There is increasing demand within land-based and food chain industries for individuals with high level skills. Harper Adams aims to develop highly qualified professionals - the future leaders in a rapidly changing and technically challenging rural sector.
Those who have obtained a Bachelor's degree can opt to study a Master's or doctoral degree, or a postgraduate diploma or certificate. This study may, depending on the degree taken, be through a taught course or through research.
Harper Adams' portfolio of taught postgraduate courses has expanded to meet the developments and demands of rural industries across the globe, and are underpinned by a wide range of nationally and internationally recognised research.
Some students choose to study at postgraduate level to enhance their career prospects. A postgraduate qualification can be a distinct advantage in today's competitive jobs market. It also gives students the chance to network within their chosen field and develop further contacts.
Another reason for studying at postgraduate level is a change of career path, while others choose further study purely through an interest in their chosen subject.
James Neame, from Shropshire, graduated in 2011 with a BSc (Hons) Agriculture and Environmental Management degree. He took a gap year travelling to New Zealand and Australia before returning to Harper Adams to study an MSc in Rural Estate and Land Management.
The 24-year-old said: "I have been lucky enough to secure a job which I undertake alongside my studies. This gives me a great opportunity to put what I have learnt in the classroom into practise. Having a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture and Environmental Management gave me good background knowledge of the rural sector and agricultural practises which underpins the modules that I am now studying in my MSc.
"I think being a graduate and going on to do a MSc showed that I was dedicated to the subject and willing to advance my learning in order to achieve the suitable qualifications to get into a career as a chartered rural surveyor."
Joseph Gebbels, from Northumberland, graduated in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture with Animal Science degree. The 23-year-old is currently undertaking an MSc in International Business with Strategy and Innovation at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.
"The increased business focus and advanced level of the course I am currently undertaking is providing me with exactly the kind of challenge I was looking for and I feel that my time at Harper Adams has instilled great focus and motivation in my pursuit of my goals," he says. "Without my BSc and particularly the completion of research methods and my international experiences, I would not have been admitted to my current course."
Alexandra Weatherley, from Cirencester, graduated in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) in Bioveterinary Science. The 23-year-old is currently studying for a second degree in Veterinary Science at the University of Liverpool to qualify as a veterinary surgeon.
"My placement during my third year at Harper Adams with the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) helped me get into my second degree in Veterinary Science as it gave me so much animal handling experience and I got to see the role of a vet in animal research," she says. "Studying modules at Harper Adams such as Animal Disease Science and having an interest in farm animal medicine and pathology definitely gave me an edge at interview."
Simon Haley, from Lancashire, did his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Harper Adams having graduated in 2013 with an MSc Negotiated Studies - International Agri-Business and Farm Management at the university, Simon is currently employed as Northern Rural Business Advisor for Reading Agricultural Consultants.
"I still have a keen interest in agriculture but my MSc has helped me to develop all of my knowledge through an international perspective," he told us. "In the future I would like to continue in my current role, which involves liaising with clients to write budgets, grants and planning applications, but develop it with an international angle and travel the world."
"My degree in agricultural science underpinned further experience in advanced research methods and ultimately led onto a PhD research degree."
Having graduated with BSc (Hons) Agriculture in 2011, Stephen Mansbridge remained at Harper Adams to work on his doctorate, specialising in mono-gastric health and nutrition in pigs.