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Plant Biology

Plant Biology

Undergraduate (Level 8 NFQ , Credits 240 )

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.

Information on all our courses including pathways, internships and careers information is available in the UCD Science Undergraduate Courses Entry 2024 Brochure (PDF).

For more information regarding this course, please click School of Biology and Environmental Science

How do I apply?

For EU students, please apply via MyUCD. The following entry route(s) are available:
Description ENTRY Duration Application Opening Date APPURL
Plant Biology(BLS1) - Undergraduate Degree (Non EU) Entry in
Full Time - 4 Year(s) Apply from -
Oct 2023

Plant Biology is one of the degree subjects available through the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream in the common entry Science course. Students study similar modules for all degree subjects in the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream in first year and will study modules for a minimum of two degree subjects in second year. At the end of second year, students choose their degree major. Assuming students meet all the academic requirements in first and second year, students are guaranteed a degree subject from the stream they are studying in second year. We do our best to ensure that students go on to study their top degree subject choice. As we offer plenty of degree subjects in each stream, students have a number of similar degree subjects to choose from as their degree major. For more information on choosing a degree subject at the end of Second Year, visit the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream page.

This is a sample set of modules that a Plant Biology student could study each year in UCD.

First Year
Scientific Enquiry • Cell Biology & Genetics • Basis of Organic and Biological Chemistry • Biomedical Sciences • Biology in Action • Life on Earth • Linear Algebra for Science • Calculus for Science • Optional Science Modules • Elective Module

Second Year
Biomolecular Lab Skills • Scientific Communication • Principles of Plant Biology • Chemistry for Biologists • + modules for 2 other Science Subjects • Elective Modules

Third Year
Plant Diseases: Biology • Plant Cell Biology • Genetics & Recombinant DNA • Working with Biological Data • Diversity of Plant Form & Function • Plant Biotechnology & Entrepreneurship • Experimental Plant Physiology • Optional Modules • Elective Modules

Fourth Year
Research Project • Biology & Ecology of Coastal Wetlands • Plant Biology Field Course • Developmental Plant Genetics • Environmental Impact Assessment • Plant Phenotyping • Programmed Cell Death in Plants • Biological Invasions

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.

Click below to for all course modules:

Plant BiologyBLS1

Plant Biology graduates have obtained positions as plant and environmental scientists, pollution biologists, molecular geneticists and cell biologists, agronomists, horticulturists, foresters, park rangers, environmental consultants and heritage officers. Graduates are also eligible to pursue MSc programmes in UCD in Applied Environmental Science and Biotechnology, in addition to PhD programmes both in Ireland and abroad.

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 was Vice-Auditor of the UCD Biological Society. Being involved in a society allowed me to meet other people from various stages and degrees in UCD, as well as encounter some incredible 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, which are invaluable resources as I now pursue my PhD in plant genetics in UCD.
Caroline Dowling, Graduate