Accepting Postgraduate applications

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Accepting Postgraduate applications

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Postgraduate courses 2024/25

Development Studies - Research, MPhil/PhD

Our Natural Resource Institute (NRI) in Medway provides an ideal environment for innovative and original research in development studies.

Research in development studies gives you the opportunity to investigate key global social-scientific areas, such as sustainable development, economic growth and poverty reduction, primarily in developing countries.

The NRI has a rapidly growing programme of research at MPhil and PhD level on interdisciplinary topics relating to development in the South and in Europe. The Livelihoods and Institutions Department works on themes related to natural resources, environment and development, while the Food and Markets Department works on economics-based issues of development.

The institute provides a vibrant research environment in development studies. It hosts students from around the world with backgrounds in research, government and non-governmental organisations. We also encourage students to network with peers from other universities in the UK.

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Medway Campus


  • 3-4 years full-time
  • 4-7 years part-time

Start month

We accept applications all year-round.

Home/international fees 2024/25

£4,786 /£17,450

What you should know about this course

  • The normal route of entry is to register as an MPhil student and transfer to PhD after demonstrating sufficient progress. If you plan to follow this, you should apply for the MPhil/PhD programme.
  • Recent projects and current specialisms include marketing of agricultural commodities, impact of agricultural technologies, fostering farmers' innovation, rural financial and governance institutions, socio-ecological systems, and adaptation to climate change.

Our specialisms in development studies

Recent projects and current specialisms include marketing of agricultural commodities, impact of agricultural technologies, fostering farmers' innovation, rural financial and governance institutions, socio-ecological systems, and adapting to climate change.

What you will study

Your PhD will centre on a specific research area and topic. With guidance from your supervisory team, you will select areas to study that align with your project. You may also attend extra classes or participate in training events to support your research. This can include seminars and workshops provided by the Faculty and your Research Centre. In addition, you will be part of the Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme (PGRDP). The PGRDP offers both mandatory and elective sessions designed to assist research students in enhancing their skills.


Course information is currently unavailable for this programme. Please contact for more information.

About the course team

PhD supervisors in Development Studies are research-active staff in the Livelihoods and Institutions Department and the Food and Markets Department of the Natural Resources Institute. Their backgrounds are in social anthropology, sociology, development economics, agricultural economics and other related subjects, and all have first-hand experience of intensive research in developing countries. Where appropriate, research students can also receive co-supervision from NRI colleagues in the agricultural, food or environmental sciences.

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We are offering virtual events so that you can still experience how Greenwich could be the right university for you.

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Entry requirements

An undergraduate (honours) degree with minimum 2:1 (or equivalent), or a Master’s degree with minimum 60% overall (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline.

Applicants who don’t meet the above but have significant experience may be considered subject to the approval of the Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange and the Programme Leader.

For more information, contact or 020 8331 9000.

You can also read our admissions policy.

Further information about entry

  • Suitable applicants will be required to attend an interview.
  • Applicants will also be required to:
    • Provide a detailed research proposal of approx. 1,500 words (for scholarship applications, please see specific instructions in the advert and include the scholarship reference to the personal statement section).
    • Provide a Curriculum Vitae (CV).
    • Provide 2x academic or professional references.
  • Applicants are highly encouraged to identify and contact a potential MPhil/PhD supervisor. They will guide applicants through the application and help shape the research proposal. Where possible, include the name of the potential supervisor(s) contacted in research proposal and personal statement.

NRI Research Centres

Application process

Information on available University of Greenwich research studentship and scholarships

For more information, contact FES Research Office:

Available to overseas students?


Can I use Prior Learning?

Find out more on our Recognition of Prior Learning pages.

How you will learn


This course allows you to follow a structured route into scientific research. Research students are provided with a supervisory team to guide you through your research project. Your supervisors are usually research staff from within the faculty, although we may appoint from another department or from outside the university if suitable.

Class sizes

NRI provides research students with office space and a supportive and stimulating research environment in which to operate.

Independent learning

A research degree is a major piece of original work. Most of your study time will be spent working independently, with support from your supervisory team.

You will also engage in other research activity, such as participation at seminars, events and conferences, or working towards publications.

Overall workload

Sponsored full-time students must commit to working 40 hours a week; self-funded full-time students to 35 hours a week; and part-time students to 12 hours a week.


The MPhil/PhD Programme is assessed by a written thesis and a viva including an external examiner, an internal examiner and a panel chair. For PhD study, students usually register for MPhil and undergo an internal transfer review after one year of research to determine their readiness for full PhD registration.

Feedback summary

You receive regular feedback from your supervisory team, which meets formally every two weeks, but informally much more often. A faculty-level committee reviews your progress annually and helps to shape the direction of the project.

The oral examination (or viva) takes place a few weeks after the submission of the thesis and is assessed by an external researcher knowledgeable in the field of study.

Dates and timetables

Enrolment on the PhD/MPhil programme can take place at any time during the academic year.

Fees and funding

Your time at university should be enjoyable, rewarding, and free of unnecessary stress. Planning your finances before you come to university can help to reduce financial concerns. We can offer advice on living costs and budgeting, as well as on awards, allowances and loans.

Full time Part time Distance learning
Home £4,786 £2,393 per year N/A
International £17,450 £8,725 per year N/A

Accommodation costs

Whether you choose to live in halls of residence or rent privately, we can help you find what you're looking for. University accommodation is available from £126.35 per person per week (bills included), depending on your location and preferences. If you require more space or facilities, these options are available at a slightly higher cost.

Accommodation pages

Funding your study

There is a range of financial support options available to support your studies, including the Aspire@Greenwich award for study resources that many full-time students will receive.

EU students may be eligible for a bursary to support their study. View our EU bursary to find out more.

Discover more about grants, student loans, bursaries and scholarships. We also provide advice and support on budgeting, money management and financial hardship.

Financial support

Careers and placements

What sort of careers do graduates pursue?

Graduates from the MPhil and PhD programmes can pursue a wide range of career opportunities in industry, government and academia.

Do you provide employability services?

We have a team dedicated to enhancing student employment outcomes. Our Employer Partnerships Manager develops relationships with companies to provide employment opportunities.

Support and advice

Academic skills and study support

Your supervisory team is formed of at least two academic staff. They bring their academic expertise to the project and support you through the research project, literature review, identification of methodologies, fieldwork and writing-up. We have extensive experience of engaging with students who are carrying out fieldwork or spending prolonged periods in their home countries.

PhD students also complete a programme of tailored training, coaching and mentoring delivered by the university's Research and Enterprise Training Institute (RETI).

Support from the department

Research students in Development Studies are encouraged to take part in the activities of the student-run NRI Postgraduate Society, alongside your counterparts in the agricultural, food and environmental sciences.

Informal seminars allow Development Studies students to present research plans, findings and problems. We also encourage you to deliver your findings at external conferences and networking events, including events run by the Development Studies association.

NRI support staff are available to assist with research-related travel and practical issues around coming to the UK.

Accommodation information

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Apply now

If you are a UK student or have settled/pre-settled status (EU) and you want to study full-time then you apply through the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS).

If you are a UK student or have settled/pre-settled status (EU) and you want to study part-time then you can apply directly via our online application form.

If you are from outside the UK, you can apply via UCAS, directly via our online application form or via one of our in-country representatives. If you require a student visa, you cannot study part-time at undergraduate level.