Brewing Science PhD/MPhil/MRes

Qualification name
The University of Nottingham is a centre of excellence for brewing technologies and research, based within the Division of Food Sciences.

Fact file

PhD/MPhil/MRes Brewing Science
PhD: 3–4 years full-time, MPhil: 2 years full-time, MRes: 1 year full-time; part-time options available
Entry requirements
PhD/MPhil/MRes: 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
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Please contact the school
Sutton Bonington Campus
Other requirements



Our research

The University of Nottingham is a centre of excellence for brewing technologies and research, based within the Division of Food Sciences.

Our scientists work with the brewing industry to meet the challenges of the 21st century, improving process and product quality; researching novel process developments targeted towards increased sustainability, efficient resource usage and minimising waste or effluents.

The approach is truly multi-disciplinary, providing new solutions by bringing together expertise in crop science, malting, brewing, sensory science, engineering, novel materials and environmental science. Themes of research within the group include:

  • development of high/ very high gravity fermentations
  • beer sensory quality and flavour stability
  • yeast stress and fermentation performance
  • malting process development and malting quality aspects of barley and cereal adjuncts
  • use of brewery waste and lignocellulosic materials for bioethanol production 
  • impacts of mixing on fermentation performance at industrial scale
  • increased malting and brewing process efficiency through reduction of energy and water inputs
  • beer dispense quality


Research projects are typically hosted within the purpose-built Brewing and Bioenergy Building which was opened in 2011 and features modern state-of-the-art equipment. The main facilities relevant to core research interests of the group include:

  • 10 hL pilot scale brewery
  • micromalting facilities
  • 35 L Briggs brewhouse for experimental wort production
  • 9 x 10 L fermentation vessels (state of the art research tools; 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’
  • University Farm, extensive glasshouse and growth room facilities in plant and crop sciences
  • State of the art genomic and proteomic facilities

In a broader research context, Sutton Bonington Campus is well equipped for research ranging from genomics, proteomics and metabolomics to field scale trials to study environmental factors on the growth of crop plants. There is an automatic weather station, field sites for micrometeorology and laboratories with facilities for gas chromatography, atomic absorption analysis, and a major suite for flavour chemistry.

There are extensive growth room and glass house facilities that provide a range of controlled environments to study crop growth and development and the production and analysis of transgenic plants. The campus also houses the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre (the European Centre for Arabidopsis genetic resources).

The Tropical Crops Research Unit has a suite of controlled-environment glasshouses in which conditions such as temperature, atmospheric moisture and carbon dioxide concentration can be controlled by a central computer whilst crop stands are able to grow in a natural soil. An arboretum, consisting of about 1.5 hectares and containing over 300 trees and shrubs, many of which are unusual species, provides both an amenity and a scientific and educational resource. 

There are modern, well equipped laboratories containing a wide range of analytical equipment, stable isotope mass spectrometers, radioisotope suites, tissue culture rooms, and molecular biology equipment. Research in biotechnology is supported by a capillary DNA sequencer and genomics, and proteomics equipment, for plant, animal and microbial investigations. 

The Food Sciences Building contains modern equipment for the physio-chemical analysis of food and food structure, including mass spectrometry, high speed preparative and analytical ultra centrifuges, instruments for studying X-ray and light scattering, NMR and an extensive array of rheological techniques.

The food microbiology laboratories are fully equipped to carry out modern molecular and microbial techniques and include proteomic equipment and an ACGM Category 3 laboratory available to the school for genetic manipulation work. Specialised imaging equipment, including a photon video imaging system, is used in the development of novel approaches to microbiological research. Investigation of fundamental principles of food structure, flavour chemistry and safety has resulted in major links with industrial partners. The National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics, contains some of the best facilities for analytical ultracentrifugation in Europe.

Sutton Bonington Campus has its own hall of residence, sports centre and social amenities, student guild and wide range of clubs and societies. The campus benefits from state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities dedicated to the study of biosciences, including purpose-built plant and food science buildings; many specialised laboratories; a 24-hour learning resource centre; university farm and a new dairy centre.


Research support

The school believes that formal training and guidance are critical components of the postgraduate experience and have developed procedures to ensure that both specific and generic training are available and that Postgraduates avail themselves of these opportunities. Specific (project-related) training is provided by the supervisors and other staff within the school. Students can expect to have frequent contact with their supervisors, often on a weekly or even daily basis, and there is a formal requirement for at least 10 recorded meeting per year.

The Graduate School has prime responsibility for the delivery of the generic skills training and has a dedicated training team who provide a comprehensive generic research training programme comprising over 80 different courses. These courses include IT training, presentation skills, intellectual property rights, business studies, career management, research skills and techniques, the research environment and management and courses for students involved in teaching and demonstrating. Courses for students in their final year include writing their thesis and preparing for the viva and CV writing and interview skills.

These courses are all designed to enhance the professional and personal skills of the student. Students select which courses to incorporate into their training plans following discussion of their training needs with relevant staff.The Graduate School operates from the main campus of the University, in a dedicated and well equipped centre or ‘hub’ to provide central coordination, communication and leadership of postgraduate training. However, there is a dedicated postgraduate centre on the Sutton Bonington campus, where the School of Bioscience is located.

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond. The Students' Union are a particularly important source of support.


Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Details of research supervisors at the University can be found on our research A to Z.

Fees and funding

Fully funded MRes and PhD projects in Brewing Science will always be advertised on the School web pages, as well as Typically such research work is funded by the brewing or allied industries, the research councils, the European Commission, UK charities and government agencies. Students proposing their own PhD or MRes projects need to identify a potential funding source, write a research proposal and approach a prospective academic supervisor in the department, who will advise on the novelty, relevance and interest in the proposed research topic as well as next steps towards securing an offer of a place and the required funding. 

Further to the above, a number of competitive funding schemes are available to support innovative postgraduate research:

UK/EU students

The University Graduate School operates two schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research, these are, the Graduate School Travel Prize and Universitas 21 funding. The Graduate School also holds a list of other sources of funding. Studentship opportunities are also available.

International students

International Students (outside the European Union) are advised to apply early (October – February) in the academic year to ensure consideration for available scholarships (ORS, International Office). However, as competition for international scholarships is very fierce students are advised also to seek out scholarship opportunities from within their own countries, or agencies such as the World Bank, British Council or ACU. Please see the International Office website for postgraduate funding opportunities for international applicants.

International Students should contact their nearest British Council Office or embassy for advice on financial assistance.DFID Awards are available for international applicants from developing countries. See the Association of Commonwealth Universities web pages International applicants for information on DFID awards.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of research scholarships for outstanding international and EU students.Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your research course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 100% of postgraduates in the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £28,000 with the highest being £65,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers** and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

** The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.


Related courses and downloads


Get in touch

 +44 (0)115 951 6015

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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