Plant Diversity, Structure and Utilisation

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Plant Diversity, Structure and Utilisation

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
    Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    Students will discover the diversity of photosynthetic organisms, including green plants and land plants, and will become familiar with the major lineages of green plants. They will gain an appreciation and understanding of the diversity of vegetative and reproductive structures of flowering plants, their ecological and evolutionary significance and how plant domestication has changed these structures. They will gain a more sophisticated understanding of some issues relating to the exploitation of plants, such as issues relating to the ethics of palm oil production and plant breeding technologies.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    Ability to identify the vegetative and reproductive parts of flowering plants, particularly those of crop plants.

    Additional outcomes:
    Increased understanding and appreciation of the diversity of plants; experience of reading primary scientific literature; familiarity with the School of Biological Sciences? collections

    Outline content:
    Plant diversity:
    What is a plant? An overview of photosynthetic organisms and the major lineages of green plants.
    Plant structures:
    Vegetative parts of the plant
    Structure of flowers and fruits
    Biology of flowers and fruits
    Plant utilisation:
    Plant domestication, the origins of agriculture and Plant Genetic Resources
    Contemporary issues in the exploitation of plants.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    Every week students will have a one hour lecture and either "free time" or a three hour practical class. Practical activities will include dissection, drawing and interpretation of plant material and annotation of drawings, quiz and plant hunting in the Harris Garden. Students will carry out a survey of fresh produce in a supermarket. Scientific reading is set for the "free time" and online quizzes will be used to test understanding of the reading and the practical classes. Students will have the opportunity to participate on online discussion forums with topics such as "Can oil palm be sustainably produced?".

    Contact hours:
    Lectures- 10
    Practicals classes and workshops- 12
    Guided idepenedent study- 78
    Total hours by term- 100
    Total hours for module- 100

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written exam- 70%
    Report- 15%
    Set exercise- 15%

    Other information on summative assessment:
    Report: Supermarket report to be submitted first week of Spring term (15%)
    Set Exercises: on-line quizzes 3 x 5%

    Length of examination:
    One-and-a-half hour examination

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August / September only.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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