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Plant Biology at Imperial College London

Imperial College London offers an undergraduate course in Plant Biology. The course ensures that students get thorough understanding of the subject. The three-year BSc in Ecology and Environmental Biology offers specialist training. There are many field courses are incorporated, the most recent being a Tropical Biology field course based in the highlands of Uganda.

The three-year BSc in Microbiology is concerned with the biochemistry, physiology, genetics, molecular biology, ecology and uses of bacteria and genetic engineering. Students will acquire both the practical and theoretical skills needed for a better career in contemporary biotechnology and microbiology.

A three-year BSc in Plant Biology offers specialist training. Advanced topics taught comprise tropical biology, plant molecular biology, plant ecology and phylogenetics, plant environmental physiology, sustainability, molecular plant-microbe interactions and plant biotechnology.

Course Structure

Students are offered with various modules. The first year modules include cell biology, biology of organisms, cellular metabolism and biological chemistry, evolution, behaviour and ecology. Students are offered a wide range of optional courses including subjects such as immunology, animal and plant physiology, evolutionary biology, animal behaviour and neurobiology.

The modular approach to the curriculum provides students flexible options and the probability of transferring from one biology degree to another. The first year course covers the basic core sections of biology. In the first term, students have classes on literature referring and information retrieval.

In the second and third year, the college organizes courses for students who wish to study for flexible and broadly based suite of degrees in biology. Students may specialize in environmental biology, ecology, plant biology, microbiology and zoology. In the second year, students shall be asked to choose one of the courses that is offered by the Department of Humanities, which consists of a broad range of language options or they can choose a management course in Imperial College Business School.

The last term of the final year focuses upon a full-time individual research project, which is one of the major sections of the degree course. Students are allowed considerable freedom in selecting a project and may suggest their own line of research. The project created by students will be assessed by an academic staff member.

First Year

All students take the following four courses:

  • Biology of Organisms
  • Biological Chemistry and Cellular Metabolism
  • Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution
  • Cell Biology and Genetics
Second Year

Compulsory Modules

  • Experimental Design, Statistics and Computing
  • Applied Molecular Biology
  • Supplementary Course from Imperial College Business School or the Department of Humanities

Optional Courses

  • Cell and Developmental Biology or Immunology or Ecology
  • Bacterial Physiology or Animal and Plant Physiology
  • Global Change Biology or Genetics or Parasitism and Other Life Strategies
  • Resource Management or Virology
  • Tutored Dissertation or Marine Ecology Field Course
Final Year

Students shall select four biological courses, one from every session. Tropical biology, biodiversity, conservation and marine microbiology taken in the preceding summer vacation can be taken in place of one term-time course.

Session 1

  • Plant Molecular Biology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Population and Community Ecology
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Genetics and Genomics

Session 2

  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Applied Ecology
  • Parasitology and Vector Biology
  • Integrative Systems Biology

Session 3

  • Synthetic Biology
  • Environmental and Industrial Microbiology
  • Development Evolution of Animal Form
  • Cellular Signalling and Neurobiology
  • Epidemiology

Session 4

  • Neuroscience Research
  • Plant Biotechnology and Sustainability
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
  • Molecular Cell and Immuno-biology

In the final term, students shall carry out a full-time research project.

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