Our heritage

Our heritage The University of Nottingham has a long history of expertise in food and agricultural issues. The then University College, Nottingham first established a Department of Agriculture in 1893, and the Midland Dairy Institute was opened at Kingston-on-Soar in 1895. The two institutions merged in 1900 to form the Midland Dairy and Agricultural College, offering courses in theoretical and practical agriculture, dairying, horticulture and poultry.

Midland Dairy and Agricultural became the Faculty of Agriculture in 1947, and integrated into the newly formed University of Nottingham in 1948. As a result of the merger, the Midlands Agricultural and Dairy College campus became the Sutton Bonington Campus, which still includes the 445-hectare University Farm, the Centre for Dairy Science Innovation, animal small holdings, specialist glasshouses and a food processing facility. Reflecting the importance and tradition of food-related disciplines, the Sutton Bonington Campus continues to house both the School of Biosciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.

Over the past two decades, the University of Nottingham has continued to develop world-class facilities specialised in food systems, both in Nottingham and in our international campuses in Malaysia and China. In that time, the university has inaugurated the Nottingham Veterinary School, the first new vet school to open in the UK in 50 years (2006); the BBSRC/EPSRC Centre for Plant Integrative Biology (2007); the BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (2011); the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food (2013); the multidisciplinary 3D X-ray imaging research centre Hounsfield Facility (2014); the Nottingham BBSRC Wheat Research Centre (2016); the Centre for Dairy Science Innovation (2018); Future Food Malaysia (2019); the Centre for Smart Food Research at the University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus (2022) and the Ancient & Environmental DNA Laboratory (ÆDNA), a facility to analyse ancient and environmental DNA (2022).

Malcolm Bennett