The programme aims to give advanced knowledge about plants and plant research in a broad perspective. The courses deal with the theoretical importance of plants and plant research, within the framework of environmental protection, industrial research and legislation, and it gives thorough practical training in planning and executing plant-related research projects. The course also examines the opportunities and risks of gene-modified organisms (GMO)s. The programme is a collaboration between Stockholm University (SU), Uppsala University (UU) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU-Uppsala). The first year comprises three compulsory courses.
The first course, The Growth and Development of Plants (UU), focuses on the mechanisms at molecular, cell and organism levels, that control various phases of the development of plants. The next course, Genetic Diversity and Plant Breeding (SLU), deals with biodiversity, plant breeding and comparative genetics, together with issues of biotechnology and the tools of bioinformatics within the field of plant breeding.
The course Plant-Microbe Interactions (SU) focuses on the interactions of plants with their surroundings, and includes the phenomenon of symbiosis and defence strategies against attacks by insects and micro-organisms. This course includes a five-week project.
The year ends with elective courses of a total of 15 HEC. The second year consists of optional courses and a degree project of 30, 45 or 60 HEC at any one of the departments involved.