Introduction: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality following cardiac surgery. Data focusing on the patterns of AKI following major gastrointestinal surgery could inform quality improvement projects and clinical trials, but there is a lack of reliable evidence. This multicentre study aims to determine the incidence and impact of AKI following major gastrointestinal and liver surgery. Methods and analysis: This prospective, collaborative, multicentre cohort study will include consecutive adults undergoing gastrointestinal resection, liver resection or reversal of ileostomy or colostomy. Open and laparoscopic procedures in elective and emergency patients will be included in the study. The primary end point will be the incidence of AKI within 7 days of surgery, identified using an adaptation of the National Algorithm for Detecting Acute Kidney Injury, which is based on the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) AKI guidelines. Secondary outcomes will include persistent renal dysfunction at discharge and 1 year postoperatively. The 30-day adverse event rate will be measured using the Clavien-Dindo scale. Data on factors that may predispose to the development of AKI will be collected to identify variables associated with AKI. Based on our previous collaborative studies, a minimum of 114 centres are expected to be recruited, contributing over 6500 patients in total. Ethics and dissemination: This study will be registered as clinical audit at each participating hospital. The protocol will be disseminated through local and national medical student networks in the UK and Ireland.