Development Studies - Research, MPhil/PhD Postgraduate prospectus

The Natural Resource Institute provides an environment for innovative, intellectual and significant research for Development Studies - Research, MPhil/PhD.

View full entry requirements



1.5-3 years full time

2.5-4 years part time



The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) is a specialised multidisciplinary organisation within the University of Greenwich. The NRI provides research and consultancy in support of sustainable development, economic growth and poverty reduction, principally, but not solely, in the natural resources sector. It has a rapidly growing programme of research at MPhil and PhD level on social-scientific and interdisciplinary topics relating to development in the South and in Europe.

The institute provides a vibrant research environment for MPhil and PhD students in development studies with students from a number of countries and a variety of backgrounds in research, government and non-governmental organisations. Students are also actively encouraged to network with peers from other universities in the UK.

Research specialisms

The Livelihoods and Institutions Department works on a number of themes related to natural resources, environment and development. Particular interests include:

  • Participatory and client-oriented methods of agricultural research and their institutionalisation
  • Agricultural service delivery
  • Performance and impact assessment methodologies
  • Community based natural resource management
  • Land tenure
  • Urban agriculture and rural-urban linkages
  • Pastoralism
  • Vulnerability to disasters
  • Climate change.

The Food and Markets Department works on many economics-based development issues. Important themes include the performance of agricultural markets, value chains, international standards and agricultural trade, micro-finance, enterprise development and poverty reduction, ethical trade and corporate social responsibility.


We welcome applications from potential students from either a social or natural science background. We can offer full-time or part-time registration, with students based on our campus in Medway or in their home countries, or some combination of the two.

Recent research projects

Recent research project topics include:

  • Forbidden (sacred) lakes and conservation: the role of indigenous beliefs in the management of wetland resources in the Niger Delta, Nigeria
  • Farmer organisations and their impacts for pro-poor growth among smallholder farmers in Malawi
  • Understanding the influence of livelihood features on cassava value chains
  • Rural territorial dynamics in North East Brazil: the Jiquiriçá Valley in Bahia
  • Pro-poor market-based approaches for economic recovery in post-conflict countries: the case of Liberia
  • Cross-borrowing and its impact on microentrepreneurs' repayment performance and well-being in Peru.


The aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide an environment for innovative, intellectually rigorous and developmentally significant research, primarily on developing countries
  • Strengthen the research capacity of students from a variety of intellectual and professional backgrounds.

What you'll study

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:

You should have a first- or second-class honours degree or equivalent.

Students educated in a language other than English should have an IELTS score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill) or equivalent.*

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

Extra information


Students are assessed through their thesis and oral examination.


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

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

Fees and finance

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:

Come and get a feel for what learning and life is like with us.

Next Open Day

Open Day dates

Apply now and begin your journey.

How to apply

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Medway Campus

A recently modernised, splendid Edwardian redbrick and ivy-clad campus based at Chatham Maritime, Kent.

Chatham Station (approx. 5 min by bus)

Gillingham Station (approx. 20 min walk / 10 min by bus)

Parking on-campus for permit holders with option to pay-as-you-go.

Campus bus service between campuses.

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