Programme Specification: Part II Plant Sciences
This course is taught principally by the Department of Plant Sciences. Students may also attend inter-departmental modules run in conjunction with the Departments of Zoology and Genetics, as well as some options within the Part II Zoology course.
- to provide an up-to-date review of several aspects of plant sciences and microbiology, including specialised techniques and experimental approaches used in modern plant and microbial sciences research;
- to enable students to acquire specialised knowledge of selected areas of plant sciences and microbiology;
- to provide training in research skills through an independent research project in a laboratory or field-based context, lasting twelve weeks;
- to provide training in both scientific and transferable skills, including in oral and written presentation, which will serve as a lasting and practical basis for a career in industry, pure or applied biology, teaching, publishing or management.
At the end of the course, students should:
- be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding in several aspects of modern plant and microbial sciences research, and to analyse critically research literature;
- be able to design and execute a research-based experiment, and to interpret the data obtained;
- have acquired knowledge of how research is presented through having produced a written report on their research project, and given an oral presentation.
Teaching and Learning Methods
These include lectures, supervisions, workshops, research work and seminars
Assessment for this course is through:
- four unseen written examinations (for aims 1-2 and learning outcome 1);
- a dissertation of no more than 5000 words based on a research project undertaken by the student over a twelve-week period (for aims 2-4 and learning outcomes 2-3);
- an oral presentation of the major objectives and finding of the research project (for aim 4 and learning outcome 3);
- a critical essay of no more than 2500 words on a topic unrelated to the research project (for aims 1, 2 and 4 and learning outcomes 1 and 3).
Courses of Preparation
Essential: at least one biological subject in Parts IA or IB of the NST.
Recommended: Part IB of the NST, including any of Plant and Microbial Sciences, Cell and Developmental Biology, Ecology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and/or Pathology; Part IA of the NST, including any of: Biology of Cells, Physiology of Organisms and/or Evolution and Behaviour.