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Plant Sciences

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.

Aims

  1. 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;
  2. to enable students to acquire specialised knowledge of selected areas of plant sciences and microbiology;
  3. to provide training in research skills through an independent research project in a laboratory or field-based context, lasting twelve weeks;
  4. 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.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students should:

  1. be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding in several aspects of modern plant and microbial sciences research, and to analyse critically research literature;
  2. be able to design and execute a research-based experiment, and to interpret the data obtained;
  3. 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

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.

Additional Information

Further information on each subject is available in the Subject summary and on the Course Websites pages.