Biosciences research opportunities


Key facts

  • The School of Biosciences is one of the strongest teaching and research centres for fundamental and applied biological and food science in the UK.
  • Number 1 research environment in the UK for agriculture, veterinary and food science (Research Excellence Framework 2014)
  • 97% of our work (in the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science) was judged to be of international quality (Research Excellence Framework 2014)

Teaching and research

The school has consistently achieved high ratings in independent assessments of teaching and research.

The majority of our staff are involved in research, much of which is of a national and international level standing.

Our aim is excellence in teaching and research to sustain a healthy supply of food. We study:

  • fundamental and applied animal and plant science
  • agricultural production
  • economic and environmental sustainability
  • food manufacturing, processing and consumption
  • the interaction between food, animal and human health
  • food safety
  • biotechnological processing of farm products

Our programmes

The school offers research degrees with the awards of MPhil, PhD, Integrated PhD and MRes.

The normal duration of these awards is:

  • PhD 36 or 48 months
  • MPhil 24 months
  • MRes 12 months (part-time options may be available).

MRes Biosciences is available as a stand-alone degree or can be taken following these pathways:

  • applied bioinformatics
  • agricultural systems and management
  • animal sciences
  • crop science
  • dietetics
  • food sciences
  • microbiology

Please state which pathway you would like to follow in the personal statement section of your application. 

We also offer subject specific MRes degrees with a taught element: 

  • advanced genomic and proteomic sciences
  • industrial physical biochemistry
  • sensory science
  • food science and engineering
  • brewing science

Read more.

Some of programmes offer the opportunity to study at the University's Malaysia Campus.

Research groups

Agricultural and environmental sciences

Agricultural and environmental sciences encompasses a broad range of interests including fundamental studies of ecosystem processes such as microbiology, soil science and geochemistry and environmental processes related to soil, air and water pollution.

Our agricultural research focuses on improving agricultural production systems, enhancing agricultural sustainability and addressing issues of food security whilst protecting the environment. 

Read more

Animal sciences

We have an international reputation for research in animal development, reproduction and biotechnology. We are world research leaders in epigenetics in the study of animals as models for human disease, reproduction, development and nutrition.

Neurosciences is another of our core activities with a particular focus on the mechanisms that underpin chronic pain.

Our expertise in dietary effects on animal product quality (meat, milk and oocytes) is recognised globally. The Centre for Applied Bioethics is one of the few UK Research Units focusing on animal and food ethics.

Read more

Food sciences

Our research encompasses all levels of food and beverage production contributing to understanding and controlling quality and safety, starting with raw materials though processing to consumer preference and subsequent effects on the body. We have established industry links with large multinationals and small local manufacturers. We are internationally renowned for research on the fundamental understanding of food structure and flavour delivery and its perception. Major research interests are: flavour science; food microbiology and safety; food structure; bioenergy. The group hosts the (BBSRC) National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics.

The  brewing science group is a centre of excellence for brewing technologies and research, delivering education, qualifications and consultancy.

Read more

Nutritional sciences

Nutritional Sciences is internationally renowned for research on diet and health, metabolism ageing and disease and global food security. Our core research themes are: developmental origins of disease, food allergy, prevention or utilization of food waste and efficient meat production. External collaboration with academic institutes and industrial partners promotes knowledge transfer and use of our research in clinical or commercial environments.

Our research comprises a multidisciplinary team with skills in modern molecular techniques, biochemistry, physiology, dietetics and health psychology.

Read more

Plant and crop sciences

Plant and Crop Sciences is internationally acclaimed as a centre for fundamental and applied research underpinning our understanding of agriculture, food production and quality, and the natural environment.

Our research is centred on important crop plants including wheat, rice, brassicas and tomato. In addition, fundamental research on developmental processes uses the model plant Arabidopsis.

Plant and Crop Sciences hosts the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre (NASC) and plays a major part in the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology (CPIB).

We also have close research and teaching links with colleagues in the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham's campus in Malaysia.

Read more

Our facilities

The school benefits from state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities dedicated to the study of biosciences, including:

  • purpose-built plant, food science and bio-energy buildings
  • specialised laboratories
  • 24-hour learning resource centre
  • University farm and dairy centre.

Sutton Bonington Campus

The school is based on the Sutton Bonington Campus, a self-contained site only 20km south of Nottingham with its own accommodation, sports centre, social amenities and state-of the art teaching and research facilities. 

Students also have access to all facilities within the University of Nottingham. The campus is also the location of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. Altogether there are some 2,000 students on campus, undergraduate and postgraduate, from over 30 countries. Environmental Science students are based at University Park Campus. Sutton Bonington is an easy bus or car journey to University Park Campus and then to Nottingham City, with free bus service connections between campuses. Two other major UK cities, Derby and Leicester are nearby. East Midlands International Airport is 7km away, plus there are fast rail links to London close by.

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
f: +44 (0) 115 951 5812
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry