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Masters Degrees in Plant Cell Science, United Kingdom

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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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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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Our MRes in Plant and Microbial Biology provides a unique opportunity to learn from research leaders investigating topics such as global food security, the impact on plants of climate change and plant-microbe interactions. Read more

About the course

Our MRes in Plant and Microbial Biology provides a unique opportunity to learn from research leaders investigating topics such as global food security, the impact on plants of climate change and plant-microbe interactions. Research ranges from molecules to whole organisms, ecosystems and global systems.

Our MRes degrees are excellent preparation for a career in research or industry. These courses enable you to develop your own research skills and contribute new knowledge to your chosen field.

Where your masters can take you

Our MRes programme will provide you with an excellent foundation for a career in research or industry. It is ideal preparation for a PhD degree, whilst also providing advanced level skills in research methods, data analysis, and clear communication of research findings, all of which are in high demand from employers.

Tailor your masters to your own research interests

Our MRes programme is uniquely research-focused. You will be assigned to a research supervisor on the basis of your particular research interests. You’ll be embedded within a research group, working alongside PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and academic staff who are at the forefront of their research field.

You will conduct an extended research project over several months, with the aim of producing original work of publishable quality.

Course structure

Each programme has a common element where you will learn about the most recent developments in your research area and discuss them with research leaders from the UK and around the world.

You will gain advanced skills in experimental design, data analysis and presentation, as you learn how to become a research leader yourself.

Core modules

Advanced Trends in Biology; Advanced Biological Analysis; Research and Study Skills in Biology; Tutorials; Literature Review; and Research Project. The latter accounts for half of your final grade.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is via 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, project report, literature review, critiques, short reports and essays, oral presentations including a viva.

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The one-year course, tailored to your particular interests, is a stepping stone to further study at PhD level or a gateway to many careers in industry (e.g agriculture, pharmaceutical and the healthcare sector), scientific services, science communication, the teaching profession or in scientific policymaking. Read more

Summary

The one-year course, tailored to your particular interests, is a stepping stone to further study at PhD level or a gateway to many careers in industry (e.g agriculture, pharmaceutical and the healthcare sector), scientific services, science communication, the teaching profession or in scientific policymaking.

We offer MRes courses in Biological Sciences with a focus in one of the following research areas:

- Biodiversity, Ecology and Ecosystem services
- Biotechnology
- Developmental Biology
- Microbiology
- Neuroscience
- Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
- Plant Biology
- Zoology

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