Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Land Economy (Rural Surveying, RICS accredited)

Programme Details

A 12 Month Taught Postgraduate Programme fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Rural Surveying/Rural Property Management. The programme is a fast track course for graduates seeking entry into the Rural Professional Group of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It is the only programme of its kind in Scotland accredited by the RICS, allowing graduates to proceed to the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence and full professional membership of the RICS. It is also however a course which gives students a thorough grounding in all aspects of the countryside and land management, planning, environmental and rural policy issues



Land Economy (Rural Surveying/Rural Property Management) is concerned with the management of land and its resources, rural businesses and their associated activities and interests.

The programme provides a range of knowledge and skills e.g. land management, public policy, law, planning, economics, and valuation, integrated to meet the future challenges facing landowners and land managers. Understanding of traditional land management (agriculture, forestry, sporting) and emerging and topical issues  (environmental and conservation activities, tourism projects, planning issues, countryside access, diversification projects,  steading conversions  and renewable energy initiatives) is combined with an understanding of the business skills necessary for successful decision-making and rural business management. As a rural land and business manager the student/graduate is concerned not only with practical land management but also with the financial, legal, planning, and policy contexts within which decisions are made and business interests managed.


Reasons to Study Land Economy at Aberdeen 

  • The Only RICS accredited programme of its kind in Scotland
  • Most of our students gain employment within a short period of graduating and careers range from surveying firms to local authorities and countryside agencies
  • Teaching staff includes Professional Rural Practitioners
  • The course is led by John Carnie who has a wide experience from working in industry in relation to rural planning and property firms, rural tourism, planning, environmental, marketing and diversification projects
  • Access to a wide range of highland and lowland estates and properties for field visits and practical work
  • Includes a week-long project in a national park
  • Small group teaching
  • Part time study available
  • Close links with the RICS (Rural and Environmental Professional Groups)


Contact Information

For further information about the programme or to discuss your application, please contact the Graduate School Admissions Unit.



Students study the following courses:

  • Land and Environmental Economics
  • Forestry and Game Management
  • Agricultural Principles and Practice
  • Planning Land and Environmental Law
  • Valuation for Rural Surveyors
  • Rural Business Management
  • Rural Policy in Practice
  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation (Masters students only)
  • Case Study (PgDip students only)


Courses are assessed via coursework and formal examinations. There are two diets of examinations: December and May, normally four courses examined at each diet. As you progress greater emphasis is placed on the application of knowledge and skills, project work increases and examinations are fewer. Projects focus on local estates, rural businesses, and farms and are designed to incorporate the types of task expected in the workplace.


Highly qualified and motivated staff will teach you, including those with considerable practical experience. A variety of teaching and assessment methods are used. All courses involve lectures, seminars and project work although the relative balance varies as you progress through the programme. Courses typically involve two or three hours of lectures. There are half-day, whole day, and four day field visits (for example, to Highland estates) for general experience and in relation to specific assessments. These regularly involve leading practitioners in the field.

Project-work includes a mix of individual and group exercises. Residential field visits include a  group project based visit to a national park in England or Scotland.


The MLE (Rural Surveying) programme is designed for graduates from any discipline. It is the only programme of its kind in Scotland accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Graduates therefore have the option of entering a career in chartered surveying (Rural or Environmental Professional Groups) having already made progress towards their APC. Career options include such areas as land agency, estate management, countryside management, and rural policy and development. Diploma and Masters graduates in Rural Surveying are particularly highly sought-after by the leading land agency firms throughout the UK: Smiths-Gore, Strutt and Parker, Bidwells and Savills to name but a few. Many of these firms visit the Department as part of their annual recruitment strategy. Other graduates have secured employment with landed estates (Buccleuch Estates, Moray Estates, Strathmore Estates, Dunecht Estates), conservation bodies (SNH, RSPB) and public authorities (National Parks, Local Authorities).


Graduate Profiles

Gervase Topp "A real centre for excellence in my opinion. Aberdeen has a friendly small town feeling but is large enough to have everything you need in a city. Great nightlife and the amazing Scottish countryside is just a few miles from your doorstep." [More]
Gervase Topp "The degree that I obtained from Aberdeen has been a great stepping stone towards my chosen career path and without coming to Aberdeen I would never have got the job I am in." [More]
Gervase Topp "The MLE course is a well-respected and renowned course and the only one available in Scotland." [More]


Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a UK Honours degree (or an honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth) at a 2:2 (lower second) class or above.

Mature students who do not meet the minimum entry requirement but who have appropriate professional experience will also be considered. Applicants should note that irrespective of your initial registration (Diploma or Masters) the qualification awarded on completion of the programme is dependent upon your performance during the year.

It is important when submitting an application that you ensure you have completed all the necessary sections and enclosed all the relevant documentation to ensure that your application can be processed as quickly as possible.

Even if you have been educated in the medium of English you must meet our English Language requirements. These are located at This programme requires that you meet the 'Postgraduate Standard' level of English proficiency. If you are in doubt about your proficiency in English, contact the British Council office or its equivalent in your country. If your first language is not English, it is important that your proficiency in English is good in order for you to study successfully at the University of Aberdeen . Without this ability you will find great difficulty in understanding lectures, producing written work and sitting examinations.

We have one intake of students each year in September. Late applications may be asked to wait until the next intake should the programme coordinator feel there is insufficient time to consider the application. Prospective students who require a visa to study in the UK are advised to apply as early in the year as possible to secure a place. Applications received after 30th June from students who need to apply for a visa to study in the UK will not be processed for entry in September of that year but may be considered for entry the following year as appropriate.

It is important to note that the programmes of postgraduate study at the University of Aberdeen are very competitive and the entry requirements stated are a guide to the minimum requirements, but do not guarantee entry.


Information on tuition fees, including the current fee level, can be found on the University Registry website.

PLEASE NOTE: Students will also be expected to cover the costs of travel to residential field work destinations. 


Funding opportunities can be found in our searchable Funding Database. You are advised to search the database as a broad range of funding exists much of which you may be eligible for.

A list of funding opportunities is also maintained on the College of Physical Sciences Funding Page.


University of Aberdeen Alumni Discount Scheme

The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to offer a 20% discount on postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated (or about to graduate) with a degree from the University of Aberdeen. More Information

Course Contact

Related Information

General Information

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
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Tel: +44 (0)1224 272090 / +44 (0)1224 272091
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