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Department of Plant Sciences


We offer seven modules (each comprising a total of 24 hours of teaching, mostly in one‐hour lectures) which together cover cellular and ecological options. You choose which four modules you'd like to study. There are four modules in the Michaelmas term, three in the Lent term and no teaching in the Easter term. Within a given module you will find (in addition to the traditional one hour lecture slots) workshops, seminars and discussion groups. An Inter‐departmental course in Conservation Science is available to you, as well as some courses in Zoology and one in Genetics. You will also undertake one research project and one critical review essay.

The Modules*


  • Plant signalling networks in growth and development
  • Microbes: Evolution, genomes and lifestyle
  • Evolution and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Conservation Science (Interdepartmental, based in Zoology)


  • Plant Genomes and Synthetic Biology
  • Responses to Global Change (Interdepartmental, based in Plant Sciences)
  • Frontiers in Plant Metabolism: A focus on food and fuel security (Joint with Biochemistry)

Additional Modules

Departmentally‐based ecological courses, mostly of 24 lectures:

  • Applied Ecology (From Zoology)
  • Evolution and Behaviour: Populations and societies (From Zoology)
  • Evolutionary Genetics (From Genetics)

* Module structure, teaching staff and content correct as at March 2020.

Ecology at Part II


Many students take what is in effect a Part II Ecology course and can be based in Plant Sciences or Zoology. This ecological Part II is likely to be particularly popular with those who have read NST IB Ecology, Plant and Microbial Sciences and Animal Biology. It is not essential, however, for you to have read any of these subjects before embarking on the study of Ecology at the Part II level. Various options are offered, from which you may select your preferred combination, with restrictions dependent on whether you are registered in Plant Sciences or Zoology.

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Plant Sciences can also be studied within NST Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (NST BBS).

NST Part II BBS allows you to maintain some breadth in your study at Part II and requires the submission of a dissertation rather than a practical laboratory‐based research project.