This is a full time 12 month MSc programme which is assessed entirely through coursework.
You will undertake a Practical Bioinformatics module introducing you to relevant tools and approaches. Bioinformatics is crucial to plant science research and here you will gain hands on experience of bioinformatics methods for exploring and evaluating sequence information.
You will also study Research Planning and Communication, developing your transferable skills essential for scientific research such as reading and understanding research papers, literature searching, writing a literature review, writing a grant proposal for a programme of research. A double weight module on Sustainable Crop Production will examine drivers for change in food and agricultural systems, UK and global food security and climate adaptation.
Your Advanced Biomolecular technologies module will provide you with the theoretical background to a variety of cutting edge techniques and develop skills in data analysis and interpretation. You’ll also apply your knowledge to an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based mini-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 second double weight module on Crop Science and Biotechnology will explore future crops, advanced plant breeding techniques and new techniques for genome engineering underpinning sustainable crop production.
In the final part of your course you'll choose and undertake an independent research project on a specific topic in plant science. Building on your theoretical and practical knowledge from your other modules, you’ll receive extensive specialist 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.
You’ll study in a stimulating environment which houses extensive facilities developed to support and enhance your research.
As well as Faculty operated state of the art facilities the CPS laboratories are well equipped for plant research. There is also a recently refurbished plant growth suite, including tissue culture suites with controlled environment rooms, growth rooms and flow cabinets alongside transgenic glass-houses to meet a range of growth requirements.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Practical Bioinformatics - 15 credits
In this module you will gain an overview of the practical problems that bioinformatic tools can be used to solve in academic and industrial biological research.
You will use these tools to work on a defined research problem as part of a team and to describe the investigation and results in written and verbal form.
Research Planning and Scientific Communication - 15 credits
In this module you will learn how to plan and structure research from an individual experiment to a program of work. Furthermore, the module seeks to train you in communicating scientific research in different formats including; literature review, scientific research papers and oral presentations.
Sustainable Crop Production - 30 credits
In this module, you will learn about past, current and future strategies for the growth of crops. This will include understanding the drivers for change in food and agricultural systems, UK and global food security, and strategies for increased sustainability, resilience and climate adaptation in crop species. This module features a combination of lectures, seminars and practicals.
Advanced Biomolecular Technologies - 15 credits
In this module you will learn about a range of techniques and technologies which are applicable to the modern biosciences. Exercises will develop data analysis and problem solving skills, and expose you to current research trends in the biosciences and to leading researchers in the field.
Protein Engineering Laboratory Project - 15 credits
In this module you will receive practical skills training in a range of modern biological experimental techniques principally based around molecular biology.
In addition you will receive training in maintaining laboratory records and in writing your results in the format of a scientific research paper.
Crop Science and Plant Biotechnology - 30 credits
In this module you will learn about the cutting edge tool and techniques that are currently and prospectively being used to generate ‘future crops’, including speed breeding, genomic prediction, high throughput genotyping, quantitative genetics, genome sequencing and genome engineering. The module features a combination of seminars, tutorials and practicals.
MSc Research Project - 60 credits
An individual research project in a topic in Plant Science and/or Plant Biotechnology.
Learning and teaching
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, seminars and tutorials, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations. A significant component of the course is delivered via small group sessions.
Through your research project and specialist plant science 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.
The course is designed to develop your independent thinking, problem-solving, communication skills and practical ability, making you attractive to employers or providing an excellent foundation for further study (eg, PhD).
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
The course is 100% coursework assessed. There are a range of assessments in different formats for example practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, literature reviews, research paper critiques, posters and oral presentations. Your individual research project is written up in research paper format.
These assessment types all develop skills relevant to a future career in academia as well as a variety of careers in public and commercial science.