I would agree that with those grades she should be looking at established universities e.g. Nottingham University, which has a site at Sutton Bonington (between Nottingham and Loughborough) that includes its biosciences school, vet school and school of agriculture. DS1 had a couple of friends who went to RAC. Both got pretty low grades at A Level and one left after a year and got in to Reading which he much preferred.
It's in a very rural area (as you might expect) so she will struggle to go out and paint the town red in quite the same way as she might if she was at (say) Newcastle.
I have also heard that many of the students live locally, and go home at weekends to work on the family farm. Lovely for them, but it can mean that not much happens at weekends. Something to ask about on open day.
If she will need / want to work during term time then she should also consider that the lack of population locally will limit the opportunities for her to do traditional student jobs, though there may be agricultural opportunities available.
It won't be uber competitive - every uni (bar Oxbridge!) is struggling a bit for applicants nowadays, and those grades will place her substantially above their requirements. She will get 5 choices on her UCAS form, so she needs to consider other unis too.
With those grades in those subjects, I really think she should be looking at a traditional university, like Aberystwyth or Reading which do courses which look attractive before the RA College or Harper Adams. The entry requirements at the latter two are likely to be much below what she is predicted. Another university with a decent reputation for Agriculture related courses is Newcastle.
Above is a link to all course related to Agriculture at all UK universities on a government website which you can read through and find out things like entry requirements, employment statistics, student satisfaction etc.
You might also see if there is anything on www.thestudentroom.co.uk
Thank you very much for the information. She is very interested in the environment and farming generally. We have family with dairy herds (in Ireland) but other than that and the fact that we live next door to a farm, where she helps out, she has no direct experience.
She has some work experience booked (National Trust) and we are going to the RAC open day in June.
She is also interested in Aberystwyth, (and the environmental courses at Bangor) but don't think she has looked at Harper Adams or Reading.
Is competition for places ferocious? She is studying A level's in Chemistry, Environmental studies, English and Art, estimated grade A's.
My cousin went there and works for the NFU now. Quite a few people from my rural home area go. They are rural types, interested in the countryside and farming, but definitely not in the least posh. Farmers might have land but few make much money. It will still have some Cotswold wealthy types too.
There is also the Agriculture dept at Aberystwyth University, which is very good.
yep I've been although was about 10 years ago now (18 months Masters Land Management). I do still live fairly close. I am from a farming background but am in no way hooray henryish :-) Historically it was a bit (well very) like that (partly as students were pretty much all privately funded) and yes it will still carry that kind of perception, but has changed alot over the years and was in fact given university status this week. It is a great place and she would meet some great people (including some hooray henrys I will admit although some of them can be ok!).
Not sure what course your daughter is considering, but as they other further ed places, some are good for some things, are others for other courses. Do your research, but please do not discount the place because of its past reptutation as it has changed!