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Biological Sciences×

Masters Degrees in Plant Pathology

Masters degrees in Plant Pathology provide advanced training in the biology, ecology, and epidemiology of pathogens. They include the molecular study of plant-insect and crop-weed relationships, providing practical experience in the development of disease-resistant plants and strategies for integrated pest management.

Taught MSc courses are typical for this field, though research oriented MRes and MPhil courses may also be available at some institutions.

Why study a Masters in Plant Pathology?

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The Plant Biotechnology programme is the combination of different fields of the classical plant sciences (e.g. plant physiology, plant breeding, plant pathology) working with a whole new range of techniques and possibilities opened up by modern molecular biology. Read more

MSc Plant Biotechnology

The Plant Biotechnology programme is the combination of different fields of the classical plant sciences (e.g. plant physiology, plant breeding, plant pathology) working with a whole new range of techniques and possibilities opened up by modern molecular biology.

Programme summary

Due to rapid technological developments in the genomics, molecular biology and biotechnology, the use of molecular marker technology has accelerated the selection of new plant varieties with many desirable traits. It also facilitates the design, development and management of transgenic plants. At present, plants are increasingly used to produce valuable proteins and secondary metabolites for food and pharmaceutical purposes. New insights into the molecular basis of plant-insect, plant- pathogen and crop-weed relationships enable the development of disease-resistant plants and strategies for integrated pest management. A fundamental approach is combined with the development of tools and technologies to apply in plant breeding, plant pathology, post-harvest quality control, and the production of renewable resources. Besides covering the technological aspects, Plant Biotechnology also deals with the ethical issues and regulatory aspects, including intellectual property rights.

Specialisations

Functional Plant Genomics
Functional genomics aims at understanding the relationship between an organism's genome and its phenotype. The availability of a wide variety of sequenced plant genomes has revolutionised insight into plant genetics. By combining array technology, proteomics, metabolomics and phenomics with bioinformatics, gene expression can be studied to understand the dynamic properties of plants and other organisms.

Plants for Human and Animal Health
Plants are increasingly being used as a safe and inexpensive alternative for the production of valuable proteins and metabolites for food supplements and pharmaceuticals. This specialisation provides a fundamental understanding of how plants can be used for the production of foreign proteins and metabolites. In addition, biomedical aspects such as immunology and food allergy, as well as nutritional genomics and plant metabolomics, can also be studied.

Molecular Plant Breeding and Pathology
Molecular approaches to analyse and modify qualitative and quantitative traits in crops are highly effective in improving crop yield, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance. Molecular plant breeding focuses on the application of genomics and QTL-mapping to enable marker assisted selection of a trait of interest (e.g. productivity, quality). Molecular plant pathology aims to provide a greater understanding of plant-insect, plant-pathogen and crop-weed interactions in addition to developing new technologies for integrated plant health management.These technologies include improved molecular detection of pathogens and transgene methods to introduce resistance genes into crops.

Your future career

The main career focus of graduates in Plant Biotechnology is on research and development positions at universities, research institutes, and biotech- or plant breeding companies. Other job opportunities can be found in the fields of policy, consultancy and communication in agribusiness and both governmental and non-governmental organisations. Over 75% of Plant Biotechnology graduates start their (academic) career with a PhD.

Alumnus Behzad Rashidi.
“I obtained my bachelor degree in the field of agricultural engineering, agronomy and plant breeding, at Isfahan University of Technology, Iran. The curiosity and interest for studying plant biotechnology and great reputation of Wageningen University motivated me to follow the master programme Plant Biotechnology. I got a chance to do my internship at State University of New York at Buffalo, working on biofuel production from microalgae. Working with this small unicellular organism made me even more motivated to continue my research after my master. Now I am doing my PhD in the Plant Breeding department of Wageningen University, working on biorefinery of microalgae.”

Related programmes:
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Nutrition and Health
MSc Bioinformatics
MSc Biology.

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Harper Adams is the UK’s only provider of a postgraduate course in plant pathology. There is currently a shortage of expertise in this important topic, which is a key element in the effort to ensure global food security and mitigating the effects of climate change. Read more
Harper Adams is the UK’s only provider of a postgraduate course in plant pathology. There is currently a shortage of expertise in this important topic, which is a key element in the effort to ensure global food security and mitigating the effects of climate change. By successfully completing this course you will develop a range of abilities that will prepare for an interesting and fulfilling career in an area with considerable opportunities.

Although food production has tripled in the last 40 years, approximately 1 billion people still go hungry, with an average of 30 per cent of all available food being wasted during production, processing and distribution. Crop losses through plant disease either pre- or post-harvest are an important component of these losses.

The aim of the course is to provide students with specialized training in plant pathology.

The course will:
◾ prepare students for a career in plant pathology
◾ offer vocational training in the area of applied plant pathology
◾ prepare students for PhD studies

The course is intended to provide a detailed understanding of basic and applied plant pathology and the issues associated with current production systems and control strategies. The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams and longstanding collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.

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The MSc programme in Parasitology and Pathogen Biology is designed for students seeking training in parasite-borne infectious diseases that severely undermine. Read more
The MSc programme in Parasitology and Pathogen Biology is designed for students seeking training in parasite-borne infectious diseases that severely undermine: human health in the developing world and tropics; agri-food production systems globally (including plant health and animal health and welfare).

Students taking the course will develop expertise directly applicable to human, plant and animal health and welfare, food security and the future sustainability of food production, particularly within livestock and plant/crop production systems.

The course will be run entirely by research active and will offer students the opportunity to gain experience in internationally competitive laboratories.

PROGRAMME CONTENT
The MSc programme in Parasitology and Pathogen Biology is designed for students seeking training in parasite-borne infectious diseases that severely undermine: human health in the developing world and tropics; agri-food production systems globally (including plant health and animal health and welfare). Students taking the course will develop expertise directly applicable to human, plant and animal health and welfare, food security and the future sustainability of food production, particularly within livestock and plant/crop production systems.

Students undertaking this MSc course will study the folling modules:

- Foundation for Research in the Biosciences 20CATS
- Fundamental Parasitology & Advanced Skills 20CATS
- Advanced Parasitology I 20CATS
- Advanced Parasitology II 20CATS
- Bio-Entrepreneurship & Advanced Skills 20CATS
- Literature Review 20CATS
- Research Project 60CATS

CAREER PROSPECTS
It is anticipated that the skills set and knowledge acquired will equip participants with a comprehensive academic and methodological repertoire to undertake careers in agriculture, plant science, animal and human health, pharmaceutica, academia and food security, underpinning the transdisciplinary nature of the programme.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

WHY QUEEN'S?
The MSc programme embraces the One Health approach to these infectious diseases, with strong recognition of the interplay between health and disease at the dynamic interface between humans, animals and the environment.

In addition to embedded generic skills training, students will have the opportunity to acquire subject-specific skills training, e.g. molecular biology techniques, diagnostics, epidemiology (human, animal and plant diseases), drug/vaccine development, pathogen management/control, host-parasite interaction, immunobiology, drug resistance and the potential impact of climate change on parasites and their vectors.

In addition to the taught elements of the course, MSc students will undertake a research project working in research active laboratories (academic or industrial), or in the field, e.g. the impact of helminth infections on animal welfare, the economic impact of parasites on agriculture, the role of vectors in emerging diseases, the ecology of zoonotic diseases, the molecular basis of anthelmintic resistance, emerging technologies for drug discovery, the pathology of infection, parasite immunomodulation of the host.

The transferrable skill set and knowledge base acquired from the programme will equip students with a highly desirable qualification that is suited to those wishing to pursue careers in human health/infectious disease, animal health, veterinary medicine, animal/plant biology, pharmaceutical sciences and food security.

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The Crop Pest and Disease Management course will offer students training in techniques to facilitate crop food production. Read more
The Crop Pest and Disease Management course will offer students training in techniques to facilitate crop food production. The course covers a broad range of topics in applied entomology, plant pathology and nematology and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter either a pest/disease management work environment or a research career in applied entomology, plant pathology or pest management. There is, however, considerable flexibility within the course thus enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.

The course

The continuing production of safe, wholesome food in an environmentally sensitive manner is a major political issue for national governments and internationally within global commodity markets. A report produced by the UK Cabinet Office in 2008 (Food Matters: Towards a Strategy for the 21st Century) predicts that the global population will rise to 9Bn by 2050 rising from a current estimate of nearly 6.8Bn. This increase in population size will substantially increase the demand for food. The global estimates vary in magnitude, but it is thought approximately 25% of crops are lost to pests and diseases, such as insects, fungi and other plant pathogens (FAO Crop Prospects and Food Situation 2009).

The Crop Pest and Disease Management course will offer students training in techniques to facilitate crop food production. The course covers a broad range of topics in applied entomology, plant pathology and nematology and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter either a pest/disease management work environment or a research career in applied entomology, plant pathology or pest management. There is, however, considerable flexibility within the course thus enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.

Research projects are available in a wide range of subjects covered by the research groups within the Crop and Environment Sciences Department and choices are made in consultation with expert staff. Projects at linked research institutes in the UK and overseas are also available. The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of research at Harper Adams and long-standing collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.

How will it benefit me?

Having completed the MSc you will be able to identify the underlying causes of major pest and disease problems and recognize economically important insects, plant diseases and weeds.

You will also be able to apply integrated pest control methods and oversee their application. The course will focus on the ecological and management principles of pest control and you will learn to evaluate the consequences of pesticide use and application on the biological target. You will also receive training in the evaluation of the economic and environmental costs of integrated approaches to pest control in relation to biological effectiveness. Ultimately, the course will enable students to produce integrated pest and disease management solutions that pay due regard to agricultural, horticultural, social and environmental requirements.

In addition, there is considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions

The research project for the MSc will allow you to test hypotheses relevant to pest and disease management research by designing, carrying out, analysing and interpreting experiments or surveys. You will learn to evaluate and interpret data and draw relevant conclusions from existing pest and disease management case studies.

The MSc covers a broad range of topics relevant to pest and disease management and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter a vocational work environment or pursue a research career. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.

Careers

Previous graduates from the course have mainly gone on to work for ADAS or commercial biological control companies, the agro-chemical industry or horticulture sector. Others have joined Research Institutes such as Forest Research, FERA, or Rothamsted Research. Typically 30% of MSc Integrated Pest & Disease Management graduates will go into research careers or onto PhD courses.

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This is a modular course for students with a background in plant biology or horticulture, who wish to develop their knowledge of the commercial production and storage of horticulture crops. Read more

Overview

This is a modular course for students with a background in plant biology or horticulture, who wish to develop their knowledge of the commercial production and storage of horticulture crops.

Core Modules

* International Crop Production
* Postharvest Physiology and Pathology
* Logistics & Supply Chain Management
* Research Methods
* Personal Development Planning
* Crop Production Technology
* Controlled Environment Agriculture
* Packaging & Product Innovation
* Global Trade and Dissertation.

The course can be completed in one year on a full-time basis. Part-time students can take two-three years to complete the course.

Key Features

* A combination of theory, practical experience and industrial visits
* Development of interpersonal and communication skills
* An international dimension to the course content
* Opportunity to undertake original research in the UK or abroad.

If you would like to find out more about our postgraduate courses please see here: http://www.writtle.ac.uk/Postgraduate-Courses

Career Prospects

Upon completion of the course, graduates have moved into crop production with international growers and management positions with major import/export organisations.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally hold a BSc or equivalent in a horticulture or plant science related topic, but applications are equally welcome from individuals with extensive industrial experience.

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Crop agriculture provides mankind’s increasing population with foods, fibres and fuel. This MSc will provide you with knowledge and practical skills focused on how crops are improved, grown and managed. Read more
Crop agriculture provides mankind’s increasing population with foods, fibres and fuel. This MSc will provide you with knowledge and practical skills focused on how crops are improved, grown and managed. You’ll gain a combination of practical skills and academic understanding to develop a critical and creative mindset.

Through lectures, small-group interactive workshops, practicals, tutorials, field and site visits, you’ll learn the principles of crop production and explore the latest advances in integrated pest, disease and weed management. You’ll gain an understanding of the importance of the soil for nutrition and water uptake, modern techniques of plant breeding, and how crop trials are designed and analysed. You’ll undertake eight core modules:
-Crop Physiology & Production
-Advances in Crop Protection
-Soil, Water & Plant Mineral Nutrition
-Climate Change
-Organic & Low Input Systems
-Cereal, Oilseed & Root Crop Agronomy
-Introduction to BASIS – Crop Protection
-Plant Breeding & Trial Design for Registration, and up to two further options.

You’ll also complete a dissertation based on a placement at a host organisation or on a topic related to sustainable crop production that interests you.

Our graduates have taken jobs in technical agronomy, crop trialing and agricultural consultancy for industry specialists such as Bayer Crop Science, Agrovista and Agrinig (Nigeria). They’ve also progressed to leading roles in marketing, sales, policy development and professional consultancy.

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This programme is concerned with understanding the biology of plants at the molecular level. Read more
This programme is concerned with understanding the biology of plants at the molecular level. We study, in particular, mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity and host plant defence in temperate and tropical species, cell and molecular biology of pollen-stigma recognition and signalling in flowering plants, plant hormone and G protein signalling pathways, genomics and gene networks, and molecular biology of stress responses in the important tropical crop cassava.

The MSc programmes in Biology & Biochemistry are designed for students who wish to specialise further in a particular field or wish to change direction from their first degree (in a related area).

If you already have extensive and relevant research experience and would like to specialise, you might consider an MRes programme.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/msc-molecular-plant-sciences/

Why study Biology and Biochemistry with us?

- Biology & Biochemistry ranked 2nd in the Sunday Times University Guide 2013
- 90% of our research judged to be internationally recognised, excellent or world-leading
- Our current research funding portfolio stands at £14 million, supporting internationally excellent research in the biosciences

What will I learn?

The aim of each of our MSc programmes in Biology and Biochemistry is to provide professional-level training that will develop highly skilled bioscientists with strong theoretical, research and transferable skills, all of which are necessary to work at the forefront of modern biosciences.

For further information please see our department pages (http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/)

Career opportunities

Since graduating, our students have gone on to employment or further research at institutions in the US, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.

Recent employers include:

Morvus-Technology Ltd
Janssen-Cilag
Royal United Hospital, Bath
Ministry of Defence
State Intellectual Property Office, Beijing
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford University
AbCam
Salisbury Foundation Trust Hospital
BBSRC
Lonza

Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/

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Molecular Plant Scientists attempt to understand the biology of plants at the molecular level. Read more
Molecular Plant Scientists attempt to understand the biology of plants at the molecular level. We study, in particular, mechansims of microbial pathogenicity and host plant defence in temperate and tropical species, cell and molecular biology of pollen-stigma recognition and signalling in flowering plants, plant hormone and G protein signalling pathways, genomics and gene networks, and molecular biology of stress responses in the important tropical crop cassava.

The MRes provides a unique mix of taught components, extended laboratory projects, literature reviews and preparation of a grant proposal based on a research dissertation.It gives students an insight into a range of state-of-the-art research activities and techniques, and provides generic, transferable skills training needed for all early stage researchers.

The programmes also address the scientific, ethical and commercial context within which the research takes place.

All of the MRes programmes can be studied as the first year of our Integrated PhD programme.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/mres-molecular-plant-sciences/

Why study Biology & Biochemistry with us?

- Biology & Biochemistry ranked 2nd in the Sunday Times University Guide 2013
- 90% of our research judged to be internationally recognised, excellent or world-leading
- Our current research funding portfolio stands at £14 million, supporting internationally excellent research in the biosciences

What will I learn?

MRes degree programmes are designed for graduates who are contemplating a research career and who may go on to study for a PhD or to a position in industry involving interaction with research scientists.

If these do not apply, you might consider an MSc programme (http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/masters/)

For further information please see our department pages (http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/).

Career opportunities

Since graduating, our students have gone on to employment or further research at institutions in the US, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. Recent employers include:

Morvus-Technology Ltd
Janssen-Cilag
Royal United Hospital, Bath
Ministry of Defence
State Intellectual Property Office, Beijing
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford University
AbCam
Salisbury Foundation Trust Hospital
BBSRC
Lonza

Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/

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