Plants form the basis of life as they convert sunlight into an inexhaustible source of food and renewable raw materials. Plants also have a stabilising effect in (agro) ecosystems, a landscape function and ornamental value. In a nutshell, we cannot do without plants.
The Plant Sciences programme has been designed to help meet the worldwide demand for scientific expertise in the development of plant and crop production and farming systems. It not only covers the technological aspects of crop production, but also deals with important environmental, quality, health and socio-economic aspects. Interdisciplinarity is a hallmark of the programme.
On the programme of Plant Sciences page you can find the general outline of the programme and more detailed information about courses, theses and internships.
Within the master's programme you can choose one of the following Specialisations to meet your personal interests.
Graduates in Plant Sciences are university-trained professionals who are able to contribute to the sustainable development of plant production at various integration levels, based on their knowledge of fundamental and applied plant sciences and their interdisciplinary approach. Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme.
Ever since the start of the oil and gas industry in the North Sea there safety has been a constant learning process within the industry to improve safety in all areas. It often informs other industries in terms of best practise knowledge which can provide useful learning to other industries.The knowledge gained in the North Sea has also been transferred to other sites globally to ensure risks are minimised when extracting energy. There are numerous risks associated with energy extraction such as the environment in which operators work in, failure in facilities and machinery, human factors which need process and safety factors designing in, and a very large ignition source. The energy industry can be one of the most hazardous industries to work in but due to the risks involved it can often provide a highly safe environment to work in due to the amount of measures in place to protect everything on site and that is where the discipline of Process Safety can ensure a very high level of safety in which to extract minerals.
If you want to become qualified in Process Safety Engineering and are from a Chemical Engineering background, or a Petroleum or Mechanical Engineering background but with good chemical/chemistry knowledge and you are interested in safety and process in this industry the programme will develop advanced skills in assessing risk, processes and analysis to continuously improve safety in the industry. The programme is offered in Aberdeen city in the heart of the oil and gas industry within Europe and often worldwide and it is informed by close links and support from the industry to ensure it is robust and relevant. Aberdeen has offered advanced knowledge and learning in this area since the inception of the oil and gas industry which cover the entire physical and business supply chain.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about international fees:
Find out more about fees on the programme page
*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.
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Other engineering disciplines you may be interested in:
In recent years the study of plant sciences has been revolutionised by the development of new tools and technologies which have allowed unprecedented progress in the study of plant biology – knowledge which is being applied to develop sustainable solutions to some of the major challenges of the 21st century.
This course will give you specialist training in the modern molecular aspects of plant science. A large part of your teaching will be delivered by academics from the University’s Centre for Plant Sciences (CPS) linked to the latest research in their areas of expertise.
You’ll explore the wide ranges of approaches used in biomolecular sciences as applied to plant science. This will cover theory and practice of recombinant DNA and protein production, bioimaging using our confocal microscope suite, practical bioinformatics and theories behind ‘omic technologies.
You’ll also learn how to design a programme of research and write a research proposal, read and critically analyse scientific papers in plant science and biotechnology and present the findings. A highlight of the course is your individual 80 credit practical research project.
The course is 100% coursework assessed (although some modules have small in course tests). Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop your independent thinking, problem solving, communication skills and practical ability, making you attractive to employers or providing an excellent foundation for further study (eg PhD).
You’ll study in a faculty ranked 6th in the UK for its research impact in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).
You’ll study in a stimulating environment which houses extensive facilities developed to support and enhance our faculty’s pioneering research. As well as Faculty operated facilities, the CPS laboratories are well equipped for general plant research. There is also a plant growth unit, including tissue culture suites with culture rooms, growth rooms and flow cabinets alongside transgenic glass-houses to meet a range of growth requirements.
On this course you’ll gain an overview of a range of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular plant sciences.
You’ll also apply your knowledge to an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based mini project, involving practical training in a range of modern molecular biology and protein engineering techniques such as gene cloning, PCR, mutagenesis, protein expression, protein purification and analysis.
A module on plant biotechnology will address current topics such as the engineering of plants, development of stress-tolerant crop varieties and techniques for gene expression and gene silencing through reading discussion and critical analysis of recent research papers.
You’ll learn from the research of international experts in DNA recombination and repair mechanisms and their importance for transgene integration and biotechnological applications; plant nutrition and intracellular communication; and the biosynthesis, structure and function of plant cell walls.
You’ll also explore the wide range of approaches used in bio-imaging and their relative advantages and disadvantages for analysing protein and cellular function. Bioinformatics and high throughput omic technologies are crucial to plant science research and you will take modules introducing you to these disciplines.
In the final part of the course you'll work on an independent laboratory-based research project related to your course options. You’ll receive extensive training in experimental design, the practical use of advanced techniques and technologies, data analysis and interpretation, and will be assigned a research project supervisor who will support and guide you through your project.
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.
Through your research project and specialist plant science modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a scientist who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.
We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.
The strong research element of the Plant Science and Biotechmology MSc, along with the specialist and generic skills you develop, mean you’ll graduate equipped for a wide range of careers.
Our graduates work in a diverse range of areas, ranging from bioscience-related research through to scientific publication, teacher training, health and safety and pharmaceutical market research.
Links with industry
We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advise us on what they look for in graduates and on employability-related skills within our courses.
We collaborate with a wide range of organisations in the public and commercial sectors. Many of these are represented on our Industrial Advisory Board. They include:
Industrial research placements
Some of our partners offer MSc research projects in their organisations, allowing students to develop their commercial awareness and build their network of contacts.
The Bordeaux Biology Agrosciences (B2AS) program offers an integrated multidisciplinary approach that is adapted to the realities of research (background research) as well as to the socio-economic sector (professional courses). The program objectives are to train and equip researchers and professionals to face the issues posed by agriculture in the 21st century. This is achived by integrating plant biotechnology and agrofood technology within course content in order to deal with the challenges of innovation in agriculture.
With such an integrated approach, the Master B2AS represents a meeting point between academia and professionals. During the program, students may specialize either in the field of plant biology, biotechnology, plant breeding, genetics, plant and human health benefits, food production and innovation. The wide partner network provides students with a range of complementary expertise. This means that specific competencies are developed within the chosen field of biotechnology and plant breeding for agriculture improvements.
Scientific English (3 ECTS)
Plant development and reproduction (3 ECTS)
Metabolism and cellular compartmentation (3 ECTS)
Biotechonology (3 ECTS)
Plant pathogen interactions (3 ECTS)
Plant breeding (3 ECTS)
Quantitative and population genetics and evolution (3 ECTS)
Laboratory Practice (6 months/30 ECTS)
During their studies, students will:
The objectives of the B2AS program are to prepare students for further study via PhD programs and/or careers in the food and agronomy industry throughout the world. This is achieved by providing high-level training in plant sciences but also by preparing students with relevant knowledge and skills in management and business.
Graduates may apply for positions in the following industrial sectors in a R&D laboratory as well as in production activities:
Chemical Engineering is key in addressing global challenges relating to sustainable supply of clean energy, food and water, through the production of chemicals, functionalised products and fuels. The MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering provides technical and management training that employers increasingly demand from chemical engineers. The programme offers a general Chemical Engineering option, which covers core chemical engineering subjects and a range of specialised optional modules; and a Biorefining option (formerly the Biofuels Process Engineering MSc), which provides advanced understanding of the production of bioenergy and biofuels while strengthening the knowledge on chemical engineering discipline.
The course is suitable for engineering and applied science graduates who wish to embark on successful careers as chemical engineering professionals.
Our general Chemical Engineering route equips you with diversified skills in advanced engineering, which includes theoretical and practical elements in operation, design, and control of a wide range of chemical processes. The Biorefining route (formerly the Biofuels Process Engineering MSc) equips you with fundamental understanding of chemical engineering and solid skills to address the challenges of the rapidly growing and dynamic bioenergy sector. This option covers the sustainable production of heat, power and fuels from biomass within the biorefining framework. Both routes include training in management applied to the energy sector which enables engineers to effectively fulfil a wider role in a business organisation.
Chemical engineering is a continuously evolving discipline linked to a variety of industries. Chemical engineers lead the design of large-scale facilities in the chemical, petrochemical, and industrial biotechnology sectors.
A distinguished feature of this course is that it is not directed exclusively at chemical engineering graduates. This MSc will provide you with the training and knowledge skill set that employers actively seek in a desirable engineering graduate. We recognise the importance of an interdisciplinary approach; as such the core and optional modules and course contents have been carefully developed to meet the engineering skill shortage currently faced within industry. In particular, no other university in the UK offers a MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering with a dedicated option in Biorefining. You will develop the professional profile required by the growing biobased sector (more than 480,000 jobs and annual turnover of about €50 million only in the European Union), with a high level of skills' transferability across the chemical and energy sectors.
Cranfield is an exclusively postgraduate university with distinctive expertise in technology and management. There are also numerous benefits associated with undertaking a postgraduate programme of study in here. These include:
The taught programme is delivered from October to February and is comprised of eight modules. The modules are delivered over one week of intensive delivery with the later part of the module being free from structured teaching to allow time for more independent learning and reflection. Students on the part-time programme will complete all of the modules based on a flexible schedule that will be agreed with the Course Director.
The Group Project, undertaken between February and April, enables you to put the skills and knowledge developed during the course modules into practice in an applied context, while gaining transferable skills in project management, teamwork and independent research. Projects are often supported by industry and potential future employers value this experience. The group project is normally multidisciplinary and shared across the Energy MSc programme, giving the added benefit of working with students with other backgrounds.
Each group is given an industrially relevant problem to solve. During the project you will develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, and delivering technical presentations. At the end of the project, all groups submit a written report and deliver a poster presentation to industry partners. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner.
Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a Group Project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.
The individual research project allows students to investigate deeper into an area of specific interest. It is very common for industrial partners to put forward real world problems or areas of development as potential research project topics. The individual research project component takes place between May and September.
If agreed with the Course Director, part-time students have the opportunity to undertake projects in collaboration with their place of work, which would be supported by academic supervision.
Individual research projects undertaken may involve feasibility assessments, reviews, practical evaluations, designs, simulations, and experimental investigations.
Taught Modules 40%, Group Project 20%, Individual Research Project 40%
Industry driven research makes our graduates some of the most desirable in the world for recruitment by companies competing in a range of industries, including chemicals, petrochemicals, biochemicals, conventional energy and bioenergy, food, materials, consultancy and management.
Those wishing to continue their education via PhD or MBA studies in the chemical or energy sectors will be greatly facilitated by the interdisciplinary, project-oriented profile that they will have acquired through this course.