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Plant Biology for Sustainable Production MSc with a major in Biology

A unique Master’s programme covering essential knowledge about how plants work, their genetics and interaction with the environment.
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PROGRAMME INFORMATION

How can the cultivation of plants be adapted to new climate conditions? How do we best protect plants from disease and how can plant breeding contribute to good quality, high yield and sustainability? Learn how to address these questions (and more) by studying this international Master’s programme! 

Held by internationally renowned experts, the courses included in this programme focus on plant-based solutions for the development of agriculture and forestry. Elective specialisation courses will give you the opportunity to broaden your knowledge in a specific area of plant biology. You will choose to specialise in one of the following fields: 

  • Plant Protection and Breeding for Mitigating Climate Change (Campus Alnarp) 
     
    In this specialisation, you will focus on plant protection and plant breeding, or in other words “what we grow in our fields and how we do it”. Agriculture contributes to the majority of our food and feed production, and can provide new environmentally-friendly materials and chemicals. The aim with plant protection and breeding is to secure our crop production and increase yield, without increasing inputs and lessening the environmental and climate impacts.

  • Abiotic and Biotic Interactions of Cultivated Plants (Campus Uppsala)

    In this specialisation, you will get an insight into the complex life of plants. Plant constantly interact with the environment. Some of these interactions are positive, such as with beneficial microorganisms, but plants also face different types of stress that they have to handle. It can be abiotic factors, such as heat or drought, or biotic factors, such as herbivory animals or pathogens. The specialisation Abiotic and Biotic Interactions of Cultivated Plants prepares you to develop plant-based solutions to the predicted increase in such stresses in the near-future.

  • Erasmus Mundus emPLANT+ (Campus Uppsala)

    In the European ERASMUS Mundus Plant Breeding Masters programme, emPLANT+, you will take the second year at a partner university. Application to emPLANT+ is done through the consortium homepage, where it is also possible to apply for scholarships: http://emplant-master.eu/scholarship-erasmus-mundus.  

 
The fourth specialisation is given jointly by SLU, Uppsala University and Stockholm University: 

  • Genetic and Molecular Plant Biology (given jointly by SLU, Uppsala University and Stockholm University).  
     
    This specialization focuses on the molecular and cell biology of plants, and the molecular mechanisms on how plants grow and develop. Compared to the other three specialisations more emphasis is given to fundamental research on plant function. During the first year of this specialisation, one course each is given by the three universities and the students form a joint group. After the initial common courses, it is possible to select courses in plant biology at the participating universities: https://lcpu.se/?page_id=11

With a Master’s degree in Biology you will be able to continue your studies towards a PhD and will be prepared for research in all of the specialisations included in the programme. You will also have the skills required for employment in several green sectors related to modern crop and tree breeding and plant protection. 

FACTS & REQUIREMENTS

Tuition fees: Citizen of a countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland, are required to pay application and tuition fees.
First semester: SEK 72 500 
Total: SEK 290 000

Name: Plant Biology for Sustainable Production - Master´s programme
Level: Master
Language: English
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Next start: Autumn semester 2022

Application deadline for international students: 2022/01/17
Application deadline for Swedish students: 2022/04/19

Please note, there are different application codes for the different specializations.

Specialisation: Erasmus Mundus Plant Biology
Specialisation code: ERAS
Study location: Uppsala
Number of admission places: 10
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Pace of study: Full-time
Teaching form: Normal teaching
Application code for international students: 81058

Specialisation: Genetic and molecular plantbiology
Specialisation code: GENE
Study location: Uppsala
Number of admission places: 10
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Pace of study: Full-time
Teaching form: Normal teaching
Application code for international students: 81061
Application code for Swedish students: 81065

Specialisation: Abiotic and Biotic Interactions of Cultivated Plants
Specialisation code: ODLA
Study location: Uppsala
Number of admission places: 10
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Pace of study: Full-time
Teaching form: Normal teaching
Application code for international students: 81060
Application code for Swedish students: 81067

Specialisation: Plant Protection and Breeding for Mitigating Climate Change
Specialisation code: VÄXT
Study location: Alnarp
Number of admission places: 10
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Pace of study: Full-time
Teaching form: Normal teaching
Application code for international students: 81064
Application code for Swedish students: 81057

Degree: Upon completion of the programme, the degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in biology is awarded. Other general qualifications may be awarded, provided that the requirements are fulfilled. More information can be found in SLU's degree regulations. Students who fulfil the qualification requirements for a degree will be issued a degree certificate upon request. The degree certificate will specify the qualification as Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a Major in Biology (masterexamen med huvudområdet biologi). The applicant must further have a level of English equivalent to upper secondary school English. An applicant with a first-cycle qualification from SLU comprising 120 credits, or a first-cycle degree from another Swedish university comprising 180 credits, automatically fulfils this requirement. The equivalent qualification may also be obtained in other ways, for more information see universityadmissions.se/antagning.se. Specific requirements apply for admission to the individual courses included in the programme.

Requirements: Admission to the Master´s (120 credits) programme Plant Biology for Sustainable Production requires
• general entry requirements: a Bachelor´s degree (equivalent to a Swedish kandidatexamen) from an internationally recognised university.
• specific entry requirements: one of the following specialisations at first-cycle level:
- 90 credits in biology or
- 60 credits in biology and 30 credits in chemistry or
- 60 credits in agricultural sciences and 30 credits in biology or
- 60 credits in horticultural sciences and 30 credits in biology or
- 60 credits in forest sciences and 30 credits in biology

Applicants with the equivalent qualifications obtained by means of a degree from another country, or with the equivalent knowledge obtained in some other way, may also be regarded as fulfilling the specific entry requirements.

The applicant must further have a level of English equivalent to upper secondary school English 6. An applicant with a first-cycle qualification from SLU comprising 120 credits, or a first-cycle degree from another Swedish university comprising 180 credits, automatically fulfils this requirement.


There are two admission rounds for this Master's programme. The first admission round is open to all international applicants at www.universityadmissions.se. The last date to apply is 17 January 2022. SLU strongly encourage all international students to apply in this first admission round.

CONTENT

Modern biology provides tools so that we can conduct detailed studies of the genetics and physiology of plants. Combined with new technical methods of analysis, production of crops and trees can be studied from molecular level to farm and forest level. This new MSc programme is designed to educate the next generation of plant biologists, enabling them to develop plant-based solutions to complex problems within agriculture and forestry.

The courses are taught by internationally renowned experts in plant biology and sustainable agriculture and forestry. The programme utilises resources on two campuses of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), located in Alnarp and Ultuna. During the first year, all lectures are streamed live so that you can follow the courses from any of the three locations. During the second year you will choose to specialise in one of the following fields:

  • Plant breeding and protection
  • Abiotic and biotic interactions of cultivated plants

Students who complete the programme are awarded a Master’s (120 credits) degree which can be used for third-cycle studies as well as for work in the industry or in public authorities, with a focus on sustainable solutions for our future society. The programme starts with introductory courses where students obtain basic knowledge of plant biology and molecular genetics as a foundation for other courses. As the programme targets students with different backgrounds, it is important that everyone acquires the basic knowledge that is needed. The introduction also covers general skills such as referencing and sustainable development.

In three courses during the first year, the students gain deepened knowledge of subjects that are of importance to sustainable crop production, providing a progression in the subject. The elective specialisation courses give students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in an area of plant biology of their choice, e.g. plant protection and plant breeding to handle climate change, plants’ interaction with their surroundings and how they are affected by abiotic and biotic factors, or forestry and how biotechnology and breeding can be used to produce renewable biomaterials from forests. The programme is taught in English.

Specialisation tracks

The programme has three specialisation tracks.

The specialisations 1-2 are coordinated during the first academic year, and students take basic courses that give a solid foundation in plant biology for continued studies during year 2, as well as providing training in general competences. The students can take these courses in Alnarp or Uppsala.

In year 2, students choose one of the specialisations:

  • Plant Protection and Breeding for Mitigating Climate Change (in Alnarp)
  • Abiotic and Biotic Interactions of Cultivated Plants (in Uppsala)

The specialisations build on the world-leading competence at SLU and supplement one another.

The third specialisation, Genetic and Molecular Plant Biology, is a cooperation between SLU, Uppsala University and Stockholm University. The specialisation starts with three basic courses, where each of the three universities is responsible for one course. This means that students take these courses in Uppsala (campuses of SLU and Uppsala University) and Stockholm. The specialisation Genetic and Molecular Plant Biology cannot be combined with the other specialisations.

The students are expected to acquire knowledge of important research, development and methods with respect to plants used for sustainable crop production and thereby be able to work independently with related questions in agriculture and forestry, horticulture, industry, biotechnology and the environment. The skills acquired on the programme include demonstrating the ability to independently, critically and creatively identify and formulate issues that concern the life processes of plants. All qualitative targets are covered during the year 1 basic courses as well as the independent project.

CAREER

The programme is aimed at preparing the students for research and all of the specialisations included in the programme are connected to strong res- earch environments, which provides a good basis for future research studies. The degree will also enable the students to work within several green sectors related to modern crop and tree breeding and plant protection.

Qualification Awarded

Degree of Master (120 credits) with a major in Biology.

Upon completion of the programme, the degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in biology is awarded. Other general qualifications may be awarded, provided that the requirements are fulfilled. More information can be found in SLU’s degree regulations.

Students who fulfil the qualification requirements for a degree will be issued a degree certificate upon request. The degree certificate will specify the qualification as Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a Major in Biology (masterexamen med huvudområdet biologi).

The applicant must further have a level of English equivalent to upper secondary school English. An applicant with a first-cycle qualification from SLU comprising 120 credits, or a first-cycle degree from another Swedish university comprising 180 credits, automatically fulfils this requirement. The equivalent qualification may also be obtained in other ways, for more information see universityadmissions.se/antagning.se.

Specific requirements apply for admission to the individual courses included in the programme.

Students sitting on stone wall, photo.

Campus Alnarp

Campus Alnarp is located in a large park surrounded by agricultural fields close to the sea between Malmö and Lund in southern Sweden. There is so much for students to explore here. Apart from all the activities on campus, you will also have access to the cities of Malmö, Lund and Copenhagen. Campus Alnarp’s study programmes focus on landscaping, horticulture, and agriculture and silviculture in southern Sweden. The campus has computer rooms, a restaurant, café, landscaping and horticultural laboratories, and a library with thousands of digital journals, databases and three kilometres of printed materials. The student unions organise many activities, ranging from weekly coffee-drinking get-togethers to comedy sketches and proms. 

Central Uppsala in summer

Campus Uppsala

Uppsala is Sweden’s fourth largest city, and the hub of SLU’s educational activities. Located just outside of the city centre, SLU’s Uppsala campus is spacious, leafy and picturesque. It is a fitting setting for Sweden’s only agricultural university, and possibly the most research-intensive of all universities. With two universities located in Uppsala, students can enjoy a lively, dynamic and stimulating atmosphere. 


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