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NES1205 : Plants, Environment, Agriculture

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Simon Peacock
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module is intended to underpin subsequent modules associated with the environmental and agricultural sciences by providing fundamental knowledge of the structure and function of higher plants.

The complementary lecture and practical component will inculcate an understanding of fundamental plant science principles and develop skills through analysis and interpretation of data and observations gained from both field and laboratory sessions.

After attending the lectures and practical the students should have a thorough understanding of the importance of plants within the context of agriculture and the environment.

Outline Of Syllabus

Plants and life on earth - the form of plants.
Plants as the basis for agriculture - domestic, global climate and crop growth.
Photosynthesis - light, carbon dioxide and temperature, respiration. C3, C4, CAM and intermediate physiologies.
Anatomy and structure.
Plants and water - diffusion, osmosis, transpiration and water potential.
Plants and minerals - macro and micronutrients, deficiency symptoms, nutrient uptake and transport
Plant strength and integrity - leaves stems and roots relationships between structure and function.
Plant growth and development - hormones - biochemistry - synthesis of secondary metabolites
Parasitism and carnivory.
Rare species and adaptation.
Crop production and yield - definitions, components and determination.
Plants for food and utility.
Ecology - competition, population dynamics, plant-herbivore interactions, diversity.
Plants, environmental pollution and a changing climate.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion25:0010:00Preparation and writing of formative lab report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0017:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Revision for end of semester exam
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading201:0020:00Completion of post-lecture directed reading.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical18:008:00PiP - One Practical session (Formative)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study101:0010:00Study of lectures through 'ReCap' and 'Canvas'
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study201:0020:00Lecture follow-up.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk31:003:00Synchronous online lectures
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide the framework for understanding how plants interact with their environment and the importance to agricultural practice.
Practicals set this material in the context of plant-environmental and agricultural interactions by direct observations and measurements of physiological processes.
Private study using recommended reading materials will provide further depth of understanding the fundamental properties and function of plants.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A70MCQ
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M30Practical lab report
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report1M1x 3hr Lab Practical
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Practical report of the laboratory-based will supplement information provided in the lectures and will put this information into context. The practical reports assess the ability to record and interpret experimental results.

Reading Lists