Skip to main content

Working at Harper Adams


Harper Adams University is the leading UK Higher Education (HE) institution focused on the land-based and food supply-chain sectors with an important national role in these subject areas.

Situated on a single campus in rural and scenic Shropshire, the University, and its surrounding area, provide an excellent working and living environment for staff and students alike, yet the University campus is only one hour from the UK’s second city of Birmingham.  Around 3,000 HE students attend the University, primarily on sandwich courses, which include a year-long industrial placement. Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are offered.

The University was founded by Thomas Harper Adams in 1901 on the original farmland of the Harper Adams Estate. The University estate includes amenity areas, woodland, and a commercial farm of 205 hectares. With rented land, the total area farmed is approximately 640 hectares, spread over several locations with cereals, potatoes, forage maize and grassland carrying a dairy herd, sheep, beef, pig and poultry units.

The Privy Council awarded taught degree awarding powers to Harper Adams in 1996 and research degree awarding powers in 2006.  Full University Title was granted by Her Majesty's Privy Council in December 2012. The University changed its legal status to that of a Company Limited by Guarantee in July 2012 and remains one of a small number of Universities which are Registered Charities. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal became the University’s first Chancellor in 2013.

Academic Provision

The University offers a wide range of courses including Foundation and Honours degrees, in addition to shorter awards designed to meet the continuing professional development needs of those already in the workplace. The subjects are wide ranging and cover Agriculture, Animal Studies, Business, Countryside, Engineering, Food, Land & Property Management, Georgaphy, Zoology and Applied Biology. The University has also focused on developing its postgraduate education and research and there are a growing number of postgraduate students at diploma, masters and PhD level.

Harper Adams has built up an international reputation for the quality of its courses and has achieved the highest possible ratings in recent Quality Assurance Agency reviews. There is active encouragement of research and the University took part in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise.  56% of our submitted research was rated either internationally excellent or world leading and 100% was rated of international quality. Our extensive programme of research and education for professionals in the land-based and food chain sectors supports a high profile of business and community reach-out work, short course delivery for businesses and technology transfer activities supported by strong industry links and partnerships with companies such as JCB and Marks & Spencer amongst many others.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (2017) provided Harper Adams with a Gold rating, confirming that the university “delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK”.


Harper Adams is consistently positioned highly in a range of national ratings, performance measures and league tables.

Harper Adams is ranked as the UK’s best modern university by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide; sits at number 1 in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey and won What Uni Student Choice Awards University of the Year in both 2016 and 2017.

Whatuni also ranked Harper Adams as the best university in the country for job prospects, courses & lecturers and for student support, with silver awards for accommodation and “giving back”, and bronze for its clubs & societies, students’ union and facilities.

Harper Adams is consistently one of the UK’s highest performers in both graduate employment and student satisfactions key performance indicators, sitting at 98% and 93% respectively following the 2016/17 academic year.

In November 2017 Harper Adams University was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, part of the UK Honours system, for its work leading innovation in agricultural engineering.


Harper Adams has extensive, well-equipped facilities and is constantly investing in its campus. Facilities include a range of modern teaching facilities and an extensive library, a variety of IT suites including an engineering design centre, newly extended laboratory facilities, a field laboratory and a livestock project centre, a glasshouse complex, an agricultural engineering unit with a large covered soil working area and a number of sustainable technology installations. In 2013 a new teaching building and a new agricultural engineering innovation centre opened. In 2015 these were followed by two further buildings, one for veterinary services and one for entomology. Developments opening in 2016/17 include an Agri-Tech Innovation Hub and Precision Dairy Unit.

The University provides a range of training and professional development opportunities via its staff development programme.

Catering and Sports Facilities

The University’s Students’ Union operates a small gym and squash courts that staff may use on the payment of a nominal fee. The University has an open-air swimming pool and bowling green that are available for staff use during the summer period and new tennis courts have recently been developed.

The University provides a variety of catering outlets on campus to meet the needs of both staff and students, ranging from the formal Conference Dining Room to Kaldi Cafe.

For further details about the University, please visit our website:




Forgotten Details