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MSc Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation


Queen Mary University of London School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Full time See Course MSc 1 year Full-time

About the course

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

Read more about this course


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class BSc (Hons) degree in biology or other natural sciences subject. Applicants with a good lower second class degree may be considered on an individual basis, taking into account relevant background and achievements.

This programme involves a compulsory fieldwork unit based in Madagascar. Applicants from outside the UK should ensure that there are no residency or travel restrictions that would prevent them from attending this course. We would recommend that applicants with any disability which may impact upon their ability to undertake such activities should contact the School to seek advice to discuss possible adjustments.


Course Content


Where is Queen Mary University of London


Student Profile(s)

Thebian Odufuwa

Why did you choose to study at QMUL?
I chose to study at Queen Mary because of the unique opportunity it gave me to study for a Masters in Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation. It’s a unique course that is only being taught in two universities in the whole of the United Kingdom.

Why did you decide to study Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation?
My passion and interest for botany (and anything plant related) started from my childhood, I have always loved everything related to gardening. As soon as I finished my secondary education, I knew I wanted to major in the scientific study of plants and I was determined to pursue that dream. My love for taxonomy started in my third year when I was taking an undergraduate course in taxonomy. The very moment I finished my first taxonomy class, I knew taxonomy was my calling. My final year thesis supervisor was also a taxonomist and he helped increase my interest in taxonomy even more.

The course will allow me to acquire skills that will be important towards the sustainable development of my country. I will also be able to work with scientists who are exploring and making ground breaking discoveries of unclassified species, and will go on to conserve biodiversity for sustainable development.

The course is run between Queen Mary and Kew. What’s it like to study at Kew?
Kew is one of the best places to learn conservation science, and it is one of the best places to improve botanical knowledge. It has the largest collection of plants and fungi in the world, its fungarium consists of diverse species of fungi from all over the world, its enormous resources far outweigh what is available in other botanic gardens elsewhere in the world. At Kew, I am interacting with world-class scientists, using resources from the authors of botanical literature for my assessments. At Kew, the possibilities are limitless!

What advice would you give to students interested in the MSc programme?
I would advise students to apply early for the master’s course, as it is a very competitive one. You should really have interest in Taxonomy and do a lot of research into the course’s modules and eligibility criteria. Taxonomists and conservationists are relatively few and more people are needed in the field.


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