Research course

Development Studies

University of Greenwich · Natural Resources Institute

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 only registered 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 who are not citizens of majority English-speaking countries must have an IELTS score of 6.5 or above or an equivalent rating in another recognised language testing system. • Each case is considered on its own merits, so these requirements should only be used as a guide.

Months of entry


Course content

The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) is a specialised multidisciplinary organisation within the University of Greenwich providing research and consultancy in support of sustainable development, economic growth and poverty reduction, principally, but not solely, in the natural resources sector. NRI 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.

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 and 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 scientific 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 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.
  • To strengthen the research capacity of students from a variety of intellectual and professional backgrounds.

Qualification and course duration


full time
18-36 months
part time
30-48 months


full time
33-60 months
part time
45-72 months

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
020 8331 9000
020 8331 8145