Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from ‘field to fork’. With the global human population set to rise from seven to over nine billion by 2050, we urgently need sustainable solutions that will allow us to increase the global food supply while preserving the integrity of agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems.
Our trees and forests face new plant health threats which in turn threaten areas of great natural beauty and diversity, and affect both rural and urban landscapes. Our unique MSc Sustainable Plant Health will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of the vital role of plant health, applying your skills by conducting laboratory and field studies.
This programme is primarily aimed at graduates wishing to pursue a career in plant protection in agriculture, horticulture, forestry or urban settings, and also careers in policy development and implementation, plant health inspection, academic and industrial research, consultancy and conservation management, and private industry.
This 12 month programme involves two semesters of classes followed by an individual research project. Students will take 80 credits of compulsory courses, with the opportunity to choose two optional courses. Field trips will also form a crucial part of this course.
Compulsory courses typically will be*:
Option courses may include* (select two):
*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.
On completion of this course our graduates will have gained:
Plant health scientists are employed in a range of vocations: environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, urban planning, policy development, plant inspection and management. Long term career prospects are strong as agricultural scientists will continue to be needed to balance increased output with protection and preservation of ecosystems.
Our graduates will gain particularly valuable skills due to our programme's unique approach looking at impacts across ecosystems. They also benefit from the applied nature of the course allowing them to use their practical skills in a range of field trip environments with expert supervision.
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 can't do without plants. Modern molecular biology has opened up a whole new range of techniques and possibilities to scientists working in the different fields of the classical plant sciences (e.g. plant physiology, plant breeding, plant pathology). The combination of these disciplines forms a challenging domain: Plant Biotechnology.
Plant Biotechnology aims to impart understanding of the basic principles of the plant sciences and molecular biology, as well as the integration of these disciplines, to provide healthy plants in a safe environment for food, non-food, feed and health applications. Besides covering the technological aspects, Plant Biotechnology also deals with the most important environmental, quality, health, socio-economic and infrastructural aspects.
On the programme of Plant Biotechnology 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 Biotechnology are university-trained professionals. Their main career focus will be on research and development positions at universities, research institutes and biotech or agribusiness companies. Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme.
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.
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:
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.
This programme is intended for those who wish to enhance their understanding of the role of microorganisms in animal health and disease, and provides an excellent grounding in molecular biology, immunology, epidemiology and microbiology.
This grounding leads into the study of the complex mechanisms of host/microbe interactions that are involved in the pathogenesis of specific animal diseases, and provides insights into diagnosis and interventions, such as vaccines, essential for disease control.
You will enhance your critical and analytical skills and gain hands-on experience in the diagnosis of veterinary diseases, such that you may identify problems, formulate hypotheses, design experiments, acquire and interpret data, and draw conclusions.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
This is a full or part-time programme, intended mainly for graduates, those already working in veterinary diagnostic/research laboratories and staff from other laboratories who want to enhance their understanding of the role of microorganisms in animal health and disease.
Pharmaceutical research personnel, policymakers, veterinarians, public health personnel and environmental biologists will also benefit.
Most modules are offered as standalone short courses. The fee structure for short courses is different to that for registered students, and details may be obtained via admissions enquiries, please refer to the contact details on this page.
The option to study the MSc on a part-time basis is only available following successful completion of three modules as stand-alone/CPD. Please contact the [email protected] for further information.
This Masters programme is delivered by a consortium comprising the University of Surrey and two world class veterinary microbiology institutions: the BBSRC funded Pirbright Institute (PI), and the Government sponsored Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA).
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and Public Health England (PHE) also contribute to the programme.
You will have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the diagnosis of important veterinary diseases within the world reference laboratories of the APHA and Pirbright Institute (PI).
There will also be an opportunity to visit Public Health England (PHE) to gain a detailed knowledge of how zoonotic diseases outbreaks are investigated, and to visit the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), a livestock abattoir and an intensive livestock farm.
Colleagues from the CEFAS laboratory will also contribute to the programme, and further research training will be provided during your practical research project.
This is a one year full-time programme aimed at preparing graduates to work in a range of fields in which a detailed understanding of veterinary microbiology is a valuable asset.
These fields include research, commerce, government and policy, reference laboratory and diagnostic work, epidemiology and disease mapping, veterinary science, farming especially animal production, wild and zoo animal conservation and education.
As such, it is intended that graduates will achieve the highest levels of professional understanding of veterinary microbiology within a range of contexts.
The programme combines the study of the theoretical foundations of, and scholarly approaches to, understanding the application and various practices of veterinary microbiology within the contexts described above along with the development of practical and research skills.
The main aims are to enable students to:
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas.
The learning outcomes have been aligned with the descriptor for qualification at level 7 given in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) produced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education.
Knowledge and understanding
Following completion of the programme, students should display knowledge of:
Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:
Professional practical skills
Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Join the new world of agriculture
Elevate your career with the new Master of Agriculture.
If you are passionate about the primary industries, Massey University’s new Master of Agriculture will help you progress your career.
Our proud record dates back to 1927 when we offered New Zealand’s first degrees in agriculture and horticulture.
Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings. We are also ranked in the top 150 universities worldwide for agriculture by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.
As a student, you will benefit from our internationally recognised capability and leadership in this area.
Your study will cover a wide range of topics including related environmental, consumer and policy issues in areas like:
As well as subject-related skills, you will gain and/or improve your critical analysis, project management and communication skills. You will learn how to integrate science, new and emerging technologies and sustainable management to resolve issues relevant to the primary industries.
The Master of Agriculture may be endorsed in agriculture; horticulture; equine or life cycle management.
The Master of Agriculture is one of the new 180-credit masters being offered by Massey University. The qualification can be completed full time in only three semesters, so if you are able to include the summer semester it may be possible to complete in one year. If you are working while you study, we offer the flexibility to complete over a longer period of time.
Course work will include 120 credits of taught material. The remaining 60 credits are composed of a unique professionally-focused research project. This project will take place in the work force, helping you produce a relevant, industry-related piece of work that will be immediately useful to you and the industry upon completion.
Massey’s Manawatu campus hosts the only multi-function teaching laboratories in Australasia. The labs, built in 2010, won a Best Practice Award for Innovation at the Association for Tertiary Education Management conference in Australia and was shortlisted for the international UKS-Lab awards.
The facility is unique in Australasia in that it allows each laboratory to be tailored to accommodate a variety of disciplines. Technicians can do preparation in the dedicated technical area before moving this into the lab, which means students can spend more time doing lab practical work.
As a student of the Master of Agriculture you will have access to lecturers and supervisors acknowledged as being among the best in the world. Collaboration between Massey University and adjacent Crown Research Institutes offers unrivalled advantages to postgraduate students’ access to specialised skills, equipment and networking opportunities.
You will have access to a wide range of facilities and services including the Pasture and Crop Research Unit, the Fertiliser and Lime Research Unit, the Plant Growth Unit, The Equine Unit, the Life Cycle Management Centre, Massey University farms, teaching laboratories and Library resources.
Studying towards your masters is a satisfying and challenging process that will give you a sought-after postgraduate qualification.
For students with previous postgraduate qualifications, such as the BAgriScience (Hons), this is a one year programme based entirely on a research project and thesis. Otherwise you may choose the Master of Science (Agricultural Science) as a more in-depth research option.