Studying Plant Biology at Canterbury
Plants are central to the maintenance of life on earth and for the basis of agricultural production.
Plant biology is a very broad discipline that covers the study of the structure, function and evolution and diversity of plants. Plant biologists study processes at the cellular and whole organisms level, and address questions on how plants respond to the environment and other organisms. Others study the evolutionary history of the huge diversity of plant species.
The study of plant biology can be undertaken in the lab or in the field, and is central to agricultural production and ecosystem function.
Plant Biology graduates may find employment in diverse fields, including teaching and research for Universities, Crown Research Institutes and biological industries.
Employment opportunities for graduates with good biotechnology training are exceptionally attractive overseas, since biotechnology is widely considered to be the industrial growth area of this century.
BSc (Hons) - Students complete a fourth year of study
comprising four 400-level papers and a research project.
PGDipSc - Students complete a fourth year of study comprising four 400-level papers.
MSc - Students complete a fourth year of study comprising four 400-level papers (part I), then proceed to a research project (part II), written up as a thesis.
PhD - Students complete a 3-4 year research project written up as a thesis. Entry is after successful completion of either BSc(Hons) or an MSc.
Planning Your Degree
Below is a guide to help you select courses that will give you a well rounded degree in plant biology.
BIOL 111 Cellular Biology & Biochemistry
BIOL 112 Ecology, Evolution & Conservation (Semester 2 course)
BIOL 113 Diversity of Life
CHEM 112 General Chemistry B * (Semester 2 course)
STAT 101 Statistics 1**
* Students with fewer than 9 credits of NCEA level 3 chemistry (or equivalent) will need to take CHEM 114 before doing CHEM 112.
** Biology majors are required to take BIOL 209 Introduction to Biological Data Analysis (or equivalent preparation e.g. STAT 201, PSYC 206). From 2014 Stat 101 will be a prerequisite for Biol 209.
CHEM 111 General Chemistry A
MATH 101 Methods of Mathematics**
*** Unless you have good NCEA level 3 credits in maths, it is essential that you take a minimum of 15 points in MATH (MATH 101).
SCIM 101 Science, Maori and Indigenous Knowledge (Semester 2 course)
BIOL 209 Introduction to Biological Data Analysis
BIOL 215 Plant Diversity & Systematics (Semester 2 course)
BIOL 254 Plant Developmental Biology (Semester 2 course)
At least 30 points from:
BCHM 221 Biochemistry A - Biomolecules and their interactions
BCHM 222 Biochemistry B - Metabolism; the reactions of molecules in cells (Semester 2 course)
BCHM 281 Practical Biochemistry (Semester 2 course)
BIOL 213 Microbiology and Genetics
BIOL 231 Foundations in Molecular Biology
BIOL 253 Cell Biology 1 (Semester 2 course)
BIOL 271 Evolution
BIOL 352 Plant Development and Biotechnology
At least 30 points from:
BIOL 305 Practical Field Botany (Summer field course)
BIOL 309 Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biologists * (Semester 2 course)
BIOL 313 Advanced Microbiology (Semester 2 course)
BIOL 331 Biochemistry 3
BIOL 333 Molecular Genetics
BIOL 334 Evolutionary Genetics
BIOL 335 Bioinformatics and Genomics
BIOL 351 Cell Biology 2 (Semester 2 course)
BCHM 381 Biochemical Techniques (Semester 2 course)
* Note students wishing to progress to 4th year in any Biology major are expected to have taken BIOL 309.