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Research overview

The production of food and other land-based goods is achieved through agricultural systems.

There is increasing need for more sustainable agricultural systems. This is to help tackle challenges such as biodiversity protection, environmental damage, animal welfare, livestock diseases, climate change and changes to agricultural policy under Brexit.

Using management science, modelling, statistical and survey-based approaches, we aim to:

  • improve our knowledge of how agricultural systems work
  • understand and predict the impact of change on these systems .

Statistical models have been used to measure the productivity and economic efficiency of agricultural systems. There is an emphasis on reducing waste through improved use of agricultural resources and management. 

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 usually a one-year course that includes an original research project worth 120 credits.

You’ll then study 60 credits of optional taught modules. You can choose from a selection of masters-level 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 2021 entry.

QualificationPhD/MPhil/MRes
Undergraduate 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 level; other qualifications may also be accepted.

QualificationPhD/MPhil/MRes
Undergraduate 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 level; 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.

English language support

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

For presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations.

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.

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

QualificationPhD / MPhilMRes
Home / UK£4,496 (estimate) per year£4,496 per year
InternationalYou will pay either £26,500 or £31,500 per year, depending on the nature of your project. We will assess the appropriate fee amount on receipt of your project proposal, and confirm it in your offer letter. Please contact the school for advice on the fee applicable to your area of research at biosciences-research@nottingham.ac.uk.You will pay either £26,500 or £31,500 per year, depending on the nature of your project. We will assess the appropriate fee amount on receipt of your project proposal, and confirm it in your offer letter. Please contact the school for advice on the fee applicable to your area of research at biosciences-research@nottingham.ac.uk.

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. The figures shown above match the limit for 2020 entry. We expect fees for 2021 entry to be confirmed in February 2021.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who 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 Brexit information for future students.

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.

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding your postgraduate degree.

Research 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.

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.

Teaching is typically delivered by professors, associate and assistant professors. Some practical laboratory sessions and research projects may be supported by postdoctoral research fellows.

Where you will learn

Agricultural Systems Management

Our range of facilities include:

  • Centre for Dairy Science Innovation (CDSI)
  • The University Farm
  • The Tropical Crops Research Unit has a suite of controlled-environment glasshouse
  • The Food Sciences Building contains modern equipment for the physio-chemical analysis of food and food structure
  • The Food Microbiology laboratories, equipped to carry out modern microbial techniques
  • Some of the best facilities for analytical ultracentrifugation in Europe

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.

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.

simon langley-evans crop
My primary research expertise is the area of the developmental origins of adult disease. I work on the development of experimental models of nutritional programming. My interests cover all areas of maternal and infant nutrition and health. I am currently involved in projects which aim to optimise infant growth and development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Professor Simon Langley-Evans, Head of School

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.

  • The school is ranked the number 1 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 28 October 2020. 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.