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Plant Science BSc (Hons)

UCAS code: CC22

Plant scientists travel the world and study the fundamental and applied aspects of plants. This degree incorporates extensive practical work underpinned by relevant theory. It provides an opportunity to gain a unique qualification in canopy biology and access.


Course length: 3 years full-time
6 years part-time
Start dates: September 2024
September 2025
Location: Edge Hill University
Example offers: BBC-BBB (A Level) or DMM (BTEC) View full entry criteria
Subject(s): Biology and Biosciences
Faculty: Arts and Sciences
Department: Biology
A student selects epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) for an experiment on plant water relations.

Plants are vital for life on Earth. They provide us with the oxygen we breathe, the food we eat, and the drugs that may save our lives. On our plant science degree, we’ll teach you about the diversity of plant life, how it is maintained and its uses for humans.

During the degree, you’ll spend around 70 per cent of your time in the lab or in the field. This includes taking trips to overseas destinations to study the plant diversity in these areas. You’ll use industry-standard technology to hone your practical and research skills. There’s also a chance to gain an extra qualification in canopy biology and access – unique in the UK.

Your tutors are published plant science researchers, contributing to some of the best plant science journals in the world. They’ll teach you relevant, contemporary skills and theory.

Course features

  • International students can apply

  • Learn a language option available

  • Sandwich year option available

  • Fieldwork

What you'll study

Trace the evolution of life, examining the diversity of plants and animals. Take part in residential fieldwork, where we’ll show you how to undertake biological research. And broaden your knowledge of the discipline through modules in cell biology and genetics.

Compulsory modules:

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Biology in Practice
Genetics and Evolution
Introduction to Cell Biology

Three of:

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Anatomy and Physiology
Chemistry for Biologists
Language 1
Organic Chemistry

In Year 2 of BSc (Hons) Plant Science there’s more residential fieldwork for you to get involved with. This time it’s in Tenerife. The experience will help you understand the richness and diversity of plant life on Earth. You’ll also study plant anatomy and physiology, and hone practical techniques in fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy. You can choose to specialise in biotechnology and canopy biology, amongst other disciplines.

Compulsory modules:

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Field Botany
Plant Form and Physiology
Research Methods in Biology

Three of:

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Introduction to Biotechnology
Invertebrate Ecology
Laboratory Masterclass
Language 2
Molecular Genetics
Plant Diversity
Techniques in Biochemistry
Up-Canopy Biology

You’ll complete your own investigative research project, with support from our expert academic team. This is your chance to peel back the layers of an area of plant science that fascinates you. Other modules let you explore the evolution of plants and ecological relationships in populations. In Field to Fork, you’ll be able to learn about conservation and vertical farming, and how plants are used in food production systems to make products like alcohol and honey.

Compulsory modules:

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Plant Science Research Project
Plants and People

Three of:

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Applications of Biotechnology
Applications of Genetics
Biodiversity and Conservation
Ecological Genetics
Ecological Interactions
Genomics and Bioinformatics
Invertebrate Ecology
Laboratory Masterclass
Language 3
Plant Biochemistry

Where your course includes optional modules, these are to provide an element of choice within the course curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements. Some restrictions on optional module choice or combinations of optional modules may apply.

How you'll study

You will study via a combination of lectures, field trips, practical work and tutorials. The programme has a strong practical base and, in addition to the taught sessions, you will be expected to hone your practical skills using the departmental facilities in your own time. The degree involves two periods of residential fieldwork. You will also have the option to participate in a range of other UK-based fieldwork opportunities. Field trips will include visits to relevant sites which may include industry facilities.

Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

How you'll be assessed

Assessment is through a mixture of coursework and examinations tailored to suit the knowledge and skills required for each module. A wide range of coursework is employed which may include practical portfolios, voucher specimens, project reports, individual and group presentations.

Who will be teaching you

Edge Hill University has over 30 years’ experience in delivering biology degrees and has a wealth of experienced tutors, technical staff and field and laboratory equipment to support the study of biology. The Biology department is friendly and approachable and of a size that enables us to know our students personally.

You will be taught by research-active experts in plant sciences who take pride in the quality of their teaching and academic studies. The programme team are up-to-date with current developments in their areas of interest and frequently share this knowledge by directly engaging students in their research.

An extensive network of relationships has been established with relevant businesses and other universities in the UK and overseas, ensuring a rich, diverse and rewarding student experience. Visiting speakers assist in the delivery of the programme, often presenting unique or novel aspects of particular subjects.

Entry criteria

Entry requirements

Typical offer 112-120 UCAS Tariff points, preferably to include Biology or a related subject, such as Chemistry, Environmental Science or Geography, plus GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent).

Other subjects will be considered if you have demonstrable interest or experience in plant science.

Example offers

Qualification Requirement
A Level BBC-BBB.
BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM).
T Level Overall grade of Merit.
International Baccalaureate (IB) We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points. Subject-specific requirements at Higher Level (HL) Grade 5 may apply.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 45 credits at Level 3, for example 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit or 24 credits at Distinction and 21 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven't been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

English language requirements

International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

If your current level of English is half a band, one band, or one-and-a-half bands lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

How to apply

Apply full-time

Apply online through UCAS

Read our guide to applying through UCAS to find out more about the application process.


Apply as an international student

Please see our international student pages for further information about how to apply as a prospective international student.

Part-time applications require a direct application to Edge Hill. Please select the year of entry that you wish to apply for.

Apply for September 2024 part-time.

Apply for September 2025 part-time.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Did you know?

If you join a full time undergraduate degree at Edge Hill University, we will guarantee you the offer of a room in our halls of residence for the first year of your course.

Discover our accommodation


Students walk outside the BioSciences building.Our BioSciences building incorporates impressive, modern laboratories, offering exciting and highly relevant practical experience in some of the best equipped facilities in the country. Resources include fluorescence and scanning electron microscopes, DNA extraction and analysis equipment, and climate controlled insectaries.

A number of the best nature reserves in the country are in close proximity to the campus. You will be taught within a short travelling distance of impressive field sites such as one of the finest saltmarsh and dune systems in Europe, restored mires of international importance, hay meadows and limestone woodlands. The University also has extensive grounds including meadows which serve as a useful area for demonstrating sampling techniques.

Where you'll study



Tuition fees

UK Full-Time


a year

UK Part-Time

£77 per credit

for 360 credits



a year

The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

Financial support

Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). If you are an EU student who does not have settled or pre-settled status, or are an international student from a non-EU country, please see our international student finance pages.

Your future career

Our students have gone into a variety of careers including plant pathology, vertical farming, research, taxonomy and greenhouse gas production.

Every year, graduates also decide to continue their studies through our award-winning MSc Conservation Management programme, or our Masters in Research degrees. Several of our students now work for the UK Government, research institutes, and private businesses.

Studying plant sciences is particularly topical now due to the increasing global focus on sustainability and environmental conservation. The growing awareness of the importance of plant-based agriculture for feeding a growing world population and addressing food security challenges demonstrates the relevance of plant sciences in finding innovative solutions to enhance crop yields and nutritional value.

Plant scientists are at the forefront of developing genetically modified crops, disease-resistant varieties, and sustainable farming practices, making it a timely and crucial field to address pressing issues in agriculture and ecology.

Course changes

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, however our courses are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of professional bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Track changes to this course

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Download our course leaflet