Triangle

Research overview

Projects are varied in nature but targeted towards subject areas of industrial significance. The scope ranges from fundamental pioneering research, to applied projects targeted at brewing process improvements, increasing efficiency and sustainability, or the development of novel products and processes.

For the research component of this degree, you will be allocated a supervisor with the relevant expertise to support the project. Full provision will be made for laboratory training and acquisition of relevant techniques.

Key facts

  • Research projects are typically hosted within the purpose-built Brewing and Bioenergy Building which is equipped with two state of the art pilot scale breweries. You may view a video of the building facilities further down this page
  • The department collaborates widely across the University with disciplines allied to brewing: e.g. plant and crop sciences, food and nutrition sciences, microbiology, chemistry, physics and engineering disciplines. This broadens access to specialist facilities and expertise in support of a particular research topic
  • The UK Midlands region has strong historic links to brewing and our campus is situated just a short drive away from the famous brewing centre of Burton-upon-Trent

For the MRes, in addition to course fees, both full-time and part-time options typically require additional funding from industry or a similar source to allow for completion of the practical component of your research. Please provide details of industrial support or equivalent sponsorship, and a project proposal along with your application. The MRes includes study of 60 credits of modules from our postgraduate brewing programme which will help you develop a detailed knowledge of relevant areas of the brewing process.

Course content

A PhD is an independent in-depth research project. You will be able to develop additional skills through training programmes to help you complete your PhD. See the support section for more details.

In each year you will have a regular meetings with your supervisor and an annual review.

An MPhil is a shorter research degree. You will do a research project over one to two years. You'll have a supervisor to support you. An MPhil is assessed by a research thesis.

An MRes is a one-year course that includes an original independent research project worth 120 credits.

You’ll also study 60 credits of optional taught modules. You can choose from a selection of masters-level modules and transferable skills training.

This module considers water effluents, waste treatments and disposal and conversion of waste streams into valuable co-products. You will be introduced to scientific principles and relevance to industrial practice of:

  • Sources of water, forms of treatment and the characterization of waste water, Life Cycle Analysis principle and application
  • Carbon footprint
  • The disposal of brewery effluents
  • Biotechnology and bioconversions
  • Disposal and potential uses of spent grains
  • Disposal and potential uses of spent yeast
  • Reduction in energy consumption in the brewery and other topics related to maturation of beer as deemed.

This module covers the essential elements of packaging beers and other related alcoholic beverages. The module includes theoretical and legal aspects of packaging, alongside consideration of the design and operation of modern high speed packaging lines.

This module considers the occurrence, frequency and biology of non-brewing microorganisms that are associated with spoilage during the brewing process or the final product. The impact of microorganisms on process and beer will also be considered. You will be introduced to:

  • Spoilage microorganisms associated with the brewing process and final beer product
  • Sampling, detection and identification of brewery microorganisms
  • Disinfection of brewery yeast
  • Cleaning- in – place (CIP) operations
  • The principles and practice of brewery hygiene
  • HACCP

Development of the key chemical & physical properties of beer which determine its’ quality & the analytical techniques which are used to measure them. When & where in the process should measurements be taken using a Brewery Analysis Plan and how are these measurements integrated into the necessary Brewery Quality Systems?

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

QualificationPhD/MPhil/MRes
Degree

2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject or 2:2 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject with a Merit at masters. Other qualifications may also be accepted.

QualificationPhD/MPhil/MRes
Degree

2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject or 2:2 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject with a Merit at masters. Other qualifications may also be accepted.

International and EU equivalents

We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.

For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.

IELTS6.5 (6.0 in each element)
English language requirements

As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.

This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.

Meeting our English language requirements

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.

We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.

Applying

For all of our research degrees, the first step is to identify one or more supervisors you would like to work with.

To do this, look through our academic staff research interests. We strongly encourage contacting supervisors before making a formal application, to discuss potential research projects and to ensure the best application possible.

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.

How to apply

Fees

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in February 2022.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for 'home' fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books and journals you’ll need through our libraries.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Support

The school believes that formal training and guidance are critical components of the postgraduate experience, and have developed specific and generic training which are available for all postgraduates. The Researcher Academy runs a suite of bespoke training courses for postgraduate research students across the Faculty of Science that are focused on skills and career development. Individual training plans are monitored and developed as a part of students’ annual review process.

Project-related training is provided by the supervisors and other staff within the school. You will have frequent contact with your supervisor, often on a weekly or even daily basis, and there is a formal requirement for at least 10 recorded meetings per year.

Students' Union

Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • students who identify as women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

Play video

Where you will learn

Brewing Sciences

Main facilities include:

  • 10 hL pilot scale brewery micromalting facilities
  • 35 L Briggs brewhouse for experimental wort production
  • 9 x 10 L fermentation vessels (computer controlled with online monitoring of fermentation parameters)
  • Experimental beer dispense rig, extensive brewing research laboratories and analytical facilities
  • Outstanding flavour research laboratories and sensory science centre with specialist ‘beer panel’

Careers

Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

88.5% of postgraduates from the School of Biosciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £28,711.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

david cook
My expertise is in malting science and technology, and flavour development and stability. I look at the sensory impacts of raw materials and process on the finished beer quality. I lead a team of researchers working on these areas. I sit on the board of examiners for the Institute of Brewing & Distilling and am a member of the European Brewing Science Group. We advise the Brewers of Europe on scientific aspects of importance to the industry.
Professor David Cook, School of Biosciences

Related courses

Research Excellence Framework

We are ranked 8th in the UK for research power (2014). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in universities.

  • Our research environment was awarded 100% for agriculture, veterinary and food science
  • The school is ranked the number 2 research environment in the UK for agriculture, veterinary and food science
  • 97% of our work in the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science was judged to be of international quality
  • More than 97% of research at Nottingham is recognised internationally
  • More than 80% of our research is ranked in the highest categories as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 16 of our 29 subject areas feature in the UK top 10 by research power

This content was last updated on 15 July 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.