Plant Biology

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

overlay image

Course Video

Curricular information is subject to change.

Open All
Why is this course for me?

Plant Biology is the scientific study of plants, fungi and algae. Plants are vital for supporting and maintaining the atmospheric and environmental conditions required for all life on earth. They are the mainstay of human and animal diets, while also providing pharmaceuticals, timber, paper and clothing.

Plants are being exploited as sources of renewable energy and biofuels, and make an important contribution to measures aimed at reducing the effects of climate change. A key to the further development of plants for practical or economic use is an improved understanding of metabolic and developmental processes and their interactions with environmental factors.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

Plant Biology is one of the degree subjects available through the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream in the common entry Science course.

Students study similar modules for all degree subjects in the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream in first year and will study modules for a minimum of two degree subjects in second year. At the end of second year, students choose their degree major. Assuming students meet all the academic requirements in first and second year, students are guaranteed a degree subject from the stream they are studying in second year. We do our best to ensure that students go on to study their top degree subject choice. As we offer plenty of degree subjects in each stream, students have a number of similar degree subjects to choose from as their degree major. This is a sample set of modules that a Plant Biology student could study each year in UCD.

First Year

  • Scientific Enquiry
  • Cell Biology & Genetics
  • Basis of Organic and Biological Chemistry
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Biology in Action
  • Life on Earth
  • Linear Algebra for Science
  • Calculus for Science
  • Optional Science Modules
  • Elective Module

Second Year

  • Biomolecular Lab Skills
  • Scientific Communication
  • Principles of Plant Biology
  • Chemistry for Biologists
  • + modules for 2 other Science Subjects
  • Elective Modules

Third Year

  • Plant Diseases: Biology
  • Plant Cell Biology
  • Genetics & Recombinant DNA
  • Working with Biological Data
  • Diversity of Plant Form & Function
  • Plant Biotechnology & Entrepreneurship
  • Experimental Plant Physiology
  • Optional Modules
  • Elective Modules

Fourth Year

  • Research Project
  • Biology & Ecology of Coastal Wetlands
  • Plant Biology Field Course
  • Developmental Plant Genetics
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Plant Phenotyping
  • Programmed Cell Death in Plants
  • Biological Invasions

Timetables & Assessment

Each student will have their own timetable based on their individual module selection. This is a full time course and classes may include lectures, practicals and tutorials, depending on the subjects. Students will also be expected to study independently (autonomous student learning). Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities.

For detailed information on subject content click here

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Plant Biology graduates have obtained positions as:

  • Plant and environmental scientists
  • Pollution biologists
  • Molecular geneticists and cell biologists
  • Agronomists, horticulturalists, foresters or park rangers
  • Environmental consultants
  • Heritage officers

Graduates are also eligible to pursue MSc programmes in UCD in Applied Environmental Science and Biotechnology, in addition to PhD programmes both in Ireland and abroad.

Other Entry Routes

“Placing UCD Science at the top of my CAO was an easy choice as I could explore all subject areas before making an informed decision on my degree. To me, no area holds greater merit for study than plant science. Its implications infiltrate all aspects of modern society from global food security to phytopharmaceuticals. I am currently Vice-Auditor of the UCD Biological Society. Being involved in a society has allowed me to meet other people from various stages and degrees in UCD as well as encounter some incredible scientists. Last year, Nobel Prize laureate Sir Paul Nurse came to UCD to receive our George Sigerson Award for Inspiring Aspiring Scientists. The UCD O’Brien Centre for Science is home to unparalleled plant science labs and teaching facilities including the Bloom gold medal winning UCD Evolution Garden.”

Caroline Dowling, Graduate

Contact Information

Associate Professor Carl Ng
UCD School of Biology & Environmental Science
Dublin 4


Skip to content