Nutritional Sciences PhD

My supervisor was fantastic during my PhD and I learnt a huge amount by working with her. I was also very lucky to collaborate with other researchers throughout my PhD, including researchers from other universities and staff at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.

Dr Sarah Bath PhD Nutritional Sciences

Why Surrey?

The research mission of the Department of Nutritional Sciences is to understand human metabolic demands for nutrients and to optimise their provision as safe and appropriate food. We are a leading institution in the field of nutrition. Our biomedical research, including Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes, was ranked in the top 5% in the country in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

Our academics are engaged in research that uses a range of nutritional and biochemical techniques to investigate problems relating to human health and safety. Key areas of interest include diet and cardiovascular disease, the link between nutrition and diabetes, dietary influences on key health outcomes including osteoporosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), as well as the influence of specific nutrients such as vitamin D, selenium, iodine and zinc on health. 

Programme overview

Research facilities and equipment

We use an ‘-omic’ approach to nutrition research and have all the standard analytical and project-specific equipment you could expect to find in a biomedical facility.

The Department of Nutritional Sciences has access to the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences’ core technology programme, to support and fund equipment-intensive research technologies and to promote their use in multidisciplinary research.

It encompasses functional genomics (microarray printing, genomics, transcriptomics), bioinformatics (data mining, systems biology, pathway modelling, fluxomics), proteomics, metabolomics and imaging (laser scanning confocal, fluorescence, fluorescence inverted and FRET microscopy, flow cytometry, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, in situ hybridisation).

PhD overview

PhD students receive individual tuition in their specialist field, as well as tailored research training and seminars. Close links with industry and clinical practice are encouraged, and many research projects include collaborative work.

Many of our projects are directly sponsored by industry, and our PhD students often end up working for the company that sponsored them.

The opportunities for students with postgraduate qualifications from Surrey are very wide, and not limited to the area in which you have studied.

Research areas

  • The influence of macronutrients (cholesterol, fatty acids, starches and extrinsic sugars) on cardiometabolic risk associated with insulin resistance in obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes
  • Diet and cardiovascular disease
  • Nutrition and diabetes
  • Dietary influences on human metabolism including osteoporosis risk and NAFLD
  • Diet and sleep/chronobiology
  • Vitamin D and health outcomes
  • The role of iron and selenium in human health
  • The impact of micro-nutrients (vitamins and trace metals) on bone health and cancer

Recent projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Iodine Status and Health Outcomes
  • Acid-base Homeostasis and Bone Health
  • Interaction between Vitamin D and Musculo-Skeletal Health

Examples of positions achieved by our students after earning their postgraduate qualification with us:

  • Food Standards Agency - Senior Scientific Officer
  • Research Associate - King’s College London
  • Research Fellow - University of Surrey


Every year we offer a number of funded studentships. These are advertised on the Faculty Graduate School website as and when they become available.

Research award

All postgraduate researchers are eligible for the University’s Postgraduate Student of the Year award.

Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 33-48 months
  • Part-time: 45-96 months

Start date:

October, January, April, July


Postgraduate Admissions Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 689 730

Entry Requirements

Candidates should have a good honours degree (upper second) in an appropriate discipline, but prior experience in research or industry may be acceptable. Enthusiasm for, and commitment to, independent study is essential, as is a good command of the English language. Please contact the Faculty Graduate School to discuss your experience and qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 7.0

IELTS minimum by component: 6.5

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time £3,996 £15,920
Part-time £1,998 £7,960

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2014/15 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

A complete list of all fees for our research programmes

Researcher Development Programme

Our researcher development programme provides a range of workshops and support mechanisms for our postgraduate researchers.

More info

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

Contact Us

General Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

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