Animal and Environmental Sciences MPhil, PhD

Research ( full-time, part-time)


January 2018, April 2017, September 2017

MPhil: Full-time, from 1 to 3 years. Part-time, from 2 to 4 years.

PhD via progression from MPhil, including that period: Full-time, from 2 to 5 years. Part-time, from 3 to 6 years.

PhD: Full-time, from 2 to 5 years. Part-time, from 3 to 6 years.


This interdisciplinary group is well-connected with industry and fellow research institutions worldwide. Its research activities span sustainability, ethical resource use and biodiversity loss in relation to wildlife, food production and animal-based leisure.

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Full description

Supervision and support

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We’ll provide high-quality supervision formally and informally, so you can get the most from your programme - and we’ll fully involve you in our calendar of research meetings, seminars and workshops.

Our supervisory staff are recognised experts in their field. Their research expertise includes:

  • Alison Northrop - Alison's area of expertise broadly comprise of understanding more about the biomechanics and physiology of the horse and rider. Her recent research has centred on the interaction between the horse and the surface it works on and the development of terminology to define the functional properties of synthetic sand-based surfaces used for racetracks and arenas.
  • Alvin Helden - Alvin is interested in the biodiversity of habitats in urban and agricultural areas and in restored ecosystems. He specialises in insects, particularly leafhoppers and other true bugs (Hemiptera).
  • Andrew Smith - Andrew’s main areas of expertise are behavioural ecology and primate colour vision. His work looks at how animals, from aardvarks to goldfish, interact with each other and their environment.
  • Claudia Wascher - Claudia is experienced in social cognition and physiology, interested in the evolution of cooperation as well as costs and benefits of social behaviour.
  • Dawn Hawkins - Dawn has over 20 years’ experience in curriculum development and teaching whole organism biology and statistics in higher education.
  • Fabrizio Manco - Fabrizio is an ecologist whose research centres on GIS and spatial analysis in the context of biological studies, including movement ecology (animal tracking), habitat mapping and connectivity (remote sensing) and species distribution modelling.
  • Francine Hughes - Francine’s research focuses on measuring and monitoring wetland ecosystem services and framing goals for wetland restoration. She also teaches on our BSc (Hons) Marine Biology with Biodiversity and Conservation and our MSc Applied Wildlife Conservation.
  • Jenna Kiddie - Jenna is an experienced applied animal behaviour and welfare consultant and scientist, specialising in owned and kennelled companion animals.
  • Marian Bond - Marian has over 30 years' experience of working and teaching in animal behaviour and physiotherapy. She’s a fellow of the Society of Biology, a professional dog trainer and a PADI-certified Master Diver.
  • Nancy Harrison - Nancy is an ornithologist with diverse interests in avian behaviour, ecology and conservation. She has worked with seabirds for many years and has made eight research cruises to the Bering Sea and two to the Antarctic.
  • Paty Celis - Paty’s research expertise is in evolutionary biology with a particular focus on behavioural and molecular ecology.
  • Paul Elliott - Paul’s research focuses on the effects and control of aquatic invasive species and the behaviour of captive primates. He also organises a number of scientific outreach programmes for young people.
  • Peter Brown - Peter’s key area of research is ladybird ecology. He’s joint scheme organiser of the UK Ladybird Survey and co-author of two recent books on ladybirds.
  • Philip Pugh - Philip teaches on our BSc (Hons) Marine Biology with Biodiversity and Conservation course. His recent research has centred on Antarctic biogeography, cladistics and multivariate analysis.
  • Sarah J Hart - Sarah’s main areas of expertise are in forest entomology & mycology, chemical ecology and animal physiology & behaviour.
  • Sophie Mowles - Sophie is a behavioural ecologist whose research focusses on animal communication systems. She is particularly interested in the production of signals in both aggressive interactions and during courtship.
  • Thomas Ings - Thomas is an ecologist whose research interests include pollinator behaviour, invertebrate community ecology and conservation. His key aim is to develop an understanding of how community structure is influenced by individual traits, including behaviour.

Where you'll research

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Specialist facilities

With us you’ll be well-equipped for laboratory and field work ranging from environmental monitoring to DNA analysis.

We’ve IT resources for statistical and GIS work, as well as for specialist tasks such as population size estimating and acoustics.

Through our longstanding collaborations we can secure access for you to high quality field sites in the UK and overseas.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


International students, 2017/18 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year, part time)


PhD by Published Work, 2017/18 (Initial registration)


PhD by Published Work, 2017/18 (Full registration)


Writing up, 2017/18 (full-time)


Writing up, 2017/18 (part-time)


UK, EU & International 2017/18 Bench fee ranges from 1000 to 7000


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For advice on funding and scholarships please visit our finance pages for postgraduate students and researchers. Where available, the ARU jobs search lists research positions/scholarships.

You might also find The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding helpful.

ARU research

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Anglia Ruskin's academic excellence was recognised in 2014, as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise which assesses the quality of academic research. Twelve areas of our work were classed as generating world-leading research. The results showed that we're making a significant impact on economies, societies, the environment and culture in all corners of the globe.


There are opportunities in our field for you to combine studying with working in an area relevant to your future career. This is especially so given that Cambridge is a major centre internationally for conservation non-government organisations and bodies such as The Cambridge Conservation Forum.

You’ll also develop transferrable skills during your postgraduate research training, ranging from report-writing and presentation to statistical analysis and use of GIS packages.

Contact details

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If you're interested in finding out more about research study opportunities, please email

Entry requirements

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MPhil: You’ll need a Bachelor degree or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, in a related subject area.

PhD: You’ll need a Master degree or equivalent in a related subject area.

Please note we consider most candidates for PhD with progression from MPhil. If you want to apply for direct entry to the PhD route, you’ll also need to provide academic justification for this with your application.

If English is not your first language, you'll require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent test). If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

It's possible that research in this area will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate. If we make you an offer to study with us we'll also give you the information you need to apply to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for your ATAS certificate. Receiving the ATAS certificate takes approximately four weeks.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online