Having produced more than 150 rugby internationals in the past 10 years, we’re skilled at helping elite athletes to find the optimal balance to achieve sporting and academic excellence and open doors to a career beyond your sport.

As well as a proud record of international honours, hundreds of our students have gone on to secure professional contracts, with almost half of the current Gloucester Rugby senior and Academy squads having come from the Hartpury ranks!

Seven times British Universities and Colleges National Champions, our senior academy has continually proven itself as one of the best university sides in the country.

Plus Hartpury RFC is the highest ranked team from a university in the league pyramid, having achieved Championship status at the end of the 2016-2017 season. The RFC squad features many current and former Hartpury University students.

The RFU Rose and the words 'England Rugby' are official registered trademarks of the Rugby Football Union.

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Join our Rugby Academy

As a member of the rugby academy, you will have the opportunity to compete at the very highest level of university sport – our first team competes in the BUCS Super Rugby league – while completing a Foundation or Honours degree.

You will also benefit from our exceptional facilities and have access to a range of professional support services, which could include specialist coaching, nutrition advice, performance analysis, sports psychology, strength and conditioning and physiotherapy, supporting you to be the best you can become on and off the field.

Believe it or not, some of our biggest sporting achievers at Hartpury do not start out in our elite squads, rugby internationals Jonny May and Alex Cuthbert included, so don’t worry if you don’t come straight in at the top.

The elite development and development teams are an extremely important part of our programme and play in highly competitive leagues. We’re focused on improving individuals across all of our squads.

In order for you to be selected into the senior rugby programme, you must first be applying for, or have already accepted, a place onto a degree course at Hartpury University.

Open trials for prospective players are held throughout the year. Places in the programme will be offered based on prior experience, your rugby CV and performance in trials. Our elite squad play to a very high standard and will regularly include players who have been with a professional club either as an apprentice or a full-time professional. Others can expect to have had at least extensive trials with professional clubs prior to joining Hartpury.

Scholarships are offered to elite players on an individual basis and are directly related to sporting and academic performance usually determined through a sporting CV and achievements prior to joining Hartpury. The usual criteria for awarding a student a scholarship would be for those who we believe to be of international standard or potential international standard.

These are re-assessed on an annual basis, with a review looking at academic and sporting performance, as well as an individual’s disciplinary record and behaviour, over the course of the 12 month period. Scholarships will generally cover accommodation fees and/or elite sport membership costs.

View our sport degrees

I honestly don’t think I’d be where I am now if I hadn’t come to Hartpury. It’s the best place I can think of to develop your rugby and further yourself academically."

Jonny May England and Gloucester Rugby winger


Hartpury’s multi-million pound sports facilities offer elite athletes the perfect place to train and develop. Students involved in all our academies will find professional style training environments designed to push athletes to their full potential.

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With such a wide range of sports degree courses to choose from, there’s bound to be one that suits you. We offer everything from Honours and Foundation degrees through to postgraduate study with degrees including Sports Therapy, Sport and Exercise Science and Nutrition, Sports Coaching, Physical Education and School Sport, Sports Business Management and Strength and Conditioning.

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