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C211 - Applied Plant Science

Applied Plant Science

BSc Honours

  • UCAS code: C211
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2022
Year :

As well as giving a sound background in biology, this programme focuses on how plant species interact, both physiologically and ecologically, with each other, as well as with animal species and their environment.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £25200

Entry requirements

  • A Level: ABB-BBB
  • IB: 32 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Study abroad opportunity

Course overview

Political and environmental influences are impacting the types and uses of plants in food production and eco-systems management. Limitations on the use of synthetic herbicides and growth pattern regulators are changing the management strategies available.

Graduates of this applied agri-biological degree will be well placed for a wide range of careers in this vital and developing sector; including plant genetics, bio-chemical research, and agronomy.

On this degree you can select options with a cellular and molecular emphasis underpinning fundamental understanding of plant physiology. 

You may take optional modules dealing with a range of applied or associated topics to provide you with the knowledge and insights needed for example to manage crops;

  • in agricultural systems
  • conservation grassland
  • woodlands, or
  • to develop new approaches and products to control pests and diseases.

You will have the opportunity to take a year's work placement to develop your work based skills, usually taken in research or in the plant science sector.


Your course during COVID-19
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.

View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2022-23.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information

Quality and ranking

We have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, recognised in many external surveys and assessments, but also by our own students.

Our commitment to teaching quality and an excellent student experience is reflected through our results in national and international student satisfaction surveys.

Modules and learning


The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Develop your understanding of concepts in fundamental science, for example, plant biology, cell biology, biochemistry and genetics. You study plant response to environmental stimuli and investigate genetic and biochemical pathways underlying function and structure.

You examine the interactions of plants and crops with their environment, soil and other ecosystems. Along with laboratory skills, you conduct in-field examinations of pests, diseases and British flora and fauna.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Environment and Land Resources 10
Crop Pests 10
Academic and Professional Skills 20
Agri-Food Supply Chains 20
Genetics and Evolution 20
Ecology and Conservation 20
Optional Modules Credits
Plants, Environment, Agriculture 10
Introduction to Agricultural Mechanisation 10
Natural Science Research Impact 10
Diversity of Life: Form and Function 20
Cells and Biomolecules 20

Develop your understanding of concepts in fundamental science, for example, plant biology, cell biology, biochemistry and genetics. You study plant response to environmental stimuli and investigate genetic and biochemical pathways underlying function and structure.

You examine the interactions of plants and crops with their environment, soil and other ecosystems. Along with laboratory skills, you conduct in-field examinations of pests, diseases and British flora and fauna.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Principles of Agronomy and Crop Improvement 10
Dissertation and Research Preparation 10
Sustainable Solutions 10
Field Identification Skills 10
Biotechnology: Principles and Practice 20
Plant Biology 20
Optional Modules Credits
Arable Crops 10
Managing Soils in the Agri-Environment 10
Pollution of Air, Water & Soil 10
Microbial Biochemistry 20
Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation 20
Insect Biology and Origins 20

You focus on the commercial value of plant production, and consider plant biology from the perspective of plant production, protection strategies and pests affecting plants in commercial production.

You will undertake a dissertation, which involves an in-depth investigation of an aspect of plant science of your choice.

Projects, fieldwork and laboratory investigation are a significant part of the degree and you’ll be assessed using a range of methods, including practical demonstration, presentation of findings, examination and field-based case studies.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Applied Crop Protection 10
Crop Pests Field Course 10
Dissertation 30
Global challenges in plant science research 20
Optional Modules Credits
Combinable Crops 20
Forage Utilization 10
Your Future - occupational awareness 10
Precision Agriculture incorporating Non-Combinable Crops 20
Current Research in Ecology 20
Biotechnology: Applications 20
Biological Modelling 20
Microbial Genomics 20
Current Research in Plant and Microbial Biology 20
Career Development for final year students 20
Science Communication for Sustainable Development 10

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

On average, you'll spend around 14 contact hours a week through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • guest seminars
  • field trips
  • small group tutorials
  • laboratory practicals

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Case studies

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Group work

  • Practical sessions

  • Projects

Skills and experience

Research skills

You have the chance to gain real-world research experience through project work with prominent plant biology research groups at Newcastle University. Subject areas of study include:

  • agronomy and crop improvement
  • field identification skills
  • molecular biology and development
  • applied crop protection
  • plant pathology
  • precision agriculture

Practical skills

Through our excellent links with biological and agricultural businesses, you'll be able to get involved with industry through a range of visits throughout your degree. The companies you will visit represent each part of the plant breeding and production chain, giving you a vital overview of the sector.


Study abroad

Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.

You can choose to spend up to a year studying at a partner institution overseas.

If you choose to study abroad, it will extend your degree by a year. 

Find out more about study abroad

Work placement

Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.

You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.

If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. and your degree title will show you have achieved the placement year.  Placements are subject to availability.

Find out more about work placements

Facilities and environment


During your studies, you'll be based in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at our city-centre campus.

Away from the main campus, you'll have access to teaching at our two University-run farms, which will be used as demonstration facilities as well as a field station with glasshouse and dedicated teaching facilities.

You'll have the opportunity to learn in modern laboratories. You can also visit the Great North Museum, where there's a range of important biological collections.


To support you in your studies, all new students entering year 1 or year 2 will receive a tablet. You can download the online learning resources you'll need for your course (helping us to make our campus more sustainable).

You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.

Your future

Newcastle University consistently has one of the best records for graduate employment in the UK.

Employability at Newcastle

96% of Newcastle University graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating, with 85.5% in graduate-level employment or further study.

Take a look at the most recent data available for our graduates. See what they have gone on to achieve and be inspired to follow in their footsteps.

Statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation (Destinations of (undergraduate and postgraduate UK domiciled) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17).

Enterprising students

Student discusses the challenge

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Careers support

Our Enterprise Challenge gives students the opportunity to work with industry on a project that tackles real-world issues. Watch the above video to find out more.

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

A Level


International Baccalaureate

32 points

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

(This includes PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

Contextual offers

Through one of our contextual routes, you could receive an offer of up to three grades lower than the typical requirements.

Find out more and if you’re eligible for a contextual offer or our PARTNERS Programme supported entry route

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2022 entry (per year)

Home Fee Students


International Fee Students


The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for home fee-paying students is set by the UK government.

As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.

EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.

If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.

Read more about fees and funding


We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our undergraduate scholarship page for more information.

Year abroad and additional costs

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

Find out more about:


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Open days and events

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

Get in touch

By phone

Call us on +44 (0) 191 208 3333 and press option 1. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am until 4pm.

Live chat

Our Ncl chatbot might be able to give you an answer straight away. If not, it’ll direct you to someone who can help.

You'll find our Ncl chatbot in the bottom right of this page.


Fill in our enquiry form

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