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Plant Diversity (MSc)

Course Description

This course provides professional-level training in the characterisation, assessment and sustainable management of plant diversity.

The course embeds plant knowledge through laboratory and field classes, while emphasising vocational skills and scientific rigour. We offer advanced training in molecular methods and geographic information systems (GIS) to complement core teaching in taxonomy and field botany, and the policy context of biodiversity conservation is taught alongside practice.

The MSc suits enthusiastic botanists wishing to pursue a career within public sector or voluntary organisations, in environmental consultancy or academia. This MSc is the only one at Reading emphasising the diversity of plants and vegetation types.

Modules include:

• Diversity and Identification of Plants
• Vegetation Survey and Assessment
• Global Biodiversity and Conservation
• Molecular Systematics
• GIS for Wildlife Managers.

What career can you have?

All our masters' courses emphasise the practical skills that employers need, whether that is the ability to identify plants, carry out environmental assessments or use the latest cutting-edge molecular techniques. As a Reading MSc graduate you will be well equipped to work in the field or the lab, and in the private or public sector. Many of our graduates go on to study for a PhD and pursue a career in research, either in industry or universities. Typical roles of graduates from our ecology- and wildlife-based MSc courses include conservation officers, project managers, field ecologists and environmental consultants.


Learn from enthusiastic and friendly academics with a real passion for their subject; draw on their advice and experience gained from years of teaching and research expertise in both biomedical and evolutionary biology/ecology.

Our research interests span the broad scope of modern biology, from individual molecules to global biodiversity and sustainability, and we emphasise cross-disciplinary and quantitative approaches.

The Cole Museum of Zoology and the Herbarium: research and teaching facilities containing over 4,000 zoological specimens and around 300,000 plant specimens.

Modern, well-equipped laboratories will support your learning and research. These include automated DNA sequencers and real-time PCR machines for molecular work; a state-of-the-art imaging suite with confocal and super resolution microscopes; dedicated microbiology laboratories for the study of bacteria and viruses; excellent computing facilities for computer intensive work in phylogenetics, bioinformatics, protein structure, evolution and population biology; and Controlled Environment suites for the study of invertebrates and plants.

Visit the Plant Diversity (MSc) page on the University of Reading website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You are normally required to have a good undergraduate honours degree in botany, biology or environmental science (or equivalent from a university outside the UK). If you have other qualifications and a number of years' relevant work experience then you may also be eligible to apply.

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