Bachelor of Plant Science

Why study the Bachelor of Plant Science at UNE?

This course is not offered in 2018.

Plant scientists study what plants are, how they grow and their interactions with other organisms. They seek to explain the structure and function of plants in terms of their environmental adaptations and evolutionary history and to use this understanding to manage plants in natural and agricultural systems. Plant scientists work at a range of levels from molecular genetics and biochemistry through physiology, reproductive biology, pathology, through to the landscape ecology and phylogeny. Modern technologies have allowed plant science to expand beyond traditional disciplines of botany and agronomy. The knowledge of what plants are and how they work is fundamental to our efforts to feed and clothe the world and to maintain our living environment.

All students will study a core in basic sciences and plant biology, plus a major which develops depth of knowledge and understanding in a particular area of plant science. There is opportunity for a wide range of elective units from disciplines which complement the study of plants.

Career Opportunities

Plant science graduates are in high demand around the world in careers which apply their skills to practical problems as well as in furthering basic science. Plant scientists are employed by a wide range of employers including consultants in environmental management and agriculture, biotech companies, government departments, statutory authorities and universities. There is, and will likely continue, to be a strong demand in Australia from commercial environmental consultancy companies for graduates of plant science with a strong organismal focus as provided for in the BPlantSc at UNE.

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Degree Snapshot


3 Years Full-time
Up to 10 years Part-time



2017 ATAR / OP

72.55 / 12


Not offered in 2018.

Official Abbreviation BPlantSc
Course Type Undergraduate
CRICOS Code 077832A
Commencing Not offered in 2018
Course Duration
  • 3 Years Full-time
  • Up to 10 years Part-time
2017 ATAR 72.55
2017 OP 12
Fees CSP / International
Total Credit Points 144
Entry Requirements

A candidate shall be qualified for admission (see Admission Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Coursework) Rule and Admission Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Coursework) Procedures).

Recommended studies: Two units of Mathematics or Mathematics Extension; Biology and/or Chemistry.

For students without the recommended background knowledge, the School offers introductory units in Chemistry and Mathematics.

Additional Requirements

Inherent Requirements: Students must meet the Inherent Requirements in order to complete this course.

Advanced Standing

Candidates are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Academic Colours

Straw BCC51

Further Information

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These course rules & plans are ONLY to be used if you commenced, transferred or changed versions in the Bachelor of Plant Science in 2018.

Admission to Candidature

A candidate shall be qualified for admission (see Admission Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Coursework) Rule and the Admission Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Coursework) Procedures).

Additional Requirements

Inherent Requirements

Students must meet the Inherent Requirements in order to complete this course.

Advanced Standing

Candidates are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Period of Candidature

The period of candidature shall be:
(a) three years as a full-time candidate;
(b) up to ten years as a part-time candidate.

Course Requirements

To qualify for the award, a candidate must pass units to the value of 144 credit points with not more than 60 credit points at 100-level, at least 36 credit points at 300-level and not more than 12 credit points at 400-level.

Program of Study

Candidates shall complete an approved program of study as outlined in the Course Schedule comprising:

Course Structure Credit Points
Core Units 60 cps
One Major 36 cps
Elective Units 48 cps
Total 144 cps

To view complete Program of Study click here

Approved Majors

Evolutionary Biology
Physiological and Molecular Biology
Plants in the Environment

Award of Degree

Candidates who meet the course requirements including one major shall be awarded the Bachelor of Plant Science.

Exit Pathways

Subject to meeting Advanced Standing rules, candidates who apply to discontinue their studies in the course may be eligible to exit with the Diploma in Science upon completion of 48 credit points.
Candidates who apply to discontinue their studies must apply for readmission and will be subject to current course requirements of the Bachelor of Plant Science. This may mean that students may not receive full recognition for their previous studies should the course structure have changed in response to University requirements.


Candidates are referred to the Academic Assessment Appeals Policy and the Academic Assessment Appeals Procedures.

Course Progression

Candidates are referred to the Course Progression Rule and the Course Progression Procedures.

Improper Conduct

Candidates are referred to the Student Coursework Academic Misconduct Rule and the Student Coursework Academic Misconduct Procedures.

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to teach and inspire students about all aspects of the biology of plants - at all scales from whole organisms to their molecules (including morphology, anatomy, physiology), covering their ecology, evolution and systematics.

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a coherent understanding of plant science by articulating the scientific basis for plant science and explaining why current scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable by further inquiry; and explaining the role and relevance of plant science in society;
  2. exhibit depth and breadth of scientific knowledge of Plant Science by demonstrating well-developed knowledge of the conceptual and theoretical scientific basis of plant science; and demonstrating a broad knowledge of multi-disciplinary scientific principles relevant to plant science;
  3. critically analyse and solve scientific problems by gathering, synthesising and critically evaluating information from a range of source; designing and planning an investigation; selecting and applying practical and/or theoretical field and/or laboratory techniques or tools in order to conduct an investigation; and collecting, accurately recording, interpreting and drawing conclusions from scientific data;
  4. be effective communicators of plant science by communicating scientific results, information or arguments, to a range of audiences, for a range of purposes, and using both written and oral delivery modes; and
  5. be accountable for their own learning and scientific work by being independent and self-directed learners; working effectively, responsibly and safely in an individual or team context; and demonstrating knowledge of the regulatory frameworks relevant to their disciplinary area and personally practising ethical conduct.
Graduate Attributes
Knowledge of a Discipline

Units in all years develop a body of knowledge about plant science by teaching what plants are, how they function and their evolution and interactions with their environments. The historical context of plant sciences is taught, especially in second year core units, including current trends in theory and application. Theory and applications are taught in the context of international knowledge and standards. Students are made aware of the unique features of the disciplinary content in Australia and are taught how to generalise their knowledge to other parts of the world.

Communication Skills

Students are taught and assessed on a range of different communication types appropriate to science graduates. There is emphasis on the ability to provide clear and accurate descriptions of phenomena; on writing reports of technical and scientific investigations; and on presenting critical reviews of knowledge. Within the core and prescribed units, communication tasks address a range of different audiences and use oral, written and electronic presentation.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is taught in the scientific context of researching the background to a problem, formulating one or more hypotheses in plant science to be tested and drawing conclusions from the results of those tests. All practical assignments are based around this approach. Problem solving skills are also developed in field and laboratory settings where students decide the best approach to performing tasks.

Information Literacy

Students will be taught how to access and critically assess information sources, including botanical literature, online information and databases. They will use these sources in a range of tasks which develop skills in extracting information, organising it and using it to develop new concepts or understanding. Students will be taught how to manage and archive information and materials, including herbarium accessions, to international best practice.

Ethical Conduct and Social Responsibility

Students are taught ethical practices in relation to the discipline, including respecting intellectual property rights, ethical behaviour in fieldwork and assessment tasks, and honesty and trust as the basis of the cooperative endeavour of science. The purpose of plant science is reviewed in relation to social and other outcomes. Identification of occupational risks and duty of care are taught as part of field and laboratory classes.

Lifelong Learning

Students will use a range of learning strategies which they can apply to self-directed learning. Assignment work develops skills in critical thinking that allow students to evaluate their own knowledge of a subject area as well as the information sources available to them. The discipline specific knowledge in plant sciences provides a springboard to lifelong learning.

Independence and Collaboration

Teamwork is used in classes at all levels, especially in practical work in the field and laboratory. Students develop the skills to work cooperatively to define and achieve common goals, to take initiative and to assume responsibility for tasks.

How to Apply

Applications for the Bachelor of Plant Science are currently closed.

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