Agricultural Science and Technology

Key Information


MPhil: 1.5-3 years, PhD: 2-4 years


MPhil: 2-4 years, PhD: 3-8 years

Entry Requirements

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Start Dates in October and January

Programme Overview

Lincoln's MPhil/PhD in Agricultural Science and Technology offers prospective students advanced research opportunities in transdisciplinary research combining studies on agriculture, people, and technology. The programme brings together the opportunity to study scientific, technological, and social innovations and how they can be developed, applied and reimagined to address global agricultural challenges at local or international scales.

This personal development opportunity provides a comprehensive mixture of both theory, knowledge and skill development. Depending on the research areas of focus this could include, but is not limited to, crop phenotyping, precision agriculture, agri-robotics, applications of AI across the food production system, regenerative agriculture, weed science, soil and water, natural resource management, sustainable agroforestry systems, controlled environment agriculture, food systems, governance, and socio-political aspects of resilient, sustainable agriculture, and wider food production.

Graduates from this programme are well placed to embark on diverse career paths in either academia, research organisations, the agri-food industry, technology providers and start-ups, non-governmental organisations in food systems, land use and conservation, government departments, and the private sector in plant breeding and food production industries, to name a few. This programme offers the opportunity for a personal learning journey to develop the knowledge, skills and critical mindset needed for taking a leading role in a thriving agriculture and food sector now, and in the future.

Key Features

Conduct independent, original, and academically significant research

Benefit from training courses to develop key research skills

Supervision and support from academic staff

Present at talks and seminars to showcase your work

Enrol in January or October each year

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How You Study

Over the course of your PhD, you will be expected to complete an original piece of research that makes a substantial contribution to the existing scholarship on and knowledge of the subject under scrutiny. You will be guided throughout this process by a team of well-published supervisors, from whom you will receive feedback and advice. Your PhD project might cross disciplinary boundaries and focus on multiple subject areas. In such cases, we will support you by allocating supervisors in relevant fields.

Students are required to produce appropriate written work which will be submitted to their supervisors for feedback and to agree on the next stage of work. Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, a significant amount of time will be spent on independent study and research. Students will meet regularly with their academic supervisor(s), but the regularity of these meetings will vary depending on individual requirements, subject area, and the stage of the programme.

The Queens Anniversary Prize logo


The Queen's Anniversary Prize

In November 2023, the University was one of just 22 institutions to be awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize. This award recognises the excellent work of the University's Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology in supporting the success and sustainability of the UK's food and farming industries.

Why Lincoln?

The Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology (LIAT) is a leading UK research organisation recognised for its world-leading multi-disciplinary research and collaboration with key academic and industrial partners in the agricultural sector – the largest industry in Lincolnshire.

The rapid growth of the institute benefits from strategic UK government funding granted to establish Lincoln as the national centre for excellence in agri-food technology. This includes significant grants from Research England to fund the Lincoln Agri-robotics Centre and from EPSRC for the Centre of Doctoral Training in Agri-food Robotics. LIAT has a growing reputation in crop and soil science research with access to an excellent 400 ha research farm at the Riseholme campus constituting arable, livestock, woodland and watercourses.

The team is actively working towards net-zero agriculture, and reducing chemical inputs in farming through precision agriculture and non-chemical weed control. Crop phenotyping, soil and irrigation management, and selective harvesting of strawberries are just some of the examples demonstrating the LIAT’s offering of practical sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions for improving farming practices.

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What Does This Programme Offer?

This programme offers an opportunity to gain a PhD in a multidisciplinary setting, combining the strength of agricultural science with technology in particular social contexts. Whether a student wants to study solely agricultural topics in crops, soils, water, or ecology or have these areas combined with technology namely remote sensing, computer vision, or precision agriculture.

The programme offers opportunities to develop skills and knowledge to tackle the problems facing agriculture today. This programme also integrates a social dimension to technology, to enhance technology design, development and deployment and increase its impact.

LIAT has a strong focus on industry-relevant research and education, delivering agronomy training (BASIS) to the agri-food sector, and hosting regular industry events such as Breakfast Briefings, with many of our research projects including industry partners. This provides students with an excellent opportunity to engage with key stakeholders in the agri-food sector.

As part of your application for the programme, please provide a short summary of your research background and interests, and an overview of your proposed research and possible research directions.

How you are assessed

A PhD is usually awarded based on the quality and originality of a student's thesis and their ability to present and successfully defend the chosen research topic in an oral examination (viva voce). Students are also expected to demonstrate how their research findings have contributed to knowledge in the subject area or developed existing theory or understanding.


To support your experience within the postgraduate research community, new students are encouraged to enrol in October or January. In addition to meeting peers across the University who are starting their research programme at the same time, there is access to a central training programme designed around the first three months of study, and targeted support aligned to each stage of the postgraduate research journey. Alternative enrolment dates may be agreed with your supervisor on an individual basis.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Research Application Support

Find out more about the application process for research degrees and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page, which also features contact details for dedicated support with your application.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

Students should possess at least a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject such as Crop and Plant Sciences, Agricultural Technology, Horticulture, Agriculture, or Ecology. We will also consider students from other disciplines such as socio-economics sciences discussing technology and others, where they can demonstrate relevant skills and genuine interest.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages: for information on equivalent qualifications

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page:

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Programme Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below. Research students may be required to pay additional fees in addition to cover the cost of specialist resources, equipment and access to any specialist collections that may be required to support their research project. These will be informed by your research proposal and will be calculated on an individual basis.

Programme Fees

Funding Your Research

Loans and Studentships

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate research, from Master's and Doctoral Loans, to research studentship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

A doctoral qualification can be the capstone of academic achievement and often marks the beginning of a career in academia or research. A research programme provides the opportunity to become a true expert in your chosen field, while developing a range of valuable transferable skills that can support your career progression. A research-based degree is also the most direct pathway to an academic career. PhDs and research degrees are a great chance to expand your network and meet diverse people with similar interests, knowledge, and passion.

The University’s Doctoral School provides a focal point for Lincoln’s community of researchers, where ideas and experiences can be developed and shared across disciplines. It also offers support and training to help equip you for both academic and non-academic careers.

Doctoral School

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact:

Dr Grzegorz Cielniak

Research at Lincoln

Through our research, we are striving to change society for the better. Working with regional, national, and international partners, our academics are engaged in groundbreaking studies that are challenging the status quo. We also understand the importance of providing the best possible environment for pursuing research that can support our communities and make a tangible difference to the world around us.

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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.