Plant Biology

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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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

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Plant Biology. Topics include plant biotechnology, plant physiology, plant ecology, plant genetics, and plant cell and molecular biology.

First Year

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Plant Biology
  • + 2 Other Science Subjects
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Plant Biology
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Plant Biology (includes a research project.)

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
  • Wildlife, conservation, biodiversity or heritage officers

Graduates are also eligible to pursue MSc programmes in UCD in World Heritage Management and Plant Biology 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


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