Plant Biology (PBS1)

Academic Year 2019/2020

Curricular information is subject to change

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The BSc Plant Biology programme is aimed at graduates who wish to equip themselves with knowledge and skills in advanced plant biology, crop science, genetics, genomics, cell biology, physiology, ecology, and studies on climate change, in order to pursue future careers in plant biology-based industries, environmental agencies, careers that value their training in scientific thinking and analysis, or postgraduate research. The staff associated with the Plant Biology programme aim to help each student to learn and grow to the best of their ability and to offer students the best possible learning experience in a caring and supportive environment. We aim to provide an educational environment that nurtures and expands students’ curiosity, encourages our students to be active, motivated, and autonomous learners, and to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship. Lectures, tutorials, small group discussions are key elements in the programme’s design and are delivered by internationally recognised experts in the field. Our students are also given the opportunity to develop a business plan as part of our programme in innovation and entrepreneurship, and to also engage in a 3-month research project to gain advanced experimental skills. A wide range of assessment procedures are used to evaluate students understanding of the subject and as an integral part of the learning process. Student learning is assessed by final exam, continuous assessment of oral and written presentations, papers and practical class reports, along with assessment of individual or group projects and the final year research thesis.


  • demonstrate advanced knowledge of the variety of disciplines encompassed within Plant Biology in its broadest sense, embracing everything from molecular biology/biotechnology, through whole organism biology to ecology, evolution and the environment.
  • use the acquired knowledge and skill to identify plants in the field, to understand the diversity of plants and their evolution.
  • critically appraise the role of plants as a vital component of the biosphere and how they are responsible for the environmental conditions essential for all life on earth
  • demonstrate an advanced understanding of the importance of plants in addressing the major global challenges of climate change and food security
  • apply their knowledge to formulate hypotheses and test them using appropriate tools
  • interpret a variety of different datasets generated in Plant Biology research
  • appreciate the importance of plants to national wealth and have a clear understanding how scientific research can be taken to the marketplace
  • demonstrate mastery of writing and oral presentation skills resulting in the ability to communicate to a specialist and non-specialist audience, in a clear and unambiguous way, the results of their investigations and/or rationale underlying them.
  • demonstrate the maturity to continue studying and the ability to critically appraise the scientific literature in a largely autonomous manner
  • undertake a major laboratory or field study, to formulate hypothesis, plan and execute experiments to test the hypothesis, generate data and compile a final research thesis
  • master skills in experimental biology including design and analysis of experiments, use of current and advanced research techniques
  • master skills in advanced teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving
Approved Additional Standards for Continuation in undergraduate degree programmes in Science (all majors):

Students who return failing grades in a semester amounting to 15 credits, or more, will be identified under the UCD Continuation and Readmission Policy. Students whose rate of progression and performance over two academic sessions (2 years) is deemed unacceptable will be referred to the Academic Council Committee on Student Conduct and Capacity for exclusion from the programme.
Stage 3

Students take seven core modules and three options. Students may not choose both STAT20070 and FOR20100. Additional modules can be selected from within the BSc programme or alternatively, students may choose 10 credits from elective modules. If you are interested in doing an Internship as part o f Stage 4, you must indicate your interest now (in Stage 3). See full details www.ucd.ie/science /careers/internships/students/

Stage 4

Students take a minimum of 60 credits from within the BSc degree programme. Students take one core module and eight option modules. The 20 credit research project module is spread over two trimesters with about 10 credits of work expected in Autumn. Students should bear this workload in mind when selecting option modules and balance their workload across both trimesters.

Module ID Module Title Trimester Credits
Stage 3 Core Modules
     
BIOL30010 Plant Diseases: Biology and Control Autumn

5

CELB30110 Plant Cell Biology Autumn

5

GENE30010 Genetics and Recombinant DNA Autumn

5

BIOL30030 Working with Biological Data Spring

5

BOTN30050 Diversity of Plant Form & Function Spring

5

BOTN30130 Plant Biotechnology & Entrepreneurship Spring

5

BOTN30140 Experimental Plant Physiology Spring

5

Stage 3 Core Modules
     
Stage 3 Options - A)MIN3OF:
Students must select three options from the list below. Students cannot take both STAT20070 and FOR20100. Students who wish to obtain recognition of the Structured Elective in Statistics and Data Analytics on their degree transcript should register to STAT20070 as an elective.
     
AESC30110 Diversity in the Rural Landscape Autumn

5

AESC30220 Soil Science Applications Autumn

5

CPSC30090 Crop Breeding Autumn

5

ENVB30010 Systems Ecology Autumn

5

FOR20100 Applied Biostatistics Autumn

5

STAT20070 Data Modelling for Science Autumn

5

ZOOL30030 Evolutionary Biology Autumn

5

BIOL30040 Scientific Writing for Biology Spring

5

CELB30090 Advanced Cell Biology Spring

5

CELB30100 Developmental Biology Spring

5

CELB30120 Hot Topics in Cell and Molecular Biology Spring

5

ENVB30100 Ecological and Environmental Microbiology Spring

5

GENE30020 Genome Structure and Evolution Spring

5

Stage 3 Options - A)MIN3OF:
Students must select three options from the list below. Students cannot take both STAT20070 and FOR20100. Students who wish to obtain recognition of the Structured Elective in Statistics and Data Analytics on their degree transcript should register to STAT20070 as an elective.
     
Stage 4 Core Modules
     
BIOL40360 Research Project 2 Trimester duration (Aut-Spr)

20

Stage 4 Core Modules
     
Stage 4 Options - A)MIN8OF:
Students must select eight options from the list below. Please note that students who successfully completed SCI30080 will be registered by the School to the module.
     
BOTN40270 Biology and Ecology of Coastal Wetlands Autumn

5

CELB40020 Developmental Plant Genetics Autumn

5

ENVB40040 Environmental Impact Assessment Autumn

5

ENVB40310 Peatlands and Environmental Change Autumn

5

ENVB40490 Tropical Field Ecology Autumn

5

ENVB40540 Introduction to Ecological Mapping with open source software (QGIS) Autumn

5

SCI30080 Professional Placement-Science Autumn

5

ZOOL40040 Molecular Phylogenetics - Powers and Pitfalls Autumn

5

BOTN40190 Plants and Stress Spring

5

BOTN40260 Plant Phenotyping: from Basics to Robotics Spring

5

CELB40030 Programmed Cell Death in Plants Spring

5

CELB40040 Cell Signalling in Plants Spring

5

ENVB40290 Ecological Modelling Spring

5

ENVB40480 Applied Microbial Ecology Spring

5

ZOOL40030 Insect-Plant Interactions Spring

5

ZOOL40280 Biological Invasions Spring

5

ZOOL40490 Wildlife Habitat Modelling for Ecology and Conservation Spring

5