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News SRUC Course Receives Cabinet Secretary’s Approval

Published Thursday, 21st November 2013 in Study at SRUC news

Rural Business Management launch with RICS

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP, visited the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Edinburgh to launch SRUC’s new degree course.

Designed for those keen to work in estate management, land and estate agency, the RICS accredited BA in Rural Business Management is the only undergraduate course of its kind in Scotland. It allows students who have also undertaken appropriate work experience to progress to the RICS APC (Association of Professional Competence) rural pathway, leading to chartered surveyor status.

According to Michael Russell:

“The launch of SRUC’s new Rural Business Management BA is a real boost for Scotland’s rural businesses as it meets a pressing market need for training in estate and land management, and gives students based in Scotland a valuable opportunity to develop their careers in the industry.

“The accreditation from the RICS Scotland recognises, yet again, the high quality of education delivered by SRUC in the land-based sector and everyone involved in pulling this together should be rightly proud of this achievement. Scotland’s Rural College is creating huge opportunities for students, employers and the Scottish economy as a whole and this new qualification will only enhance its valuable work.”

Speaking during the launch at their Manor Place offices Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland, commented:

“The RICS accreditation process relies on experienced RICS academics and employers assessing each university programme to ensure courses meet the high standards demanded by RICS. There is a high demand for qualified entrants to the estate and land management industries and RICS is delighted to help establish the new course in Scotland through the accreditation of the BA in Rural Management delivered by Scotland’s Rural College.”

Due to a lack of relevant courses in Scotland it has been necessary in recent years for Scottish students to study estate and land management courses in England, where the law and conditions can be different. However, the new four year course will be taught at both the Edinburgh and Aberdeen campuses of Scotland’s Rural College and will address typically Scottish conditions.

In a presentation to the Cabinet Secretary SRUC Vice-Principal Education explained the existing Rural Business Management course, which has 93% of graduates going into relevant employment, will continue. However, those wishing to take the RICS accredited route must include specialist course modules focusing initially on understanding and managing arable and livestock agricultural systems, together with agricultural premises. Students will then study woodland management, property valuation, surveying & land-use and planning & land law. Many modules also involve case studies and field visits to farms and other agricultural premises.

Programme Leader, George Robertson, who has done much to deliver the RICS accreditation, was delighted with the progress made.

“SRUC were delighted to collaborate with RICS Scotland in the development of this prestigious accredited degree. I very much valued the help and support received from RICS professionals in making it fit for purpose and ensuring that our graduates are fully employable within the Scottish rural surveying industry. Existing students also value this accreditation with many seeking to transfer to the RICS accredited rural pathway, meaning that this programme will commence with viable numbers in 2014. We will work closely with industry professionals in delivering the specialist rural pathway modules to ensure the quality of provision remains fully up to RICS requirements.”

Photo caption (L-R): Professor David McKenzie SRUC, Cabinet Secretary Mike Russell MSP, George Robertson Programme Leader SRUC and Tom Barclay Chairman RICS.

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