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Plant Biology & Biotechnology

MSc Plant Biology & Biotechnology
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)
Government and private companies are working to develop new ways to improve existing food and animal feed crops, and to develop novel crops to meet future challenges. Graduates of this one-year MSc will be equipped with the knowledge and skills in these recent advances to rise to the future challenges in academia, industry and policy development. Innovation and entrepreneurship permeate the course as central themes and, in addition, a specific module on entrepreneurship in plant biology is delivered. 

- Outstanding diversity of topics and approaches in plant biology research, covering developments in genetics, cell biology, biotechnology and plant environment interactions.

- High-profile, research-oriented faculty and lectures.

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The UCD MSc Plant Biology & Biotechnology programme is suitable for the majority of life sciences graduates who wish to develop their skills in Plant Biology, particularly in recent developments in genetics, biotechnology, climate change, cell and molecular biology, physiology, biotic and abiotic stress responses.

Vision and Values Statement
This programme is aimed at graduates who wish to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills in advanced plant biology and biotechnology, including crop science, genetics, genomics, cell biology, physiology, ecology, and studies on climate change, in order to pursue future careers in plant biology-based industries and PhD research. We aim to provide a learning environment that encourages our students to be active, motivated, and autonomous learners, and to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship. Lectures, tutorials, and small group discussions are key elements in the programme's design and are delivered by internationally recognised experts in the field. Our students are also given the opportunity to develop a business plan as part of our programme in innovation and entrepreneurship, and to also engage in a 3-month research project to gain advanced experimental skills.

Programme Outcomes
Advanced knowledge of the variety of disciplines encompassed within Plant Biology, with emphasis on specific areas of research, which will provide the basis for the development and application of original ideas

The knowledge and appreciation of how plants/crops, and plant/crop-derived products can be used in wider applications in the biomedical, food and agricultural sciences

The ability to apply their knowledge to formulate hypotheses and test them using appropriate tools

The ability to interpret a variety of different datasets generated in Plant Biology research

A clear understanding that scientific research can be taken to the marketplace

The ability to communicate to a specialist and non-specialist audience, in a clear and unambiguous way, the results of their investigations and/or rationale underlying them. Strong focus is put on writing (popular articles, scientific papers), and presenting orally.

The maturity to continue studying and critically appraise the scientific literature in a largely autonomous manner

Entry requirements

• This programme is intended for applicants with a degree in an appropriate life science discipline. An upper second class honours or international equivalent is required.

• Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.


1 year full time

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Careers & Employability
Graduates will have a distinct advantage when applying for PhD studentships or other more advanced graduate training in the area of plant biology and biotechnology.

This MSc is ideal for graduates interested in pursuing scientific careers in academia, agriculture and plant-science based or biotechnology industries. Graduates will have opportunities to pursue postgraduate education and research and work in areas such as plant biotechnology, scientific journalism/publishing and for government agencies involved in governmental and non-governmental policy.

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Dr Carl Ng
Contact Number: +353 (0)1 716 2250

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Current Developments in Plant Biology

Entrepreneurship & Plant Biotechnology

Research Project

Stage 1 - Option
Plant Diseases: Biology and Control

Plant Pathology and Biotechnology

Biological Imaging

Diversity of Plant Form & Function

Experimental Plant Physiology

Ecological Significance of Different Photosynthetic Pathways

Plants and Stress

Future Crops and Food Security

Plant Phenotyping: from Basics to Robotics

Plant Cell Biology

Developmental Plant Genetics

Programmed Cell Death in Plants

Cell Signalling in Plants

Crop Breeding

Peatlands and Environmental Change

Insect-Plant Interactions

Biological Invasions


Facilities and Resources
UCD Rosemount Environmental Research Station
Controlled plant growth facility and bioreactors
Plant Metabolomics Technology Platform
Plant Cell and Tissue Culture Facility

Application date

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
MSc Plant Biology & Biotechnology FT (F080)
1 Years

Full Time

Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised.

Course fee

MSc Plant Biology & Biotechnology (F080) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 7540
nonEU fee per year - € 24800

MSc Plant Biology & Biotechnology (F131) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 3760
nonEU fee per year - € 12400

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!