University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 Archive

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Plant Science

Plant Science is an interdisciplinary major offered by the School of Life and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard and advanced level.

About the minor

Plants are essential to the existence of humans and other animals on our planet. They are the source of many of the things we depend on - the oxygen we breathe, food we eat, fibre for clothing and shelter and chemicals for pharmaceuticals and industry. Plants are a fundamental part of all ecosystems, helping to provide clean water, healthy soils and habitat for wildlife. Studying plant sciences helps us understand how plants survive in their environment and provide the significant benefits for all life on the planet.

Plant Science includes fundamental biology, plant biochemistry, plant physiology and development, genetics, ecology, mycology, crop production and protection, and environmental and food chemistry. In addition, there are related topics such as soil science, postharvest technology, agronomy and cellular biology in associated teaching programs offered by the Faculty of Science. Students obtaining a Plant Science Minor will receive advanced fundamental knowledge of plant biology, which will provide numerous opportunities in plant-related scientific fields, agriculture, ecology, medicine, engineering and social policy.

Requirements for completion

The Plant Science minor requirements are listed in the Plant Science unit of study table.

Contact and further information


Professor Brent Kaiser

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Plant Science will be able to:

  1. Examine and appreciate plant diversity through described by taxonomy, anatomy and function.
  2. Describe, explain and have an integrated understanding of genes, cells, tissues, organisms to systems of plants.
  3. Exhibit a comprehensive understanding of the anatomical characteristics and physiological processes which together regulate plant growth, development and reproduction.
  4. Describe the energy management processes which drive plant growth and plant biodiversity.
  5. Examine how photosynthetic organisms contribute to a healthy planet.
  6. Determine the involvement and interaction plants have with soil and soil microbes.
  7. Apply genetic and biotechnologies to advance the genetic composition of plants applications.
  8. Use current technologies to investigate plant growth and function.
  9. Develop a perspective on plant global issues, resource securities and sustainability.
  10. Evaluate the impact of climate change on plant growth and productivity.
  11. Formulate effective policy to ensure continued plant biodiversity and plant production.