Global Plant Health

Plant diseases have shaped human history. Controlling plant diseases is therefore important in the effort to realise a sustainable future for everyone and everything on this planet. 
This MSc, delivered by The Sainsbury Laboratory in association with the University of East Anglia (UEA), will equip you to tackle this pressing problem. Diseases of plants cause significant crop losses worldwide. This is made worse by the frequent emergence of new diseases. The impact goes well beyond the quantity and quality of food. We need to manage existing diseases as effectively as possible and respond rapidly to new outbreaks. 

Many of the most effective solutions require a thorough understanding of the science underlying the interactions between plants and microbes, together with effective leadership and management. You will gain the high-level knowledge, insight and skills that will be sought after by all organisations involved in global plant health.

Student testimonials
Tantawat Fame Nardwattanawong
Tantawat Fame Nardwattanawong
Tantawat Fame Nadwattanawong
I applied for this course because it's a unique opportunity. It's a good environment to be here. People are very supportive, and I learn a lot.
Paid course type

Integrated solutions to emerging plant pathogens, plant immunity, microbial pathogenesis, data science, leadership, and scenario-based research projects for all careers in plant health.

Course details

This one-year MSc in Global Plant Health provides the strongest possible grounding for a career devoted to minimising crop losses. By enrolling for this MSc, you will understand what makes plant pathogens virulent, the basis of plant immunity, how the next discoveries are made through experimental and computational approaches, what makes global response strategies successful and how to lead such a response. Rooted in scientific research excellence, this course develops the skills most sought after by employers. These include complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, coordination with others, and judgment and decision making. 

This course is run by The Sainsbury Laboratory. It is an independent research institute that leads the world in molecular plant-microbe interactions. Its research covers a wide range of global diseases of crops. Its celebrated Group Leaders will share their vast experience with you. This course is associated with The School of Biological Sciences at UEA, with contributions from across the Norwich Research Park, including the John Innes Centre. You will therefore study in one of the world’s leading campuses in plant and microbial science. 

A key and innovative element of the course is a 5-month research project. This involves work in small groups to address a global plant disease outbreak with each student specialising in their chosen team role. This will provide invaluable experience for the next stage in your career by gaining familiarity with how to handle the response to an emerging plant pathogen - from diagnosis, understanding virulence mechanisms and developing novel control strategies, through to project management. 

Entry requirements

The course is open to UK, EU and International applicants with a Bachelors degree (minimum 2.1 or equivalent) in a biological science or equivalent that covers plant and/or microbial sciences. Entry to this course is on a competitive basis. Applicants will be shortlisted for an online interview.

For more details about selection criteria and English language requirements, see the UEA course page.

Career outcomes

You’ll graduate from this prestigious course well prepared for a career in any aspect of global plant health, whether you choose to first continue your studies at PhD level or not.
There are opportunities to work with governments, policy makers, agri-tech companies, charities and other non-governmental organisations, to name but a few. You’ll get networking opportunities while on the course and get support from UEA CareerCentral. Career destinations include: academic research and/or teaching,  Registered Plant Health Professional,  plant health government policy making, Government Animal and Plant Health Agency, plant health non-governmental organisation (e.g. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation), non-profit agricultural research organisation (e.g. CIMMYT).

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Norwich Research Park
Norwich NR4 7UH
United Kingdom
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