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Masters Degrees (Plant Science)

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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. Read more

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).

Our Facilities

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.

Course content

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Bioimaging 10 credits
  • Topics in Plant Science 10 credits
  • Practical Bioinformatics 10 credits
  • Plant Biotechnology 10 credits
  • High-throughput Technologies 10 credits
  • MSc Bioscience Research Project Proposal 5 credits
  • Research Planning and Scientific Communication 10 credits
  • Advanced Biomolecular Technologies 20 credits
  • Protein Engineering Laboratory Project 15 credits
  • Bioscience MSc Research Project 80 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Plant Science and Biotechnology MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Career opportunities

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:

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Ernst and Young
  • The Food and Environment Research Agency
  • The Health Protection Agency
  • MedImmune
  • Thermofisher Scientific
  • Hays Life Sciences
  • European Bioinformatics Institute
  • Smaller University spin-out companies, such as Lumora.

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.



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The MRes in Animal and Plant Science is a full-time programme running over 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Read more
The MRes in Animal and Plant Science is a full-time programme running over 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Applications will be accepted for a start date in October or January. The programme consists of (a) a major research thesis and (b) taught modules on generic and transferable skills, with an emphasis on scientific writing, oral presentations, and general research skills. Part-time study for this programme is not available.

Prospective students must talk to their proposed supervisor about possible project areas (see below) and have a project approved by interview with the supervisor and Head of Discipline prior to application via http://www.pac.ie (PAC code: CKS81).

Visit the website: https://www.ucc.ie/en/bees/courses/postgrad/

Course detail

Students undertake a total workload equivalent to 90 credits over the 12 month programme, the principal element of which is the completion of a major research thesis of approximately 25,000 words. In parallel, students must take and pass taught modules to the value of 20 credits.

Modules

Students take 20 credits from the following available modules:

BL6010 Characteristics of the Marine Environment (5 credits)
BL6012 Marine Megafauna (10 credits)
BL6016 Marine Ecology and Conservation (10 credits)
BL6019 Ecological Applications of Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
BL6020 Genetics and the Marine Environment (5 credits)
BL4004 Frontiers in Biology (5 credits)
BL4005 Research Skills in Biology (5 credits)
BL4006 Food Production (5 credits)
PS6001 Plant Genetic Engineering (5 credits)
PS4024 Crop Physiology and Climate Change (5 credits)
PS4021 Environmentally Protective Management of Plant Pests and Pathogens (5 credits)
ZY4021 Evolutionary Ecology (5 credits)

Students may elect to take other, relevant modules (subject to availability) that are offered by the University that are not listed above to fulfil the elective requirement with approval from the MRes coordinator, research supervisor and Head of School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science.

Students will also undertake independent research towards completion of a research thesis to a student workload equivalent of 70 credits on a selected topic in Animal or Plant Science.

Current projects:

- The effect of lactation housing on the behaviour and welfare of pigs
- Understanding viral pathways in marine environments
- Distribution and diet of otters in a rural/urban streamscape
- Novel approaches in the use of freshwater macroinvertebrates for biomonitoring
- The ecology of Sika/Red/Fallow deer in Ireland
- Catching prey; the role of Ultraviolet radiation in attracting insects by carnivorous plants
- Birds as dispersers of plant propagules
- Does the phytotoxicity of nanoparticles depend on environmental parameters?
- The role of biochar as a sustainable soil amendment
- Effects of Eutrophication in shallow subtidal marine systems
- Use of Brachypodium sylvaticum as a model for growth regulation in perennial forage grasses
- Effect of temperature on spring growth of perennial ryegrass cultivars

Programme Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

- Carry out an independent and original research project to address an emerging question in Animal or Plant Science.
- Prepare and write a dissertation of their research project in a critical, logical and systematic manner, in keeping with the standards of postgraduate research.
- Display advanced theoretical knowledge and practical understanding within a research area of Animal or Plant Science.
- Understand the basis and application of field and laboratory methods used in Animal and Plant Science and a knowledge of their limitations
- Avail of relevant workshops or modules to increase scientific technical skills (e. g. biostatistics).
- Source, review, critically assess and evaluate relevant primary literature and summarize material for presentation to peers and for inclusion within the research dissertation.
- Design, write and defend a scientific research proposal based on their current research topic or a proposed topic.
- Evaluate their skill set and identify skills that should be acquired.
- Develop professional practice skills including team-work, negotiation, time-management, scientific writing and oral communication

How to apply

Students should consult the MRes Animal and Plant Science Brochure: https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/academic/schoolofbees/documents/MResinAnimalandPlantScience.pdf

Prospective students should also consult the following guide to procedures realting to applying for the MRes Animal and Plant Science: https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/academic/schoolofbees/documents/MResinANimalandplantscience-Studentguidetoproceduresbeforeandafterentrytotheprogramme24March2016.pdf

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Plant Science graduate program offers advanced study in applied plant biology, with a commitment to development of sustainable managed agroecosystems. Read more

Plant Science graduate program offers advanced study in applied plant biology, with a commitment to development of sustainable managed agroecosystems. Our graduate program offers opportunities for advanced studies in basic and applied research, leading to M.Sc. or Ph.D. degrees, in plant production, plant protection, plant biotechnology, plant physiology and biochemistry, and plant-environment interaction.

Graduate students have the option to develop research programs that address problems through an interdisciplinary approach involving collaboration with faculty members in other graduate programs (e.g. Soil Science, Botany, Zoology, Microbiology, and Forest Science) on campus.

What makes the program unique?

Our graduate program offers students the opportunity to develop their graduate studies uniquely tailored to their professional goals and research interests in consultation with their research supervisor. The diversity of plant agriculture in British Columbia provides excellent opportunities for students to select a cropping system most suitable for their thesis research. Students have the opportunity and are encouraged to develop their research programs through an interdisciplinary approach involving other departments on campus.

Excellent facilities for thesis research are available on the UBC campus in the MacMillan Building, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm, Totem Field Laboratory, UBC Wine Research Centre, the Michael Smith Laboratories, and the Horticulture Glasshouse. Some Plant Science graduate students also work with our Adjunct Professors, spread throughout the province of British Columbia.

Career options

Plant Science graduates (M.Sc., Ph.D.) generally opt for a teaching and/or research career. Some also work for government agencies (Agri-Food Canada, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture), agri-industry, or do consulting work in plant science.



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This Master's offers a broad, research-led syllabus that will benefit life and plant science undergraduates, and professionals in commercial horticulture and agriculture from the UK and overseas looking to develop their career. Read more

This Master's offers a broad, research-led syllabus that will benefit life and plant science undergraduates, and professionals in commercial horticulture and agriculture from the UK and overseas looking to develop their career.

Taught content will equip the graduate with the expertise needed to work independently in a range of areas of current commercial plant science, at supervisory or management level, or in applied research. As well as ensuring a thorough grounding in basic science and horticultural technology, the modern molecular biology content is particularly relevant, since new technologies are rapidly entering the commercial arena. The independent research project will be set in a research institution or appropriate local industry, and will be designed around the student's interests and expertise.

The MSc focuses on methods used in the evaluation and improvement of conventional crops that feed the growing world population, but also alternative protected crops and ornamentals along with postharvest management, business and environmental concerns, and plant stress and disease in a changing climate.

Teaching

The programme team is a combination of scientists working within the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), a unique multidisciplinary centre of excellence focused on global food security, sustainable development and poverty reduction, and the Department of Life and Sports Sciences, both part of the university's Faculty of Engineering and Science. Both have reputations founded on excellence in teaching, training and research. You will also benefit from our links with businesses in the South East and other centres of expertise including Hadlow College and East Malling Research.

Professional development

Experts in this increasingly important area are needed in businesses nationally and internationally, in research and innovation, and at government and agency level where the ability to understand and follow current developments is required to guide and direct global sustainable solutions to population change.

Courses can be studied individually as CPD and credits acquired this way can be accumulated towards the MSc over 24 or 36 months towards the full MSc if required. Please contact the programme leaders for information.

Outcomes

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide knowledge of the science of plant biology and its application in the commercial and research arena
  • Introduce the practicalities of horticulture and agriculture technologies including consideration of sustainability
  • Examine the commercial aspects of this business area, including the planning, execution and evaluation of trials to exploit and develop novel approaches, practices, and crops
  • Allow the student to synthesise, evaluate and critically judge which technologies and research findings are of value and appropriate to their current or future employment environment in a UK or international setting.

Full time

Year 1

Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Students are required to choose 45 credits from this list of options.

Students are required to choose 15 credits from this list of options.

Part time

Year 1

Students are required to choose 90 credits from this list of options.

Year 2

Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Students are required to choose 30 credits from this list of options.

Assessment

Assessment methods include:

  • Examinations
  • Coursework
  • Research project dissertation
  • Practical work
  • Laboratory/Glasshouse

Careers

Production managers - management of plant/crop production (protected and non-protected crops) and postharvest facilities.

Development specialists - selection, development and evaluation of existing and novel plants and crops.

Retailing produce - food and crop technologists, retailing food and non-food derived crops and products, including fresh produce and postharvest technologists.

Institutes, NGOs and governmental bodies - governance and policy linked to application of horticultural/agricultural technologies.

Applied research scientist - application of plant science into practice.

Specialised equipment

Molecular biology laboratories, horticultural and agricultural facilities



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Traditionally known as the land-grant arm of Florida A&M University (FAMU), the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) offers students majoring in agriculture sciences and engineering technology a broad spectrum of academic opportunities to continue their education and professional development. Read more

Traditionally known as the land-grant arm of Florida A&M University (FAMU), the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) offers students majoring in agriculture sciences and engineering technology a broad spectrum of academic opportunities to continue their education and professional development. CAFS academic programs offer unique experiences for undergraduate and graduate students through incorporating aspects of teaching, research, international agriculture and business, as well as extension and community outreach.

The College of Agriculture and Food Sciences offers a MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE (thesis and non—thesis options) in Agricultural Sciences with concentrations in Agribusiness, Animal Science, Entomology, Food Science, Plant Science, Soil and Water Sciences, and International Programs. A minimum of thirty six (36) semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required for the Master of Science degree. The degree takes approximately two calendar years for its completion. The curriculum of the program is structured so that students may expand their knowledge in selected areas of agricultural sciences instead of specializing in any one field. However, the research performed by these students is specific in nature and is supervised by faculty members in their areas of expertise. Students are exposed to a full range of agricultural research problems and their management through on-campus instruction and hands-on experiential learning with the programs’ faculty and off campus internships at other universities or industry partners. To ensure the success of the students in completing the degree program, each student is mentored by a four-member Thesis Supervisory Committee. The committee members guide the student’s choice of core courses, electives and internships; test their problem-solving skills on a regular basis and through final oral examination. The program produces well-trained graduate students who are ready for the challenges of the changing world.



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Make a difference. From protecting our native biodiversity to identifying key traits to improve crop plants in an ever-changing climate, plant biology research can solve the world’s major global issues. Read more

Make a difference

From protecting our native biodiversity to identifying key traits to improve crop plants in an ever-changing climate, plant biology research can solve the world’s major global issues.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

Massey’s Master of Science (Plant Biology) will give you the knowledge and skills to understand and help solve some of the world’s most important current issues, such as the effects of climate change on our native species and crop plants, how to preserve native biodiversity, and understanding fundamental physiological aspects of plants.

You will build upon your undergraduate degree and conduct original, independent research under the guidance of a leading plant science academic.

Expertise in an area of your choice

The plant biology team at Massey have expertise in plant molecular biology, evolutionary biology, systematics and taxonomy, and plant physiology. During the course of your studies you can choose to further your knowledge and apply your learning on an exciting research project such as:

  • Evolution of plant genomes
  • Molecular development of plants
  • Population genetics and conservation genetics of native plants

Take advantage of our globally-renowned expertise

Let our experts help you develop your own expertise. You will learn from, and research with, highly-skilled internationally-recognised and active researchers in plant biology and related areas, with a huge depth of knowledge and experience. Postgraduate study and research in plant biology at Massey spans evolutionary biology to physiology. You will have the opportunity to learn about the fundamental aspects of plant growth and function, as well as the molecular evolution and classification (systematics) of plants. You might choose to conduct research focused on the native New Zealand flora or a model organism, like Arabidopsis thaliana, or even a crop species.

You will also be able to take advantage of Massey’s expertise across the sciences. We have a wide and relevant group of expertise within the university, from fundamental sciences like microbiology and biochemistry, to agriculture, engineering, horticulture and environmental management. 

This means no matter what your research interest you will have access to a broad range of experts to assist you develop your own research.

Use world-leading equipment and facilities

As a plant biology student you will have access to our world-leading equipment and facilities such as the Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium, the Palynology Laboratory, Plant Growth Unit, Seed Testing Services, Massey Genome Service and the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre.

Relevant and topical

We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means that you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers.

Making industry connections for you

Massey has strong connections with the Crown Research Institutes in Palmerston North and across New Zealand, especially AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant and Food Research, and Scion. Some of our students are able to conduct their projects at these organisations whilst undertaking their postgraduate study, benefiting their career and gaining real-word experience in the process.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

Complete in 2 years

Massey University’s Master of Science is primarily a 240 credit master qualification. This is made up of 120 credits of taught courses and a 120 credit research project.

Or if you have already completed the BSc (Hons) or PGDipSc you can conduct a 120 credit thesis to achieve your MSc qualification.



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Government and private companies are working to develop new ways to improve existing food and animal feed crops, and to develop novel crops to meet future challenges. Read more
Government and private companies are working to develop new ways to improve existing food and animal feed crops, and to develop novel crops to meet future challenges. The last decade has seen rapid developments in our understanding of plants and their significance to our wellbeing and this has been achieved through advances in a range of disciplines including genetics, genomics, cell biology, physiology, ecology and studies on climate change.

Graduates of this one-year MSc will be equipped with the knowledge and skills in these recent advances to rise to the future challenges in academia, industry and policy development. Innovation and entrepreneurship permeate the course as central themes and, in addition, a specific module on entrepreneurship in plant biology is delivered. This MSc covers a wide diversity of both topics and approaches, and is taught by a high-profile research-oriented group of academics. Students will have full involvement in active research groups and access to, and experience of, a large array of state-of-the-art facilities and technologies.

Key Fact

Researchers from the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science represent the single largest grouping of plant scientists in Ireland, with research interests ranging from genetics and molecular biology of the cell to plant physiology and ecology. They actively work with organisations such as Coillte (Forestry), the Irish Agricultural and Food Development Authority (Teagasc), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and industry partners.

Course Content and Structure

Modules include:
• Entrepreneurship in Plant Biology
• Future Crops and Sustainability
• Current Developments in Plant Biology
• Insect-Plant Interactions
• Biological Invasions
• Plant-Atmosphere Climate Interactions
• Ecological Significance of Different Photosynthetic Pathways
• Plant Development
• Programmed Cell Death in Plants
• Plants and Stress

Career Opportunities

Graduates will have a distinct advantage when applying for PhD studentships or other more advanced graduate training in the area of plant biology and biotechnology. This MSc is ideal for graduates interested in pursuing scientific careers in academia, agriculture and plant science-based or biotechnology industries. Graduates will haveo pportunities to pursue postgraduate education and research and work in areas such as plant biotechnology, scientific journalism/publishing and for government agencies involved in governmental and non-governmental policy.

Facilities and Resources

• UCD Rosemount Environmental Research Station
• Controlled plant growth facility and bioreactors
• Plant Metabolomics Technology Platform
• Plant Cell and Tissue Culture Facility

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Plants are central to the global ecosystem. In Sheffield, we study them from every angle. from the molecular level up to whole organisms, in the context of ecosystems, industry and major global challenges. Read more

Plants are central to the global ecosystem. In Sheffield, we study them from every angle: from the molecular level up to whole organisms, in the context of ecosystems, industry and major global challenges.

As an MRes Plant and Microbial Biology student, you can examine the effects of past, present and future climates on plants and the wider environment. You’ll develop key research skills in our taught modules, while your extensive individual research project will give you practical experience of the roles that plants can play in solving pressing societal problems such as food security.

Linking your research interests with our research excellence

Our MRes Plant and Microbial Biology programme is uniquely research-focused. You’ll be assigned to a research supervisor on the basis of your particular research interests, and you will spend the year embedded within their research group, working alongside PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and academic staff who are at the forefront of their research field. You’ll conduct an extended research project over several months, with the aim of producing original work of publishable quality.

Our world-class research in Plant and Microbial Biology spans topics including plant biotechnology, soil health, genomics, food security, sustainable agriculture, photosynthesis, plant-microbe interactions, plant immunology, and climate change biology. We use a range of approaches including advanced molecular techniques such as molecular genetics, metabolomics, fluorescent imaging, gas exchange analysis and carbon isotope analysis, as well as other experimental, field, and computational methods. You can find out more about the research we’re conducting in this area on our website.

The Department of Animal and Plant Sciences is also home to the Plant, Production and Protection (P3) global centre of excellence for translational plant science that works with many external collaborators, and provides opportunities of industrial placements for MRes Plant and Microbial Biology students.

Course Structure

You’ll study the following core research-focused modules:

  • Literature Review (15 credits) - work with your research supervisor to produce a critical review of a biological topic of your choice.
  • Research Project (90 credits) - work with your research supervisor to design, conduct, and write-up a substantial independent research project.

You’ll also study a series of taught modules designed to develop your topic-specific research skills:

  • Advanced Trends in Biology (15 credits) - attend our seminar programmes and learn to evaluate and discuss recent developments in biological sciences.
  • Advanced Biological Analysis (15 credits) - learn skills in data analysis tailored to your research project using world-leading open source software.
  • Research and Study Skills in Biology (30 credits) - gain the fundamental communication and advanced practical skills necessary to pursue a successful research career.
  • Tutorials (15 credits) - participate in small group discussions of issues concerning research practice and culture.

Learning and Teaching

You’ll be taught through working in a research laboratory or on a field-based research project, tutorials, discussion groups, attendance at seminars, and statistics and other workshops. Assessment includes, but is not limited to, a project report, literature review, critiques, short reports and essays and oral presentations including a viva.

Career Opportunities

Our MRes in Plant and Microbial Biology will equip you with the skills you require for a career in research, and past students have successfully gone on to study for PhDs and great careers in industry and the environmental sector.

In addition to research skills, you’ll also develop transferable skills that are valued by a wide range of employers, and the University’s Careers Service will show you how to demonstrate this on CVs and in job applications. Once you graduate, the support doesn’t stop and you’ll continue to have access to the Careers Service for three years to help you find your perfect job.

How to Apply

To apply for this course, complete the University of Sheffield's postgraduate online application form.

Because of the research-intensive nature of our MRes degrees, we ask you to include with your application a short supporting statement which explains clearly how your interests and experience relate to the Plant and Microbial Biology research we do in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, including which particular supervisors or research groups you would be most interested in working with. Visit our research pages to learn more about our expertise in Ecology and Environment research. Please also indicate in your supporting statement if you are interested in completing an industrial placement within our P3 Centre of Excellence. For more information on industrial placements, read our flyer.

This document should be uploaded in PDF format with your application via our postgraduate online application form.

You can find more information about the application process on the University's postgraduate webpages.

Scholarships

You can find out about scholarships available to UK, EU and international students on the University of Sheffield’s web pages.

Open Days

We run postgraduate open days and events throughout the year. Visit our website to book your place.



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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. Read more

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.

Study Programme

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.

Specialisations

Within the master's programme you can choose one of the following Specialisations to meet your personal interests.

Your future career

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.

Related programmes:

MSc Biosystems Engineering

MSc Biotechnology 

MSc Biology 

MSc Forest and Nature Conservation

MSc Organic Agriculture

MSc Plant Biotechnology



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Be in demand. There is a shortage of applied plant breeders in New Zealand and overseas - you will be in demand in the industry. Many graduates have employment before they graduate. Read more

Be in demand

There is a shortage of applied plant breeders in New Zealand and overseas - you will be in demand in the industry. Many graduates have employment before they graduate.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

When you study the Master of Science (Plant Breeding) at Massey University you will become a member of a significant international scientific community responsible for global food security.

This plant breeding major is a unique qualification in New Zealand. This course will provide you with training in quantitative genetics & applied plant breeding methods, multisite experimental design, data analysis & interpretation, application of molecular tools in plant breeding and visits to field programs & interaction with applied plant breeders.

Take advantage of our globally-renowned expertise

This course will be taught by highly-skilled internationally-recognised and active researchers with expertise in; plant genetic resources, quantitative genetics, applied plant breeding, plant molecular biology, evolutionary biology, systematics and taxonomy and plant physiology. During the course of your studies you will visit applied field programs and learn from practicing scientists and experienced field breeders.

A multi-disciplinary approach

The modern plant breeder is one who has not only to have a good understanding of genetics and plant breeding methods, but also know how to apply new tools such as molecular marker technologies and also interact with other significant disciplines such as agronomy, plant protection, plant physiology. This is why our course takes a multi-disciplinary approach. The students are taught the importance of a team approach to plant breeding. They are also given a global prospective of the significance of the international plant breeding community responsible for food security of the human population.

World-class equipment and facilities

As a plant breeding student you will have access to Massey’s world-leading equipment and facilities such as our extensive glasshouses and farms, moleculAar labs, the Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium, the Palynology Laboratory, Plant Growth Unit, Seed Testing Services, Massey Genome Service and the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre.

Relevant and topical

We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means that you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers. 

During the course of your study you will get the opportunity to visit and work with organisations working on plant breeding, like the AgResearch Grasslands Research Centre, Plant & Food and SCION. Some of our students are able to conduct their projects at these organisations whilst undertaking their postgraduate study, benefiting their career and gaining real-word experience in the process. Masters and PhD students from Massey are often co-supervised by experienced scientists from these organisations, most of which are physically located very close to Massey’s Manawatu campus.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Completing this course will also provide you with the opportunity of undertaking a PhD.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning, undertaking research, improving scientific skills and also presenting scientific information to an audience.

Complete in 2 years

Massey University’s Master of Science is primarily a 240 credit master qualification. This is made up of 120 credits of taught courses and a 120 credit research project.

Or if you have already completed the BSc (Hons) or PGDipSc you can conduct a 120 credit thesis to achieve your masters qualification.



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With only a small percentage of the planet's diversity formally described by science, it is more important than ever to train a new generation of taxonomists who will go on to describe, understand and conserve biodiversity. Read more
With only a small percentage of the planet's diversity formally described by science, it is more important than ever to train a new generation of taxonomists who will go on to describe, understand and conserve biodiversity.

Of critical shortage are skilled scientists in plant and fungal taxonomy, scientists that underpin much bioscience, nature conservation, plant breeding work, as well as underpinning the development of environmental policy. This course delivers vital training to fill that skill shortage. The course will provide training in plant and fungal identification skills, in combination with a thorough grounding in molecular systematics, evolutionary biology, and conservation policy, theory and practice.

Collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

This MSc course is delivered in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and you will be based there for some of your teaching. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was founded in 1759, and has the largest and most diverse collections of plant and fungal specimens and associated biodiversity databases in the world. The combination of extensive specimen collections, databases, and scientific research conducted on a global scale is unique, and means that Kew plays a leading role in facilitating greater access to basic plant information, underpinning science and conservion activities worldwide.

Other taught modules will be based at Queen Mary, Mile End campus. You will also take a fieldwork module based in Madagascar.

Research

Queen Mary and Kew have a number of long-established research links, and these have led to research papers in leading science journals such as 'Science, Trends in Plant Science', 'Trends in Ecology and Evolution', and 'Plant Journal'.

You will be taught by world-leading experts, internationally recognised for cutting edge research in plant and fungal sciences, applying new technologies to answer fundamental questions about the diversity of plant and fungal life on the planet, how it evolved and how we can best conserve it.

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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. Read more

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.

Study programme

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.

Specialisations

Within the master's programme you can choose one of the following Specialisations to meet your personal interests.

Your future career

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.

Related programmes:

MSc Biotechnology 

MSc Molecular Life Sciences 

MSc Plant Sciences

MSc Nutrition and Health

MSc Bioinformatics 

MSc Biology 



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The MRes in Geological Sciences is a full-time programme running over 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Read more
The MRes in Geological Sciences is a full-time programme running over 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Applications will be accepted for a start date in October or January. The programme consists of (a) a major research thesis and (b) taught modules on generic and transferable skills, with an emphasis on scientific writing, oral presentations, and general research skills. Part-time study for this programme is not available.

Prospective students are advised to contact the Programme Coordinator (Prof. Andy Wheeler in advance of application via http://www.pac.ie (PAC code CKS82) to discuss possible project areas.

Visit the website: https://www.ucc.ie/en/bees/courses/postgrad/

Course detail

Students undertake a total workload equivalent to 90 credits over the 12 month programme, the principal element of which is the completion of a major research thesis of approximately 25,000 words. In parallel, students must take and pass taught modules to the value of 20 credits.

Modules

Students take 20 credits from the following available modules:

GL6002 Igneous and Metamorphic Terrain Mapping (10 credits)
GL6003 Coal Exploration (5 credits)
GL6005 Basin Analysis and Sedimentary Fancies Analysis (10 credits)
GL6006 Geotechnical Investigations of Soils and Rocks (5 credits)
GL6007 Practical Offshore Geological Exploration (5 credits)
GL6008 Geological Application of Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
GL6010 Field Exploration Methods and Professional Development (5 credits)
GL6011 Structural Geology for Hydrocarbon Exploration (5 credits)
GL6012 Structural Geology for Mineral Exploration (5 credits)
GL6013 Geology of Ore Deposits (5 credits)
GL4002 Petroleum Geology and Basin Analysis (5 credits)
GL4003 Applied Geophysics (5 credits)
GL4004 Advanced Igneous Processes (5 credits)
GL4011 Economic Geology (5 credits)
GL4024 Exceptional Glimpses of Ancient Life (5 credits)
GL4027 Geochemistry (5 credits)

Students may elect to take other, relevant modules (subject to availability) that are offered by the University that are not listed above to fulfil the elective requirement with approval from the MRes coordinator, research supervisor and Head of School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science.

Students will also undertake independent research towards completion of a research thesis to a student workload equivalent of 70 credits on a selected topic in Geological Science.

Current projects

- Palynology and palynofacies of the Booley Bay Formation of Co.Wexford
- Palaeoenvironments recorded in the Lias of Northern Ireland
- Taphonomy of insects in the Daohuguo Konservat-Lagerstätte (Jurassic, Inner Mongolia)
- Characterising deformation in unconsolidated sediments
- Early tectonic fabric development in sedimentary rocks
- Petrological and structural mapping of the Fanad Lineament, Co. Donegal
- Quantifying the climate-controlled Pleistocene erosion of the Irish landmass (over the last 2.5 ma)

Programme Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

- Carry out an independent and original research project to address an emerging question in Geological Sciences.
- Prepare and write a dissertation of their research project in a critical, logical and systematic manner, in keeping with the standards of postgraduate research.
- Display advanced theoretical knowledge and practical understanding within a research area of Geological Science.
- Understand the basis and application of field and laboratory methods used in Geological Science and a knowledge of their limitations
- Avail of relevant workshops or modules to increase scientific technical skills
- Source, review, critically assess and evaluate relevant primary literature and summarize material for presentation to peers and for inclusion within the research dissertation.
- Design, write and defend a scientific research proposal based on their current research topic or a proposed topic.
- Evaluate their skill set and identify skills that should be acquired.
- Develop professional practice skills including team-work, negotiation, time-management, scientific writing and oral communication.

How to apply

MRes Animal and Plant Science Brochure: https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/academic/schoolofbees/documents/MResinAnimalandPlantScience.pdf

Prospective students should also consult the following guide to procedures realting to applying for the MRes Animal and Plant Science: https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/academic/schoolofbees/documents/MResinANimalandplantscience-Studentguidetoproceduresbeforeandafterentrytotheprogramme24March2016.pdf

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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. Read more

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.

Program structure

Semester 1:

Scientific English (3 ECTS)

  • Students will reinforce and develop the reading, writing, listening and speaking skills relevant to a biological science research context.
  • Students will acquire knowledge of the linguistic and discursive features of both written and spoken scientific English.
  • Structure and rhetoric of the research article, writing up an abstract. Oral scientific presentation – students prepare a mini-symposium on the topic related to their future work placement (and thus complete relevant bibliographical and reading research in preparation).
  • Students are evaluated on their communication skills in English and also on their ability to manage complex scientific concepts in English.

Plant development and reproduction (3 ECTS)

  • Genetic regulation of root and stem apical meristem functioning, epigenetic regulations of plant development and reproduction, parental imprinting, plant hormones, fruit and seed development, sex determination in plants, cellular mechanisms involved in plant organ growth and development.

Metabolism and cellular compartmentation (3 ECTS)

  • Metabolism and cell compartmentation: morphodynamic organization of the plant secretory pathway, lipid and protein machineries; membrane transporters in plants and the related methods of study; lipid signaling in plant cells; formation and dynamics of membrane domains; regulation of metabolism and gene expression by sugars in plants. Nature and importance of futile cycles in plants.

Biotechonology (3 ECTS)

  • In vitro culture and applications, plant transformation and applications to crop plants, GMO legislation and traceability, metabolic engineering, GMO and production of antibodies and of molecules of high health value, GMO in the food industry, fungi biotechnology.

Plant pathogen interactions (3 ECTS)

  • Plant-Mollicutes interactions, plant-virus interactions: analysis of plant and virus factors necessary for virus cycle, viroids; RNA interference, plant defence mechanisms against pathogens (fungi, bacteria and virus), breeding of plants resistant to pathogens, biodiversity of plant pathogens, epidemiology of plant pathogen interactions and impact on crop production.

Plant breeding (3 ECTS)

  • Principles of selection and genetic gain, response to selection, germplasm resources, collecting, analysing, classifying, international rules on germplasm resources. Population improvement and cultivar development (breeding for lines, hybrids, clones, populations), high throughput phenotyping, breeding strategies and methods including molecular breeding (MAS, genomic selection) and biotechnologies, multiple traits selection, genotype by environment interaction, protecting varieties and intellectual property, plant breeding international network and organization.

Quantitative and population genetics and evolution (3 ECTS)

  • Population genetics and genetic diversity, haplotype structure, domestication and genetic consequences, linkage disequilibrium, genetic variance, estimating variance components, heritability, genetic correlations, association genetics, genomic selection, induced diversity TILLinG, natural diversity ecoTILLinG, linking genetics, genomics and bioinformatics : from fine- mapping to gene cloning; genotyping by sequencing.

Semester 2:

Laboratory Practice (6 months/30 ECTS) 

  • In a public laboratory and/or a private company laboratory.

Strengths of this Master program

During their studies, students will:

  • Acquire scientific knowledge in various fields of plant biology, green biotechnology, food supplements, food production, etc.
  • Receive a modern research-based training.
  • Develop an understanding of the challenges of modern agricultural practices in a context of environmental constraints and increasing demand.
  • Develop an understanding of the benefits and limits of modern biotechnology.
  • Acquire the skills to develop action planning processes for bioscience.
  • Acquire skills and practice within an English-speaking environment as well as other languages practised within the consortium.
  • Develop the necessary skills to collaborate with international teams and networks.
  • Acquire competencies for knowledge transfer to students and collaborators.
  • Develop competencies to create, finance and manage a new start-up.
  • Acquire an understanding of today’s industrial and economic environment within the Biotech sector.

After this Master program?

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:

  • Plant research laboratories
  • Plant breeding companies
  • Agro-chemical companies
  • Green and white biotechnology companies
  • Food, diet and nutrition companies
  • Plant medicinal production companies
  • Food supplement or nutraceutical companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Business trade companies


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Our MSc Bioscience course gives you the opportunity to develop a broad scientific base on which to build your future career. On this course you’ll study core research training modules designed to equip you with the expertise needed to work at the forefront of the modern bioscience sector. Read more

Our MSc Bioscience course gives you the opportunity to develop a broad scientific base on which to build your future career.

On this course you’ll study core research training modules designed to equip you with the expertise needed to work at the forefront of the modern bioscience sector. You can specialise in exciting contemporary topics in the areas of human disease, bioinformatics, biotechnology and plant science, and choose from a range of optional modules, including those associated with the specialisms we offer. This means you can study the topics that interest you and match your career aspirations.

You’ll also carry out an independent research project in an area related to your course options.

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).

Course content

This course is designed to equip you with the expertise necessary to work at the forefront of the modern bioscience sector. We’ll offer you a combination of practical training and theoretical modules to help you build your knowledge and skills.

The practical experience you gain during this degree is a vital part of your career preparation. You’ll receive substantial training in practical methods and technologies currently being used to advance the biological sciences.

During the course you’ll apply yourself through core research training modules. You’ll undertake a laboratory-based mini-project providing a hands-on experience in molecular biology techniques. You’ll also carry out a laboratory-based independent research project on an innovative topic related to your course options.

Importantly, we’ll also give you a strong foundation of theoretical teaching to enhance your practical training. You’ll develop your knowledge through research planning exercises and by studying methodologies underpinning contemporary bioscience, with many optional modules available to choose from, including Advanced Immunology, Plant Biotechnology, and Medical Diagnostics.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Practical Bioinformatics 10 credits
  • MSc Bioscience Research Project Proposal 5 credits
  • Research Planning and Scientific Communication 10 credits
  • Advanced Biomolecular Technologies 20 credits
  • Protein Engineering Laboratory Project 15 credits
  • Bioscience MSc Research Project 80 credits

Optional modules

  • Bioimaging 10 credits
  • Advanced Immunology 10 credits
  • Topics in Plant Science 10 credits
  • Infectious & Non-infectious Diseases 10 credits
  • Drug and Chemical Toxicology 10 credits
  • Plant Biotechnology 10 credits
  • High-throughput Technologies 10 credits
  • Medical Diagnostics 10 credits
  • Treatment of Infectious Disease and Cancer 10 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Bioscience MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

The learning context has a strong research ethos, preparing you for academic (PhD and post-doctoral), industrial or public sector research. Taught modules address problems at the forefront of the subject, and learning activities (such as group work and mini-research projects) are designed to develop your subject-specific knowledge and research skills.

Your major project will involve cutting edge research with potential for publication in peer reviewed literature.

Assessment

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.

Career opportunities

The strong research element of the Bioscience 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:

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Ernst and Young
  • The Food and Environment Research Agency
  • The Health Protection Agency
  • MedImmune
  • Thermofisher Scientific
  • Hays Life Sciences
  • European Bioinformatics Institute
  • Smaller University spin-out companies, such as Lumora

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.

Professional and career development

We take personal and career development very seriously. We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advises us on what they look for in graduates and on employability related skills within our courses.

Our dedicated Employability and Professional Development Officer ensures that you are aware of events and opportunities to increase your employability. In addition, our Masters Career Development Programme will support you to:

  • explore career options and career planning
  • understand the PhD application process and optimise PhD application
  • learn how to use LinkedIn and other social media for effective networking and career opportunities
  • practice interviews for both job and PhD applications

You will also have access to seminars and presentations from industry professionals (including our alumni) at faculty led career events. We also have regular research seminars presented by leading academics from around the world on their specialist subjects.



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