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    Taught postgraduate

    PgC / PgD / MSc Plant Health and Biosecurity

    Key information

    Year of entry


    Two years, part-time

    Start date

    September 2024

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    Course description

    The effective control of pests and diseases is fundamental to the use of plants by man for economic, environmental and general well-being. The threats to plant biosecurity have increased with the globalisation in trade and travel, which has resulted in increased volume and diversity of plants and plant products entering the UK. This has resulted in much greater risk of the introduction and establishment of new plant pests and pathogens. A recent example was Ash Dieback which is estimated will cost the British economy £15 billion.

    The course is offered part-time only and intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic plant pathology and entomology, and the application of this science to control current plant pests and pathogens, to reduce the introduction of invasive pests and pathogens and minimise their impact when introduced.

    This course is primarily aimed at UK government staff with biosecurity responsibilities but will also be of benefit for staff working within plant businesses (e.g. plant importers, growers and distributors) with responsibility for biosecurity.

    The PgC element is a blended learning course of four modules where each module is delivered as 60% online over a six-week period followed by two days of face to face delivery on campus. All module assessments are by coursework assignments. There is a two-day induction to the course at the start of the academic year in September.

    Students in full-time employment would normally complete the four PgC modules over two years. (For students wishing to complete in one year there would be an overlap of typically two weeks of two modules running concurrently where the first module students would be completing an assignment and in the second module students would be starting the on-line portion of the taught content)

    Students may then progress onto the PgD by the selection of four optional modules from the applied ecology suite of courses. These are taught in one- or two-week blocks. For the MSc, a Master’s Research Project is also completed.

    The course is strongly aligned with the competencies of the Royal Society of Biology Plant Health Professional Register.

    Entry requirements for 2024

    A UK honours degree (minimum 2:2) or equivalent overseas qualification. Applicants with a good FdSc/HND pass in a relevant subject area plus at least two years' relevant industrial or professional experience may also be considered.

    Previous experience, referees' reports and interviews will be used to determine the suitability of candidates for particular programmes.

    What will I study?

    Optional modules are indicative and may be subject to change.


    For course related enquiries please contact:

    No. 1

    In the UK for graduate employment
    (Graduate Outcomes 2020)


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