Agricultural and Food Sciences - Research, MPhil/PhD

Agricultural and Food Sciences - Research, MPhil/PhD

The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) is a specialised multidisciplinary research organisation within the University of Greenwich. The Institute received the Queen's Anniversary Prize for its research activities on food security in the developing world. Much of NRI's research work is concerned with natural resources, agriculture and social development in developing countries, although it has an expanding portfolio of activities in Europe and other industrialised countries.

NRI provides a thriving environment for MPhil and PhD students working in agricultural and food sciences. Each of NRI's departments has a strong portfolio of research activities, of which students form an important and integral part.

The Agriculture, Health & Environment Department works on the worldwide development of appropriate cost-effective and sustainable approaches to controlling pests, diseases and weeds that affect crop production. Use of biocontrol and control methods involving no (or very low) conventional pesticides are increasing in importance in our work, especially for export crops.

The Department also has researchers who share a common interest in the many species of insects, ticks and rodents that cause injury to their hosts and transmit diseases to both humans and animals. Research is undertaken in the UK, using NRI's state-of-the-art laboratories, insectaries and glasshouses, and also overseas. Particularly strong areas of research include the epidemiology of insect-borne virus diseases, molecular diagnostics, pest and disease modelling, aerobiology and biometeorology, migrant pests, medical and veterinary entomology and integrated pest management.

The Food and Markets Department works on commodity management and food safety of cereals, grains, root crops, perishables and other crops. The Department works with all aspects of the operations of the food industry, including, for example, storage, post-harvest technology, quality analysis and management, compliance with food standards, food processing and value addition, value chains, private and public sector standards and market development. NRI's work provides many opportunities for postgraduates to be involved in multidisciplinary projects.

We offer full-time or part-time attendance, with students based on our campus or in their home countries, or some combination.


Medway Campus


1½-3 years full-time
2½-4 years part-time

PhD (including MPhil registration period)
2¾-5 years full-time
3¾-6 years part-time

Entry requirements

Applicants should have:

For PhD:

A Master's degree by research in a relevant field

Registration for MPhil with the possibility of transfer to PhD:

A first or second-class honours degree or equivalent or a Master's degree

Students who are registered only for the MPhil may apply for transfer to PhD on submission of a full progress report at a specified point in the programme.

For MPhil:

A first or second-class honours degree or equivalent.

* Each case is considered on its own merits, so these requirements should be used only as a guide.

* Students whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score of 6.5 or above or an equivalent rating in another recognised language testing system.


Students are assessed through their thesis and oral examination.

Career options

Postgraduate research students from NRI have a good record of finding employment within their specific technical discipline or in the field of international development.


Recent research project topics include:

  • The impact of host plants on the efficacy of nucleopolyhedrovirus as a biopesticide
  • Reasons for multiple loans in microfinance and their effect on the repayment performance
  • Evaluating the impact of climate change on postharvest quality of perishables
  • Laboratory based investigation of the sensory cues used by vector mosquitoes to locate host animals
  • Dormancy and sprout control in root and tuber crops
  • Investigations into the oviposition behaviour of Anopheles gambiae

Your time at university should be enjoyable and rewarding, and it is important that it is not spoilt by unnecessary financial worries. We recommend that you spend time planning your finances, both before coming to university and while you are here. We can offer advice on living costs and budgeting, as well as on awards, allowances and loans.

Find out more about our fees and the support available to you at our: