Study at City
  1. Courses
  2. Applying
  3. Fees and funding
  4. Living in London
  5. Visit us & online events
  6. Student support
  7. International students
  8. Order a prospectus
  9. Ask a student
  1. Research degrees
Study at City

PhD / MPhil Food Policy

The MPhil/PhD in Food Policy at City, University of London's Centre for Food Policy provides an advanced route into academic work in food policy. It looks at the role of food in society and its impact on health, environment, social justice and economy.

Key information

Start date

Admissions take place in September each year.


Full-time: 2 – 4 years



Full-time: £4,680 per year

Part-time: £2,340


Full-time: £12,480 per year

Part-time: £6,240


City's Centre for Food Policy is host to a vibrant research community that researches and educates on how policy-making processes work and how they both reflect and shape the nature of food supply and consumption.

It is interested in the policy place of food in society and the impact on health, environment, social justice and economy.

The MPhil/PhD programme's purpose is to build an advanced route into academic work in food policy. Its goals are to help you:

  • acquire the skills to become a professional researcher
  • explore a topic of relevance
  • contribute original work which will extend the current knowledge base
  • to influence and change food policy.

More details can be found on the Food Policy staff profile pages for Professor Martin Caraher, Professor Tim Lang, Corinna Hawkes and Claire Marris


Entry requirements

You should normally have a track record of high academic achievement, demonstrated by a good undergraduate degree with at least a second class (upper division) pass or equivalent; plus a good Masters-level degree with at least a pass with merit (or equivalent).

English requirements

If your first language is not English, the following qualifications are necessary to meet the English language requirement for entry to a postgraduate course of study:

  • A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA
  • A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by City as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA
  • GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum
  • An overall score of 6.5 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.0 for each subtest
  • Other evidence of proficiency in the English language which satisfies the board of studies concerned.

Visa requirements

International Students (EEA and Non EEA) coming to study in the UK, may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study. The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • EEA nationals joining the programme in 2020 and EEA nationals joining from January 2021
  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.


You will initially be registered for an MPhil award. Promotion to registration to PhD is not automatic, but contingent on the satisfactory outcome of a review process. This normally takes place towards the end of the first year of registration for full-time candidates and towards the end of the second year for part-time candidates.

You submit a report to an academic panel and present at the annual research colloquium.

If the outcome is satisfactory, you will be upgraded to a PhD. The programme will conclude with submission of research in the form of a PhD thesis and attendance at a viva voce examination in front of at least two examiners, at least one of whom will be external to City.

For full details about the City PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students.

Funding options

Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and may vary during your period of registration.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans

The Government has introduced a new Postgraduate Doctoral Loans scheme which can provide a loan of up to £25,000 over three years to support study for a doctoral degree. A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study and can be used alongside any other forms of support you may be able to receive, for example from industry or business or through your PhD supervisor.

Find out more about Postgraduate Doctoral Loans



Research students are appointed a supervisory team consisting of at least two supervisors. One of these will be designated as the first point of contact and will be responsible for ensuring that you receive effective supervision and are able to develop the skills and knowledge you require to contribute to research as a professional within a supportive research training environment.

Each supervision session is based around your particular needs, work programme and completion targets.


Research training will be provided and students are encouraged to develop skills in both research and teaching.

Read more about how we help you to develop your skills as a researcher at City.

Research Environment

The Centre for Food Policy currently has around 17 full- and part-time research students. It forms part of the Department of Sociology, which also has a vibrant research culture and a growing group of scholars who are committed to building an excellent reputation in their discipline-related fields.

We provide students with a range of academic and training support as well as regular research seminars and symposia in order to facilitate your research and develop your careers and our research environment.

How to apply

We accept applications for full-time study for entry in September each year.

For an informal discussion of your research proposal, please contact Corinna Hawkes.

Apply for MPhil/PhD Food Policy (full time)

Apply for MPhil/PhD Food Policy (part time)

To apply, you should submit the following documents via the online application form:

  • one copy of the MPhil/PhD in Food Policy online application form.
  • your research proposal (three sides of A4)
  • a non-technical summary of the proposed research of no more than 400 words
  • copies of your degree transcripts and certificates (originals or certified copies).
  • proof of your English language proficiency (if English is not your first language).

Find out more about how to prepare your research proposal.

Please note that we will not consider incomplete applications and applications must be submitted by the deadline.


The Food Research Collaboration (FRC) is an initiative hosted by the Centre for Food Policy to facilitate joint working by academics and civil society organisations (CSOs) to improve the UK food system.

Contact details

Tracy Rowson
Administrative enquiries
Corinna Hawkes
Academic enquiries