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Department of Plant Sciences



"Amazing place to study, inspiring and friendly teaching staff, great learning environment and lots of fun".   Student exit survey.
To ensure supplies of food, fibre, pharmaceuticals, fuel and other plant and microbe-derived products and to do so sustainably, requires a new generation of scientists who are able to integrate and apply knowledge ranging across multiple scales - from the molecular to the ecological. In our IB Plant and Microbial Sciences (PMS) course we focus on fundamental biological processes used by plants and microbes.
This basic biological knowledge will be required to rationally manipulate food and bioenergy crops. Importantly, the course also considers natural diversity and conservation of resources, particularly in the face of environmental challenges, including climate change. In summary, we provide a cutting-edge synopsis of plant and microbial science that has direct relevance to the future challenges that society faces.
Our course provides a truly integrated view of plant and microbial sciences that incorporates molecular, cellular and ecological approaches to this vital subject. Under each topic the lectures address both current understanding of the relevant processes at the cellular and molecular levels, and explore their relevance to the major issues and ideas that arise from studying plants and microbes in the field. The practicals and field course provide an integrated training to prepare you for future independent project work.
Please note: The information in this section is correct as at March 2021 and is provided for the guidance of students when selecting their Part IB options.
Download the course booklet for 2021-22. 3.34MB
September 2021 update: The Department has confirmed the current exceptions for delivery format for the 2021-22 IB PMS course. Please find an overview here. 

Note to Directors of Studies

The Department allocates supervisors for this course from a curated in-house list of PhD students and PostDocs familiar with the course material.


Course organiser
Julian Hibberd

Course administrator