• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Chemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology More...
  • Specialisation code PLNT-SPEC
  • Academic career Undergraduate

Corequisite majors: Biology or Environmental and Landscape Sciences or Natural Resource Management or Sustainability Science


Plants underpin the primary productivity of agricultural, ecological and human ecosystems through their ability to produce primary biomass by photosynthesis. Understanding plant function is thus central to many important outcomes of biological science, including agricultural production, ecosystem diversity and function, human health and sustainable population strategies for the Earth.

The Plant Science specialisation is designed to give students an understanding of how plants function, scaling from the molecule to the ecosystem and how this function underpins the performance of plants in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Plant Science is a major focus of scientific research activity at ANU, spanning everything from the function, energy, interactions, genetics and modeling of plants and their environments. In this specialisation students are exposed to cutting edge disciplinary research and researchers, which builds engagement, understanding and analysis of current issues in plant biology. The specialisation will assist students seeking to pursue professional and graduate degrees in plant sciences, and will provide a solid background for students pursuing career goals in plant laboratory science, and public and environmental policy.  

Learning Goals:

Students completing the specialisation in Plant Science will be able to:

  1. Outline plant function spanning from the molecule and gene, to whole plant and ecosystem levels, and the role of evolutionary processes.
  2. Describe processes of plant biology relevant to plant growth and performance in both agricultural and natural ecological systems.
  3. Evaluate and apply a range of contemporary research techniques in plant science.
  4. Locate, analyse and critique primary plant science research literature, in written and oral formats, and research results.
  5. Communicate plant science issues and ideas in broadly accessible terms particularly as they relate to agriculture, ecology, global climate change and sustainable human populations.

Other Information

Advice to Students

First year courses: BIOL1009 is also required for students doing the Biology major; for students doing an Environmental and Landscape Sciences major or a Natural Resource Management major or a Sustainability Science major, BIOL1009 and another 1000 level BIOL course are required. 

BIOL3208 Biology Research Project must be in the area of plant science.

A specialisation in Plant Science must be taken in conjunction with a Biology major or an Environmental and Landscape Sciences major or a Natural Resource Management major or a Sustainability Science major.

Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of the Plant Science specialisation.

Areas of Interest

  • Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability
  • Resource Management and Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Evolution and Ecology
  • Biology
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Specialisation Requirement

This specialisation requires the completion of 24 units, which must include:

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL2121 Plants: Genes to Environment 6
BIOL2122 Plant Functional Diversity: Genomes to Biomes 6

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL3125 Plants and Global Climate Change 6
BIOL3177 Advances in Molecular Plant Science 6
BIOL3208 Biology Research Project 6
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