ISS Rural Surveying and Rural Property Management 1 Year On Campus Learning Part Time September
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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.
This is the only masters programme of its kind in Scotland, accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and allows graduates to proceed to the Assessment of Professional Competence and full professional membership of the RICS.
This 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.
The information below applies to the 1 year full time / 2 year, 3 months part time on campus learning MLE programme which runs in September. You will find information about other ways to study this programme in the next section on this page.
This course will introduce students to contemporary environmental issues at various temporal and spatial scales, and will explore associated environmental management challenges. Students will learn about different conceptual and theoretical approaches to the study of environmental challenges and they will explore the key drivers of environmental challenges from local to global scales. Lecturers will draw on their own research experience and use case studies to illustrate many of these issues.
In relation to Forestry, which takes up the major part of this course, students study the planning and caring of trees and the management of woods for conservation purposes, commercial exploitation and recreational use. There are several field visits. Overview of the British forestry sector and examines classification of woodlands, tree identification, silvicultural systems and estate policy. Game management examines upland and lowland estates in terms of deer and grouse management together with salmon fishing and other related game interests.
Students will gain a valuable introduction to all aspects of agricultural production systems and management. This includes land use for agriculture (crop production and animal husbandry), the management of the countryside, its economic significance, geographical spread and social significance. Visits to farms include projects on farm types and different systems, the importance of mixed farming and sustainable agriculture. Also covered is sustainable agri practices and grant schemes, CAP support system and annual cycle of operations.
The course provides a background to the role of the law in regulating the management and use of the countryside. As such there is an emphasis on planning law and the role of the planning system at national and local levels in terms of developmnet management and development plans. It also covers landscape and nature conservation, access legislation, community right to buy, EIA, tenancy agreements, agricultural holdings legislation, rent reviews and CPO powers.
This course introduces students to the concepts of land and property valuation as defined by the RICS and develops a specialised knowledge of rural land and property valuation. This covers the principles and practices of agricultural valuation along with sporting estates and rural housing. Students will be able to produce rural land valuations in a professional context. There will be a focus on the formal processes and procedures adopted in the UK in the approach to the valuation of property and an awareness of the various purposes for which valuations are required.
Students learn about the inputs and outputs in both physical and financial terms for the main landed activities on rural estates, including setting and preparing management objectives and plans. Field visits examine the financial interactions of rural estate enterprises and the development of specific areas of an estate: eg diversification. Preparation and analysis of financial accounts and forward financial planning together with basic taxation and the granting of wayleaves and servitudes are examined.
The course examines rural policy, land use and socio-economic issues associated with the countryside at local and national scales. Issues include land management, tourism, diversification, planning, conservation etc.
The substantive element is a field trip to the Highlands or Lake District where projects will be studied with visits to various estates and key stakeholder agencies. Students identify research topics and undertake research on policy topics in groups and individually. Formal teaching includes lecture and seminars.
Students are introduced to relevant research methods for the analysis of rural, land, property, and environmental resources. The course is the fundamental building block for the substantive dissertation that students undertake over the summer. Topics studies in detail include strategy formulation for effective literature review, various methodological approaches, the selection of appropriate methods for carrying out specified research exercises and the production of feasible research proposals and programmes of work.
Previous project examples include:
The dissertation provides students with the opportunity to select, design, conduct and report a detailed investigation of a topic pertaining to rural land management and which is studied in depth over the summer following best practice research methodology. The aim is to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of a particular rural topic, including the academic background, relevant policy and the roles played by various actors and agencies. The research is conducted in an academically robust and ethically sensitive manner.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Highly qualified and motivated staff will teach you, including staff 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 longer field visits (for example, to Highland estates) for general experience and in relation to specific assessments. These regularly involve leading practitioners in the field.
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.
In the 2014 REF results, we were:
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
|Home / EU / RUK Students||Tuition fee for main award||£7,400|
|International Students||Tuition fee for main award||£16,100|
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
Motivation and understanding of this degree is an important factor in securing admission. Your personal statement/statement of purpose should focus on providing answers to the following questions:
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. Those who do not meet the academic requirement but have a minimum of 5 years relevant work experience will also be considered.
All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.
Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Physical Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.
If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.
Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempt from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.
The programme includes trips to a wide range of highland and lowland estates for field visits and practical work. It includes a 6 day residential visit to the Scottish Highlands and a 3 day residential visit to estates and farms in central Scotland.
The programme is designed for graduates from any discipline and 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 areas such 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: Strutt and Parker, Bidwells and Savills/Smiths Gore 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).
Smiths Gore (now Savills) are an example of one organisation that have come in to present to the students on the programme, and recruit graduates into full-time roles.
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
The MLE course is a well-respected and renowned course and the only one available in Scotland.