Kew acts in partnership with various universities and other scientific institutions to organise a number of plant diversity and conservation MSc courses. As well as providing taught modules, Kew also offers research opportunities for students on these courses, enabling them to work alongside Kew’s specialist staff and contribute to ongoing projects.
Students of the University of Birmingham's MRes in Conservation and Utilisation of Plant Genetic Resources at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank
MSc in Conservation Science
Imperial College, with the Institute of Zoology of the Zoological Society of London and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
The MSc in Conservation Science has been designed to provide the professional conservation skills needed for the collection and analysis of biological and socio-economic data and for the implementation of successful conservation projects. Students spend two weeks at Kew, for part of the Case Studies in Conservation module and for a project week, when they develop group presentations on research topics related to Kew's ongoing scientific projects. There are also opportunities for students to carry out their dissertation research in association with the Kew science teams.
MSc in Ethnobotany
University of Kent, with Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology
This one-year course considers the interrelationship between people and plants, looking at the impact of plants on human culture and practices, and at human use and modification of plants. Among other subject areas, it focuses on anthropology, botany, natural resource management and environmental history. During the course, students visit Kew regularly for a series of seminars on plant resources and have the opportunity to undertake dissertations linked to Kew’s research interests.
MSc in Plant Diversity
University of Reading, with the Natural History Museum
The MSc in Plant Diversity addresses the broad area of plant biodiversity and systematics. Students can specialise in taxonomy and evolution, biodiversity and conservation or vegetation survey and assessment. Kew staff contribute to the module on the diversity and identification of plants through seminars based in the Herbarium at Kew.
MSc in Plant Conservation
University of Sussex
A week-long Seed Banking course is delivered by staff of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank as part of the one-year MSc in Plant Conservation. The course includes a five-month research project, supervised by Millennium Seed Bank or Sussex staff. Both the Seed Banking course, held in January, and the supervised research project are available as stand-alone options, where credits gained may be used to towards an MSc degree at Sussex or other universities.
MSc in Biotechnology
University of Bedfordshire
This MSc in Biotechnology includes a three-month project module on Cryobiology delivered by staff of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership. Topics include:
- cryopreservation of a recalcitrant species
- plant embryo culture in vitro
- characterisation of seed thermal fingerprints in plants
- effects of cooling rate and seed mass on cryopreservation
During the project the students give two oral presentations and will also write a thesis for their Master's degree.
MRes in Conservation and Utilisation of Plant Genetic Resources
University of Birmingham
The MRes in CUPGR includes a seed conservation module given by staff from Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Partnership. This involves training in effective handling and storage of seeds for long-term conservation in gene banks. Students learn the theoretical principles and practical aspects of seed conservation. The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership also provides research placements for students on this course.
Further information about Masters partnerships
For more about Kew's links with these university courses, please contact the capacity building coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.