Newcastle University

Degree level: Postgraduate

Agriculture (Research)

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Course summary

MPhil and PhD supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to crop science, soil science, ecological (organic) agriculture, and agricultural water management. CROP SCIENCE: Genes and physiological traits, such as: resistance to crop pests and diseases; molecular-assisted selection and breeding methods; plant environment interactions and their relationships to stress biology; physiological basis of crop yield and quality; biotransformation of synthetic compounds and natural products in plants; herbicide selectivity in cereals and competing weeds. SOIL SCIENCE: soil ecology and the contribution of soil biodiversity to soil quality; soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics; interpretation of soil and landscape processes to improve understanding of recent and historical environmental change; land degradation processes and their control. ECOLOGICAL (ORGANIC) AGRICULTURE: functional biodiversity for control of pest, disease and weed pressure; long term factorial systems comparison experiments for in depth study of different aspects of conventional and organic farming systems. AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT: irrigated agriculture; interactions between land-use and hydrological response in a semi-arid environment; soil hydrological processes affecting management of salinity in irrigated land. DELIVERY: We offer a number of different routes to a research degree qualification, including full-time and part-time supervised research projects. We attract postgraduates via non-traditional routes, including mature students and part-time postgraduates undertaking study as part of their continuing professional development. Off-campus (split) research is also offered, which enables you to conduct trials in conditions appropriate to your research programme. FACILITIES - FARMS: Our multi-purpose farms provide demonstration facilities for teaching purposes, land-based research facilities (especially in the area of organic production) and they are viable farming businesses. Cockle Park Farm is a 262ha mixed farm facility that includes the Palace Leas Plots hay meadow experiment and an anaerobic digestion plant that will generate heat, electricity and digestate - an organic fertiliser - from pig and cattle manure. Nafferton Farm is a 300ha farm with two main farm units covering conventional and organic farming systems. The two systems are primarily focussed upon dairying and arable cropping. Both also operate beef production enterprises as a by-product of their dairy enterprises, although the organic system is unique in maintaining a small-scale potato and vegetable production enterprise. LABORATORIES: Our modern laboratories provide important teaching and research environments and are equipped with analytical equipment such as HPLCs, GCs, CNS analyser, centrifuges, spectrophotometers and molecular biology equipment. Our specialist research facilities include: tissue culture laboratory; plant growth rooms; class II laboratory for safe handling of human biological samples; taste panel facilities and test kitchen; thin section facility for soils analysis. We operate closely with other schools, institutes and the University's Central Scientific Facilities for access to more specialist analytical services. For work with human subjects we use a purpose built Clinical Research Facility which is situated in the Royal Victoria Infirmary teaching hospital and is managed jointly by us and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Course details


Entry requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant subject. We usually expect research experience and/or a postgraduate qualification, such as a MRes or MSc, for PhD study. Please contact us if you are in any doubt. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: To study this course you need to meet our Band 2 English Language requirements: Direct Entry : IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills). If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests. The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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Additional fee information

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Agriculture at Newcastle University - UCAS