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Our World View: Farming - a career fit for royalty

Posted 27 January 2014

Mark Simcock

A monthly comment from a member of staff at Harper Adams University

Mark Simcock, Principal Lecturer in Rural Land Management and Valuation

“Staff here at Harper Adams were interested to learn that HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, has embarked on a programme at Cambridge University that will prepare him to succeed his father as the 25th Duke of Cornwall and take responsibility for the stewardship of the Duchy of Cornwall Estate. 

HRH will assume responsibility for an estate which is valued at around £760 million - 133,500 acres of land in 24 counties, 3500 lettings covering arable and livestock farms, 600 residential agreements and 100 commercial tenancy agreements. 

The Duchy Estate is well known for its initiatives in promoting British agriculture and sustainable farming practices, issues close to the heart of the Prince of Wales. 

The role that Prince William will take up will put him at the heart of the decision making regarding the future direction of the management of land on the Duchy Estate. It is the advice of the rural practice Chartered Surveyor that will inform Prince William in his decision making alongside a wide range of other property professionals.

Does this sound like a career that is attractive to you? Well Harper Adams University, through the BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management (REALM) degree,  offers you the opportunity to study on an RICS accredited programme that leads to full membership of the RICS and a career as a rural practice Chartered Surveyor. 

Amongst the course delivery team at Harper Adams are qualified Chartered Surveyors who have practiced in industry prior to entering the world of teaching.  This helps us to deliver a practical teaching experience based on real-world experiences.  Who knows, one day you may be that Chartered Surveyor advising the future King of England!”

Simon Keeble, Senior Lecturer and Programme Manager for REALM

“As an approved course including a placement year, students gain one year of the RICS APC (Assessment of Professional Competence). Many secure excellent jobs that they enjoy from this year, but using this experience, some may also go into roles in related firms and estates. This gives them the edge on other graduates that don’t have this supervised APC year.

There are very few apprenticeships in rural land surveying. Generally, firms prefer to take students who have academic and practical experience. So in effect, take them ‘off the shelf’ rather than spend time, money and effort training them themselves. The placement year is in effect an apprenticeship for a year built into the degree.

Should Prince William have chosen to study at Harper Adams, he would have gained this experience - farming on his door step and practical land agency including estate, site and farm visits. He would have been part of lectures from practically-minded lecturers with research as well as professional qualifications in land agency, agriculture, the environment and surveying.

REALM can lead to careers in areas such as rural estate management, rural agency, professional land agency work, as well as specialisms such a auctioneering, renewable energy, minerals, commercial, residential, building consultancy, international, film sets and sporting etc.

Students can end up working on large estates such as Buccleuch and Chatsworth, or for large firms such as Savills and Strutt and Parker through to smaller firms such as Balfours and Berrys.

We wish Prince William all the best with his course as he enters such an exciting industry!”

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