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The University of Edinburgh: Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of Biological Sciences
Study type Taught


Understanding plant diversity and resources has never been more important. As we face the unprecedented challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, effective environmental surveillance and conservation depend on detailed knowledge of plants and their habitats. Understanding plant diversity also allows us to understand how best to use these incredible organisms for a more sustainable future.

This programme is run jointly by the University and the world-renowned Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). The RBGE is home to one of the world’s best living collections of plants (15,000 species across 4 sites, amounting to 5% of known world species), a herbarium of 3 million preserved specimens and one of the world’s most comprehensive botanical libraries. This diversity, coupled with the RBGE’s world-leading research, provides an unrivalled masters programme in plant biodiversity.

RBGE offers collections-based biodiversity research opportunities across a wide spectrum of organisms and geographical regions. Throughout the MSc, you will develop expertise across fungi, lichens, algae and plants, developing excellent identification and research skills. These skills are invaluable across a great many research areas from ecology to evolutionary genetics, and very much in demand in the commercial and education sectors.


Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip

Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 90% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

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