Queen Mary, University of London

Course Introduction

With only a small percentage of the planet's diversity formally described by science, it is more important than ever to train a new generation of taxonomists who will go on to describe, understand and conserve biodiversity. Of critical shortage are skilled scientists in plant and fungal taxonomy, scientists that underpin much bioscience, nature conservation, plant breeding work, as well as underpinning the development of environmental policy. The course will provide training in plant and fungal identification skills, in combination with a thorough grounding in molecular systematics, evolutionary biology, and conservation policy, theory and practice. This course is delivered in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and you will be based there for some of your teaching. The combination of extensive specimen collections, databases, and scientific research conducted on a global scale is unique, and means that Kew plays a leading role in facilitating greater access to basic plant information, underpinning science and conservion activities worldwide. Other taught modules will be based at Queen Mary, Mile End campus; you will also take a fieldwork module based in Madagascar. Queen Mary and Kew have a number of long'established research links, and these have led to research papers in leading science journals such as 'Science, Trends in Plant Science', 'Trends in Ecology and Evolution', and 'Plant Journal'. You will be taught by researchers recognised for their research in plant and fungal sciences, applying new technologies to answer fundamental questions about the diversity of plant and fungal life on the planet, how it evolved and how we can best conserve it.

Course Modules

Taught modules: Angiosperm taxonomy and diversity; fungal taxonomy and diversity; conservation and ecosystem services; statistics and bioinformatics; research frontiers in evolutionary biology; fieldwork module: Field skills and techniques in Madagascar.

Course Additional Entry

A minimum of an upper 2nd'Class Honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a relevant subject, such as Ecology, Environmental Science, Biology or Zoology. This programme includes a compulsory overseas field course, held in Africa, during which students should expect to have to undertake physically'demanding work in remote locations. Applicants for the programme from outside the UK should ensure that there are no residency or travel restrictions that would prevent them from attending this course. Applicants with any disability that impacts upon their ability to undertake such activities should seek advice from the School before applying for this programme.

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees
1 year
Full Time
MSc (Postgraduate)