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: for example 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 20 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 160 credits.

You’ll also study 20 credits of optional taught modules.

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 2023 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.

Visa restrictions

International students must have valid UK immigration permissions for any courses or study period where teaching takes place in the UK. Student route visas can be issued for eligible students studying full-time courses. The University of Nottingham does not sponsor a student visa for students studying part-time courses. The Standard Visitor visa route is not appropriate in all cases. Please contact the university’s Visa and Immigration team if you need advice about your visa options.

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

QualificationPhDMRes/MPhil
Home / UK£4,850£4,850
International£28,700 for low-cost projects, £34,000 for high-cost lab-based, £39,000 for technically intensive or specialised projects with high consumable costs, or £50,000 for exceptional technically intensive or specialised projects with high consumable costs. An assessment will be made on receipt of your project proposal and confirmed in your offer letter. For details, contact biosciences-research@nottingham.ac.uk.£28,700 or £34,000 depending on the nature of your project. An assessment will be made on receipt of your project proposal and confirmed in your offer letter. For details, contact biosciences-research@nottingham.ac.uk.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

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

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

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.

Researcher training and development

The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.

Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.

Graduate centres

Our graduate centres are dedicated community spaces on campus for postgraduates.

Each space has areas for:

  • studying
  • socialising
  • computer work
  • seminars
  • kitchen facilities

Student support

You will have access to a range of support services, including:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • faith support
  • financial support
  • mental health and wellbeing support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

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.

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 7th in the UK for research power (2021), according to analysis by Times Higher Education. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

  • 90%* of our research is classed as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*)
  • 100%* of our research is recognised internationally
  • 51% of our research is assessed as 'world-leading' (4*) for its impact**

*According to analysis by Times Higher Education ** According to our own analysis.

This content was last updated on 04 November 2022. 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.