Plant Science

Module summary

Module code: BOTA1016
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Marcin Glowacz



The study of plant science provides a fundamental understanding of the processes by which plants grow and develop and how they
are challenged both biotically and abiotically. This course will specifically focus on providing knowledge of the workings of these
processes and how plants cope with their changing environment and the implications for crops and food production. Particular
relevance will be given to crops plants and processes which facilitate the means by which food production can be increased.
The course aims to:

1. Present an understanding of the processes which have enabled plants to adapt to their environment and how evolution and plant
breeding have led to the crops we have today.
2. Describe the important fundamentals of plant growth and development in relation to plant and crop production.
3. Provide knowledge of the fundamental physiological processes which govern plant function, crop growth and development.
4. Develop an understanding of the principles of plant and pathogen interactions.
5. Provide an understanding of the ways plant processes are influenced by the environment, the importance of environmental
stress and the implications for crop productivity.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully, a student will be able to:

1 Show an ability to recognise the basic botanical events which relate to plant and crop growth, development and reproduction.
2 Identify key elements of the fundamental biological processes which drive plant growth and development.
3 Understand the basis of the interactions between plant growth, crop production and the interactions with plant pathogens and disease management
4 Recognise and have the ability to appraise the impacts of the environment on plant growth and crop production.
5 Understand the key elements and complexity of the process which define current crop production challenges, with respect to yield and crop quality.

Indicative content

1. Exposure to the basic relationships which exist between plant form and function.
2. Explanation of the basic physiological processes of plant growth and development.
3. Focus on the impacts that the environment and climate has on plant survival and growth.
4. The importance of plant pathogens interactions in crop production.
5. Why plant science is critical in finding solutions which increase crop production.

Teaching and learning activity

Material will be delivered through lectures and a 6 week session of practical classes designed around students acquiring basic quantitative and observational skills working with plants in the laboratory . Students will acquire fundamental skills in the study of plant physiology and pathology. Progress will be informally assessed at the end of each session to measure progress and a project report will be required at the end of the 6 week session for assessment. Lectures and practical classes will supplemented by group tutorial discussions. During the course, students will be given the opportunity to practice their essay writing and examination answering techniques by preparing two short focussed review essays on key course topics (as a ‘practice activity’ they will not be included in the final formal course assessment).


Weighting % 20%
Pass Mark 40%
Word Length 10+5 minutes presentation

Weighting % 60%
Pass Mark 40%
Outline Details - 2 hour exam to test understanding of course content (1, 2, 3, 4 & 5).

Laboratory report assessment
Weighting % 20%
Pass Mark 40%