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Rural Studies, BSc (Hons)

Newcastle University, the United Kingdom

Newcastle University

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The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
BSc (Hons)find out3 yearsfind outGBP 9250 per yearfind out

About Rural Studies, BSc (Hons) - at Newcastle University

Course Overview

This degree is ideal if you're interested in the social, economic and political systems we use to manage the countryside and support rural businesses and communities.

At a Glance


UCAS Institution Name and Code

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Degree Awarded
BSc Honours

Course Duration
3 Years

Entry Requirements Icon

Entry Requirements
A Level: ABB-BBB
IB: 32-34 points

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Work placement

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You focus on rural development and resource management, studying diverse topics from landscape management to social geographics, and from farm management to marketing. 

You'll visit various rural enterprises and sites throughout the course. These introduce you to a range of countryside professions and equip you with insight into the challenges faced by today's rural businesses. 

You can boost your employability and professional skills with an optional placement year in industry or the commercial sector. 

You also benefit from:

  • access to our two University farms for hands-on experience
  • training in key business skills to enhance your employability
  • expertise at our Centre for Rural Economy, recipient of the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2014

Highlights of this degree

What you will study

What you will study

You explore rural studies from a wide range of perspectives, and study core modules covering elements of:

  • rural development
  • environment and land use
  • marketing and business management
  • land law and research methods
  • landscape management

You have a wide choice of optional modules, allowing you to tailor the degree to your specific interests - see the Course Details section for more information. 

You also choose a Career Development Module, designed to enhance your employability.

Independent research and project work is important and gives you the chance to explore an area of interest in detail. Previous projects have explored:

  • wind farms in rural development
  • the future of market towns
  • biofuel production

Field visits

Field visits

Field visits are an important part of your degree, giving you the chance to apply your newly acquired knowledge in a practical context.

At Newcastle University, you will benefit from our position in the beautiful and varied landscape of North East England.

You will have the chance to take part in a wide variety of field visits exploring the rugged beauty of Northumberland, County Durham and Cumbria's varied landscapes and habitats.

There is easy access to fantastic countryside including:

  • Northumberland National Park, home to Hadrian's Wall and the Cheviot Hills
  • Kielder, home to Northern Europe's largest man-made lake and England's largest forest

Visits to various rural enterprises throughout the year introduce you to a range of countryside professionals. This gives you the chance to experience management in action, as well as providing insight into the challenges facing countryside businesses.

Boost your employability with a work placement

Boost your employability with a work placement

Apply to spend a year on an optional work placement between Stages 2 and 3. 

The School will give you support to apply for a suitable placement, including help to write your CV to send out to our wide range of industry contacts.

You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.

If you impress your host company, it could even result in a job offer on graduation.

Teaching and assessment

Study at the cutting edge

Research-informed teaching plays an important role at Newcastle, meaning you study the most up-to-date theories and discoveries in your subject. You will have the opportunity to conduct your own research through a special study in Stage 3. This may be linked to a vacation project or work placement. 

Research in the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development organised into five research groups:

  • Animal Sciences
  • Crop & Soil Sciences
  • Food Quality and Health
  • Food and Society
  • Rural Studies & Resource Economics

Teaching methods

In Stages 1 and 2 just over half of your teaching time will be spent in classroom-based lectures or seminars. The remainder will be made up of field classes, computer classes, and practical lab work. In Stage 3 greater emphasis is placed on project work, culminating in a final-year project based on a topic of your choice. 

Assessment methods

Assessment is based on a combination of:

  • field assignments
  • group projects
  • oral presentations
  • essays
  • problem-based assignments
  • traditional examinations

Find out more

Teaching and assessment methods may vary from module to module. More information about each module including specific assessment methods, credits and contact hours, can be found in the Course Details section.

Visit our Teaching & Learning pages to read about the outstanding learning experience available to all students at Newcastle University.

Facilities and support

This degree is run by the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, located at the heart of campus in the Agriculture Building.


You'll have access to: 

  • an experimental station providing field laboratories for evaluation and testing of ecologically friendly pesticides and biocontrol agents
  • well-equipped modern laboratories
  • two University farms, used for research, teaching and demonstration: Cockle Park Farm and Nafferton Farm


You'll have an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree, who can help with academic and personal issues.

The student-staff committee gives you a say in how your degree works.

You'll have access to a peer mentor in your first year

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements
A Level: ABB-BBB
IB: 32-34 points

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