The course is well balanced but broadly based and designed to contribute to a variety of careers. The course content centres around understanding the whole living plant. Students learn about the plant genome and its contribution to the metabolism and structure of plant cells and tissues. This leads to understanding of growth patterns, responses to light, carbon and mineral nutrients, and other environmental factors. Plant biodiversity is viewed in terms of plant evolution, classification and the contribution to global vegetation. Ecology is the relationship between communities of plants, other organisms and the surrounding environment. The teaching of ecology explores the past history of vegetation, the present patterns, and future trends dependent on global change. Field courses, projects, seminars, debates as well as lecture and practical courses are the modes of teaching. This range ensures that communication skills, computer literacy and problem-solving abilities are developed by the class.
Plant Sciences incorporates a wide range of studies including:
- Ecology & Conservation Genetics
- Plant Animal Interactions
- Plant Biochemistry
- Plant Molecular Biology
- Plant Physiology
- Quaternary Ecology
Teaching is supported by the laboratories and greenhouses on Campus, the College Botanic Garden and the internationally recognised Herbarium. Most courses are derived from active research lines and emphasis is placed on the student's own research project in the final year. There are also opportunities for access to complementary courses in other departments.
Naturally, your Sophister years are also designed to offer you the learning opportunities to gain skills in communication, numeracy and scientific problem solving. In addition, the Department is fully committed to the Broad Curriculum initiative and we will allow you to participate in the opportunities that this initiative presents. You will have the opportunity to study all these areas and, particularly in your final year, choose some topics for in-depth investigations.
Assessment is by a combination of in-course assessment and examination.