• 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: Cell & Molecular Biology or Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology or Biochemistry


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

Students should choose second year courses within their majors that are prerequisites for their chosen third year electives.

*For students taking BIOL3208 or BIOL3209 as part of this specialisation, the research project must be in the field of plant Science.

Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of this specialisation, or contact the Research School of Biology at rsb.studentadmin@anu.edu.au

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:

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

Code Title Units
BIOL2114 Evolution 6
BIOL2115 Comparative Physiology 6
BIOL2117 Cell Biology 6
BIOL2131 Ecology 6
BIOL2151 Genetics 6
BIOL2161 Genes: Replication and Expression 6
BIOL2162 Molecular Gene Technology 6

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

Code Title Units
BIOL3106 Biosecurity 6
BIOL3107 Advances in Medical and Plant Biochemistry 6
BIOL3109 Ecological and Evolutionary Developmental Biology 6
BIOL3002 Plants: Genes and the Environment 6
BIOL3003 Plant Physiological Ecology 6
BIOL3125 Plants and Global Climate Change 6
BIOL3177 Advances in Molecular Plant Science 6
BIOL3203 Advanced Microscopy in Biosciences 6
BIOL3303 Advanced Field Studies in Functional Ecology 6
BIOL3208 Biology Research Project 6
BIOL3209 Biology Research Project 12
BIOL3210 Appreciating parasites: from molecules to ecosystems 6
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