Plant science is the multidisciplinary study of plants, from the molecular workings of a plant cell to plants’ roles in ecosystem functions. It spans molecular biology and genetics of plants, plant morphology and function, plant ecology and evolution, and conservation of biodiversity and resource management.

Plant scientists address challenges of food security and environmental sustainability by:

  • improving food production
  • increasing environmental sustainability of agricultural practices, including pest and noxious weeds control
  • developing new foods, drugs and biofuels through biotechnology.

Undergraduates can focus on one of three suggested study streams in the Plant Science major: plant ecology and sustainability, plant biotechnology and molecular plant science, or plant pathology. If you opt for honours, you’ll complete a research project in your final year. Together, these experiences will prepare you for a range of careers in industry, government, business or research.

Plant science graduates typically work for multinational companies, universities, government departments, research agencies such as CSIRO, or run their own businesses.

Private tissue-culture laboratories, seed and mining companies, plant nurseries, landscape designers and environmental consultants employ plant scientists as ecologists, biotechnologists, conservationists, molecular biologists, marine biologists, physiologists, plant breeders, pathologists, floriculturists and horticulturists. Plant scientists also work in rural industries and government, in technical or policy roles.

Why choose plant science at UQ?

You'll be taught by a large and exceptional group of plant scientists.

UQ is ranked #11 in the world and #1 in Australia for environmental sciences, and #17 in the world for agriculture.

Your lecturers will bring expertise from industry and international research collaborations, and you’ll have access to excellent facilities, including model plants and crops, laboratories, glasshouses and broadacre farms.

If you’re interested in ecology you can join field trips to Fraser Island and the Queensland outback.

Undergraduate and honours programs

Visit the Faculty of Science Study Planner website for more details about majors and fields of study within UQ science degree programs.

Higher degree by research

Photo: Ian Hull