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Botany: Biological and Biomedical Sciences

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What is Botany?

Botany is the scientific study of plants. These studies are pursued in the field, in the botanic garden and in laboratories. Plants range from the largest forest trees to single-celled algae of fresh and marine waters. The study of plants is of vital importance; they are the source of the food we eat, the oxygen we breathe, most of the medicines we use, and are core to the understanding of the processes of global climate change. Dealing with the threats from global climate change will be one of the biggest challenges of this century. Human manipulation of plants in the future will need to provide food and energy for an expanding human population, whilst conserving the biodiversity of living organisms and integrity of habitats.

Botany: The course for you?

If you are interested in the future of the planet and life on it then Botany is for you. Almost no other course offers you the opportunity to study the natural, living World in the field and laboratory. Our graduates enter into a large range of careers and, as there is a global shortage of plant scientists find employment in a huge range of careers.

Botany @ Trinity

Trinity’s Botany course is unique in content in Ireland and uncommon in a European context. Uniquely, we integrate small-group teaching, field-based activities and the laboratory. Field-based teaching in ecology, physiology and plant evolution is at its heart: we consider both the whole plant and how it works in a natural context. All staff are research active with high profile, strong research interests in Ireland and the tropics. Consistently, our graduates have rated our course very highly indeed: we believe that our course offers you the best possible training in Ireland for your future career.

Graduate skills and career opportunities

When you graduate you can move directly into a career related to plant biology, such as nature conservation, environmental consultancy, environmental protection, plant evolutionary biology or agricultural research as well as teaching at second-level. Our recent graduates are employed in many organisations, including Teagasc, the OPW, Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin, Kew, Edinburgh, Oman and Missouri, Barclay Crop Protection and the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre. Alternatively, you might decide to go on to take a higher degree in Trinity or elsewhere. The skills you acquire in the third and fourth years are also widely applicable in business and industry.

Your degree and what you’ll study

Trinity specialises in the study of the evolution and conservation of all forms of plant life and their response to global climate change impacts.
Courses include:
Plant biodiversity and conservation, Ecology, Plant physiology and global climate change, Long-term environmental change, Plant molecular biology, Pollination biology, Soil Science, Economic Botany. The laboratories and greenhouses on Trinity campus, the Trinity Botanic Garden and the internationally recognised Herbarium support teaching. All courses are derived from active research lines and emphasis is placed on your own research project in the fourth year.

All students are given the opportunity to participate in field courses which take place in Ireland and the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria).

Plant Physiology; Fundamentals of Ecology; Plant Molecular Biology; Plants and the Irish Environment; Seminars, tutorials and workshops; Angiosperm Diversity and Systematics; Environmental Dynamics; Field Skills in Plant and Environmental Science (Canary Islands); Entomology; Experimental Design and Analysis; Soil Science, Economic Botany, Broad Curriculum module (see page 23).

Research project; Plant Conservation and Biodiversity; Data Analysis; Global Environmental Change; Seminars, tutorials and workshops; Plant-Animal Interactions; Plant Breeding and Biotechnology; Tropical Ecology Field Trip; Environmental Impact Assessment; Estuarine Ecology; Vegetation Description and Analysis, The Evolution of Plants and Plant-Atmosphere Interactions; Plant Environment-Interactions.

If you would like more detailed information on all the modules offered, see: botany

Study abroad

Two of the field courses on offer are based abroad and there are potential opportunities available to study abroad in institutions with which we have a Memorandum of Understanding e.g. in Thailand.


Professor John Parnell
Tel: +353 1 896 1274
Facebook: botany-department-trinity-college-dublin/359289924093179

What our graduates say

Anne Doyle
“The course is one of very few science courses where students have the opportunity to embark on inspiring field trips to Gran Canaria and Kenya. It is so varied that it covers many areas in biology including biochemistry, genetics, ecology, conservation and physiology. I accumulated a tremendous range of skills ranging from laboratory techniques, field research, reporting to knowledge of national and European Law. The important thing to remember when considering Botany is that you will graduate as a scientist and not as a gardener. I am currently working in a specialist scientific recruiting agency which is part of Cpl.”

What our current students say

Magdalena Bojorska, Final Year Botany
“I entered the general entry Science Course programme at Trinity in 2011, initially focused on life sciences. However as modules went on, I soon found myself increasingly more interested in global environmental issues and their implications on the plant environment interactions.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and the range of activities it entailed, from fieldwork in Gran Canaria, through karyotyping the onion to learning R for statistical analysis! The vast range of modules ensures a well-rounded, solid foundation of plant biology as well as understanding of the wider environmental picture. I would highly recommend the course to every curious, budding (plant) scientist out there!’’

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO.

Non-EU Applicants

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 4 years full-time Closing Date: 30/JUN/2018