Master's degree (2 years)
Full time
Plant Sciences

Are you interested in agriculture, horticulture and plant biology, environmental and climate effects on growth and quality of plants for food and feed?

Application deadline:

April 15th
International applicants:
December 1st

Start of Studies:


Number of students:



Bachelor’s degree in Plant Sciences, Biology, Biotechnology or equivalent education that includes basic knowledge in mathematics, chemistry, plant physiology, soil- and natural sciences.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Plant Sciences, Biology, Biotechnology or equivalent education that includes basic knowledge in mathematics, chemistry, plant physiology, soil- and natural sciences.

    The following compulsory requirements must be in place for the application to be considered:

    - A motivation letter specifically aimed at the program

    - A weighted, average grade of minimum C (from the Bachelor's degree) is required at NMBU to be qualified for applying to Master's degrees

    - English language ability in accordance with the NMBU regulations

    You can find general information on admission to NMBU here:

Student omgitt av epletrær
Planteprøver på lab
Student i frukthagen

You can choose one of these two specializations in the programme:

  • Plant Production and Plant Protection
  • Plant Biotechnology

Students will learn about flowers, fruits, berries, vegetables and cereal. Understanding of plants function, and how the environment and climate effects on their functions. Genetics and molecular methods. Plant health and plant protection.


Some relevant courses:

More information can be found in the study plan here: Study plan 


Career opportunities

You can qualified for positions within: 

  • Agriculture, horticulture and environmental sectors, governmental, communal or private companies as a manager, adviser/consultant,
  • PhD-studies, researcher,
  • Lecturer (with pedagogic) etc.
  • You can also work internationally, in UN organizations like FAO, and NORAD.


Graduate careers: 



  • A candidate who has completed the programme is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes, defined in competence, knowledge and skills:


    • Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of plants, plant production, biodiversity, growth factors, ecology and environmental impact associated with use of plants for food, feed or for ornamental and aesthetic purposes.
    • Displays a thorough knowledge of issues in the entire value chain and has specialization in certain disciplines of plant science.
    • Identifies problems and present solutions related to agriculture, crop production, urban greening and farmland.


    • Applies knowledge to contribute to development, innovation and use of land area and plants in a sustainable manner, within an area of specialization.
    • Applies knowledge in new areas, works independently and collaborates across disciplines with practical and theoretical issues. Analyses and understands methods and theories related to the interaction between plants and growth factors and climate impacts on plants.
    • Analyses scientific issues on the basis of the history, traditions, character of the field, and societal needs.
    • Is able to use relevant methods and carry out advanced projects.
    • Analyses, structures and thinks critically about information sources and scientific literature in the field.


    • Impact of plant uses in a national and global context, at present and in a future perspective.
    • Masters communication, team work and cooperation academically, national and international.
    • Engages in public debate in a professional manner, while maintaining respect and humility for the opinions of others.
    • Conducts an independent and limited research under the guidance and with a reflected ethical stance on global imbalances with regard to the exploitation of resources.
    • Communicates independent work in academic fora using Norwegian and English terminology within the academic field.
    • Should be able to participate in discussions within their specialization with specialists and the general public.
  • Up to 60 credits can be completed abroad. NMBU has exchange agreements with many relevant universities in Europe, USA, Canada, Oceania etc.The Department of Plant Sciences has contacts with foreign research institutions that can be potential host institutions. A plan for study abroad is approved in consultation between the student and study advisor.
  • The Master`s degree comprises 120 credits (ECTS). For all areas of study this must include at least 30 credits at the 300 level and a compulsory thesis of 30 or 60 credits. Students must set up an education plan in consultation with the study advisor or in consultation with the thesis supervisor. Students must ensure that they have the prerequisite knowledge needed to take compulsory courses. A student may include one or two courses totaling 10 credits of 100-level in their degree. Relevant topics are BOT130 Plant Physiology (5 credits), GEO100 Geology (10 credits), JORD101 Soil Science (5 credits) or STAT100 Statistics (10 credits). Students select one of the following three specializations (two taught in English and one in Norwegian): 1) Plant Production and Plant Protection, 2) Plant Biotechnology and 3) Environmental Horticulture (Norwegian). The Master includes the following compulsory courses at the 300 level within the various programs:

    In specialization Plant Production and Plant Protection: A minimum of 30 credits must be selected from the following topics: PJH370 Advanced crop production for future plant products, BIO324 Plant adaptation, PJH360 Term paper in plant production, PLV321 Plant Pathology and Resistance Breeding, PLV330 Biological control -interactions between insects, plants and natural enemies, PLV340 Weed biology and weed-crop relationships.

    In specialization Plant Biotechnology: A minimum of 30 credits must be selected from the following courses: BIO300 Microscopy Techniques, BIO321 Population Genetics and Molecular Evolution, BIO320 Developmental Biology, BIO324 Plant adaptation, BIO325 CRISPR genome editing, BIO350 In situ RNA hybridisation techniques, BIO351 Genetically modified plants-case study or BIO327 From gene to function in plants.

    In specialization Environmental Horticulture: PHG316 Urban greening and landscape management and 10 credits related to green environment (ECOL350 Restoration Ecology, LAA370 Landscape Ecology or SKS300 Forest Ecology). In addition, the courses PHG213 Landscape Plants, identification and characteristics, PHG215 Landscape Plants, establishment and maintenance, PLV210 Plant protection in Urban Horticulture LAA221 Professional Course I, TMPA220 Landscape Engineering, Plant Establishment and Management and BOT240 Plant Ecophysiology or BOT200 Plant Physiology should be included in the course portfolio, either from bachelor degree or taken as part of the Master's study.

    If conscious choice of courses in the elective course portfolio the title agronomist can be awarded after degree. The courses are presented in the curriculum for the Bachelor and Master in Plant Sciences.

    • Globally and domestic, there is increasing need for competence in many areas involving plant science, such as production of plants for food, feed and ornament, plant health, product quality and health aspects, development of green areas for recreation and sport, maintenance of cultural landscape and development of vital rural communities. Globally, the production of sufficient food and its distribution constitutes a considerable challenge whilst global climate changes will affect the possibilities for food production in many regions. Plant production presents considerable challenges environmentally and as users demand more freedom of choice there will be more focus on production systems. To increase food production in a changing climate and under strict environmental regultations will require enormous effort in research and practice. Research in all areas of plant production will also need to give increasing attention to the importance of food for health, and diet as a preventative measure for disease. In this respect, our green surroundings are also important, including green areas for sensory experiences and to stimulate physical activity. The plant science study programme connects the basic biology of plants with use of plants in practical agriculture and urban greening areas.
    • The study is based in the natural sciences, which is utilised in connection with applied plant science. Theory and practice are combined to develop good problem-solving skills. The study is a combination of lectures, teaching in laboratory and field, excursions, seminars, group work and independent work. The thesis is an independent study / research work under the guidance.
    • The programme utilises both continuous evaluation and final exams. Evaluation is mainly based on individual performance. Emphasis is put on the students`` ability to work independently, but group performance may also be used in evaluations. Courses with a high proportion of field and laboratory work will to a large degree be evaluated continuously (field reports, laboratory journals, etc.) both in groups and individually. Semester assignments (with continuous evaluation) can make up the entire grade or part of it in several courses taken in the Master's degree. Many courses at the 300 level have a final exam (oral or written) in addition to the independent work. The Master's thesis will be evaluated, and a final grade will be given after an oral discussion with the examiner(s).
    • The program is flexible with regard to students from other campuses. An individual study plan is set up for the Master studies when the student is enrolled and has contacted us. Some courses at the 200 and 300 level will be given in English on request. These are marked in the study catalog. You may also take individual course work in English or Norwegian. The specialization Urban Greening is taught in Norwegian only.

Study advisor(s):