MPhil and PhD supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to animal health and welfare, environmental impact of livestock systems, and safety and quality of livestock products.
The school of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has an internationally recognised centre of excellence in Animal Sciences, drawing on fundamental research and applying it to areas of societal, industrial and policy importance.
Our research primarily involves:
- farm livestock, domesticated animal and wildlife applied research
- integrated livestock system development and evaluation
- animal behaviour, health and welfare
- survival, health and efficiency of nutrient utilisation
Opportunities are available for postgraduate research in the following areas:
Animal health and welfare
Work ranges from understanding animal behaviour and behavioural problems, through development of practical on-farm monitoring and assessment methods to mechanistic studies of health and disease at the molecular level.
Environmental impact of livestock systems
Our work examines the consequences of modifications in nutrition and husbandry and alterations in breeding strategies to improve the efficiency of resource use.
Safety and quality of livestock products, including milk, meat and eggs
Our 'field to fork' expertise allows us to study the relationships between husbandry systems and nutritional inputs of animals and the composition of their products, with further implications for human diet and health.
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.
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.
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.