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Biological Sciences×

Masters Degrees in Developmental & Reproductive Plant Biology, United Kingdom

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This MSc takes advantage of our unique expertise in Plant Genetics to provide expert, cutting-edge training in a highly prized discipline. Read more
This MSc takes advantage of our unique expertise in Plant Genetics to provide expert, cutting-edge training in a highly prized discipline. The degree provides an ideal grounding for PhD research or a career in plant breeding and crop improvement with modules including Genetics, Plant Genomics, Plant Molecular Genetics and Statistics for Plant Science.

Your taught modules will be complemented by a six-month laboratory-based research project, giving you the opportunity to work closely with world-leading scientists from the John Innes Centre and our School of Biological Sciences.

The John Innes Centre – based on Norwich Research Park alongside UEA – is one of the world’s leading research institutes in plant genetics and crop improvement, so there are few places in the world where you’ll find a better opportunity to work with such leading authorities and world-class facilities.

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In the last 10-15 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 the last 10-15 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 programme provides training in modern molecular aspects of plant science. Teaching is delivered by academics from the University’s Centre for Plant Sciences (CPS) and is often related to their areas of expertise and current research projects.

You’ll benefit from the research of international experts in DNA recombination and repair mechanisms and explore the wide range of approaches used in bio-imaging alongside the range of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular sciences. You’ll explore the key topic areas of molecular biology; structural biology; cell imaging and flow cytometry; high throughput techniques; and transgenic organisms.

Our Facilities

You’ll study in a stimulating environment which houses cutting-edge facilities. The CPS laboratories feature a state-of-the-art plant growth unit, including tissue culture suites with culture rooms, growth rooms and cabinets alongside glass-houses to meet a range of growth requirements.

Course content

You’ll gain an overview of a range of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular sciences through the investigation of five topic areas: molecular biology; structural biology; cell imaging and flow cytometry; high throughput techniques; and transgenic organisms. You’ll also conduct an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based 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 topics such as the engineering of plants, development of stress-tolerant crop varieties and techniques for gene expression and gene silencing. You’ll have the opportunity to benefit from the research of international experts in DNA recombination and repair mechanisms and their importance for transgene integration and biotechnological applications; biogenesis of mitochondria, chloroplast and peroxisomes; 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.

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

We provide the very best learning resources and academic support and our teaching draws on the University’s world-class research base and highly-qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Through your research project and specialist plant science and biotechnology 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 Biotechnology MSc, along with the specialist and generic skills you develop, mean you’re equipped for a wide range of careers.

Our graduates work in diverse posts, 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 programmes.

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.

Further study

A substantial proportion of our graduates undertake further study at Leeds or elsewhere. Recent graduates have gone on to:

  • PhD positions in the UK, USA and overseas eg at the Max Planck Institute, Germany
  • research post at Harvard School of Public Health, Botswana.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.




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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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On a national and international scale there is an increasing need to reconcile the need for increased food production with the need for conservation of natural resources. Read more

The course

On a national and international scale there is an increasing need to reconcile the need for increased food production with the need for conservation of natural resources. There is also a need for people to understand and deal with complex land situations such as within agricultural systems. This course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic and applied agro-ecology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, the increased and shifting needs for food production and on the other the need for conservation and management of natural resources. Sustainable food production and sustainable intensification are of high policy importance both nationally and internationally. Agro-ecology is a key aspect of sustainable intensification.

How will it benefit me?

An understanding of agro-ecology and the organisms and systems that underpin agricultural systems can facilitate the ability to manage agricultural systems in a more sustainable manner.
This course will provide the foundation for a career in both conservation and in agriculture.
The course will provide you with specialized training in agroecology and farmland conservation.

You will be able to:

Appraise the role of agro-ecology within the wider context of global food security and sustainable food production
Evaluate the strategic and operational issues and conflicts affecting the sustainable management of agricultural ecosystems in order to select the most appropriate conservation management solutions.
Evaluate the interactions between organisms and consider these when making management recommendations for successful agro-ecological landscapes
Develop the ability to solve conflicts in agro-ecosystems by the application of novel research techniques

The course will:
Prepare you for a career in conservation agriculture, or agriculture or conservation more widely.
Offer vocational training in the field of agroecology.
Enable you to make a more informed choices for further study, such as PhD studies or other career development

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Our MPhil/PhD research degree programme offers you. Wide variety of research interests. Research interests of the group include plant-microbe interactions, cell cycle and cell signalling. Read more
Our MPhil/PhD research degree programme offers you:

Wide variety of research interests
Research interests of the group include plant-microbe interactions, cell cycle and cell signalling. In general, the group use molecular biology, plant pathology, proteomics, genetics, microscopy and bioinformatics to investigate the functional role of genes in various conditions. These include biotic stress, flowering, cell cycling, circadian rhythm, receptor-ligand interactions, identification of pathogen secreted molecules and their function, targeted genome editing using CRISPR technology, comparisons of bacterial genomes using next generation sequencing and bioinformatics.

Excellent supervision
Benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced academics working at the forefront of their disciplines. The team members have collaborations within and outside the UK, thus possibilities for travelling and longer term visits exist at national and international partner universities.

Resources
Access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and its state of the art library facilities. The Institute of Science and the Environment has an excellent range of resources available to support your learning and your research project.

Recent research
Regulation of effectors by circadian rhythm; Identification of PAMPs and apoplastic effectors from downy mildew pathogen; Role of heterozygosity in effector-triggered immunity, investigating immune system of plants using genome editing technology and biopesticides.

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