MSc Plant Biology & Biotechnology

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Rapid developments in our understanding of plants and their significance to our wellbeing has been achieved through advances in a range of disciplines including genetics, genomics, cell biology, physiology, ecology and studies on climate change. 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. This MSc covers a wide diversity of both topics and approaches, and is taught by a high-profile research-oriented group of academics.
Researchers from the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science represent the single largest grouping of plant scientists in Ireland, with research interests ranging from genetics and molecular biology of the cell to plant physiology and ecology.

Download the UCD Science Graduate Taught Courses brochure (pdf)

  • 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.

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.

Curricular information is subject to change

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.

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. 

  • A clear understanding that scientific research can be taken to the marketplace
  • 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 ability to apply their knowledge to formulate hypotheses and test them using appropriate tools
  • 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 ability to interpret a variety of different datasets generated in Plant Biology research
  • 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 maturity to continue studying and critically appraise the scientific literature in a largely autonomous manner

MSc Plant Biology & Biotechnology (F080) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9300
nonEU    fee per year - € 29100

MSc Plant Biology & Biotechnology (F131) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4450
nonEU    fee per year - € 14550

***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. For further information please see International Scholarships.

  • 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.
  • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information 
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Graduate Profile

Adam Morgan

I was attracted to UCD and this MSc by the fantastic research output of the faculty and the great facilities available on campus. A particular strong point of this course is the range of modules available. During my undergraduate degree I took a lot of molecular biology modules, but this MSc really broadened my horizons by allowing me to take modules from several disciplines including environmental science, zoology and of course botany. My time at UCD has provided me with a number of skills, both lab and desk based, that I employ in my work as a lab analyst for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

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

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Plant Biology & Biotechnology FT (F080)
1 Years
Full Time

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