To be read in conjunction with the program of study requirements for the



The program of study aims to provide students with a broad-based foundation in science together with the ability to acquire extensive subject knowledge in the discipline of plant biology. It also aims to develop a range of transferable research, analytical and communication skills including the capacity to:

  • understand and apply relevant scientific principles in the area of plant biology
  • employ scientific methodologies such as experimentation and data analysis in the area of plant biology
  • interpret and present scientific information regarding plant biology, including communicating effectively with a variety of audiences in written and spoken forms
  • critically analyse, interpret and evaluate information relevant to plant biology
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of the study of plant biology and engage positively with people and ideas beyond their own discipline
  • have an understanding of plant diversity and plant ecology and experience in procedures for identifying plants
  • appreciate the societal and ethical contexts of plant biology and the profesional practice of organismal biologists
  • work independently and take responsibility for updating and adapting their knowledge and skills
  • work effectively, cooperatively and productively within a team.

The major provides the foundations that will underpin ongoing professional development, preparing graduates for further study in disciplines related to studies in plant biology or for a career in a field related to plant biology or in other areas where the range of skills and knowledge acquired is needed or desirable. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the major students will be able to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with and critically apply current theories, subject content, professional methodologies, ethical frameworks and research procedures relevant to plant biology
  • analyse and critically evaluate ideas, data and information and apply relevant scientific principles to solve problems by, for example, creating hypotheses, testing theories and predictions, designing and conducting experiments and statistically analysing data
  • undertake studies relating to plant biology in both laboratory and field contexts
  • communicate their findings and present information clearly to a variety of audiences in written and spoken form
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of plant biology and the relationships between this area and other disciplines
  • work and learn independently and appreciate the need for continuing professional development
  • contribute effectively as part of a team in order to achieve common goals
  • appreciate the role of plants in human societies and principles for plant conservation.

Program of study

Major - Plant Biology - Year 1 topics

22.5 units comprising:

Core - Year 1 Topics

 BIOL1101  Evolution of Biological Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1102  Molecular Basis of Life  (4.5 units)
 STAT1122  Biostatistics  (4.5 units)

Option - Year 1 Topics

Plus one of:

 CHEM1101  Chemical Structure and Bonding  (4.5 units)
 CHEM1201  General Chemistry  (4.5 units)


 CHEM1202  Chemistry for the Life Sciences  (4.5 units)

Major - Plant Biology - Year 2 topics

18 units comprising:

Core - Year 2 Topics

 BIOD2701  Biodiversity and Conservation  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2701  Experimental Design and Statistics for Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2702  Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity  (4.5 units)
 GEOG2711  Australian Environmental Change  (4.5 units)

Major - Plant Biology - Year 3 topics

18 units comprising:

Core - Year 3 Topics

 BIOD3701  Human Impacts and Biodiversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3711  Plant and Algal Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3712  Integrative Physiology of Animals and Plants  (4.5 units)

Option - Year 3 Topics

Plus one of:

 BTEC3001  Plant Science to Food Biotechnology  (4.5 units)*
 BIOL3701  Conservation Biology and Restoration Ecology  (4.5 units)

*Students wishing to take this topic will need to complete the prerequisite topics as electives.