranked 10th in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards in the University of the Year category and holds a silver rating from the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).


You can find the entry requirements for our undergraduate courses on each individual course page.

The course page may also list any specific entry requirements, such as passes in particular subjects or specific grades, which may be a condition of entry.

Please check these to ensure you meet (or are working towards) the appropriate entry requirements for your chosen course.

Typically, all undergraduate applicants are expected to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs with English and Maths (or Maths Numeracy for Welsh applicants) at grade C/4 or above or equivalent qualifications.

Notable Alumni

Royal Agricultural University graduates have won a number of awards and prizes, including the Farmers Weekly Young Farmer Of The Year Award (James Price 2009 and Adrian Ivory 2008): Mark Bence-Jones, writer, Jonathan Dimbleby, television personality and political commentator, Dwijendralal Ray Bengali poet, Teddy McDonald, contemporary artist

Acceptance Rate

The admission rate range is 70-80% making this UK higher education organization a somewhat selective institution.

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