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The outstanding quality of our research is internationally recognised, making Reading one of the most highly regarded food and nutrition institutions in the world.

We offer flexible modes of study designed to fit with your needs. Our PhD programmes are available for study on a full-time basis over three years and part-time over four to six years. Both full-time and part-time variants are available for study in Reading, or at a distance for students who live outside the UK.

"As part of my PhD, I have been able to get involved in teaching and demonstrating as well as mentoring undergraduate and master's students, which I have found very rewarding."

Ruth Barnes

Read more about Ruth's story

PhD community

Join our vibrant PhD community and break new ground in food and nutritional sciences. The Department has enjoyed pass rates of 97-100% since 1998. Students are mentored by and work with recognised world leaders in the field to tackle issues underpinning the quality, safety and healthfulness of food and our diet.

"PhD students have led me into new areas. They're the people that are doing the research. They're actually on the ground carrying it out."

Professor Jeremy Spencer

Read Jeremy's story

PhD programmes in Food and Nutritional Sciences

We offer PhD programmes in the following areas:

  • food and nutritional sciences
  • food, nutrition and health
  • gut immunity.


Our programmes offer the opportunity to carry out multidisciplinary research that tackles wide-ranging questions, from understanding the factors that influence the development of food flavour, through to the gene-specific impact of personalised nutrition on health. PhDs are usually studied on a full-time basis, but we can offer some part-time opportunities or the ability to pursue your PhD while working away.

If you are interested in the science of flavour, Giract offers an exciting Flavor Research Programme for students in the first or final year of their flavour-related PhD.

"It was a real eye-opener; there's so much going on behind the scenes in many companies and flavour industries that most people never get to hear about. There were some very interesting and exciting presentations, and it was inspiring to meet other people working in the flavour industry."

Luke Bell, Winner of Best PhD Thesis in Flavour at Giract and University of Reading Lecturer

Read Luke's story

Learn more about the Giract Flavor Research Programme