Plant Biology (PBL)

Plant Biology – B.Sc. (General) Degree Program

Duration: 3 Years

For whom?

Biological science stream students who are interested in pursuing careers in academic, technological, industrial or environmental organizations. The intake is limited to a maximum of 60 students in an academic year. Minimum number for course is 20 in an academic year.

Career opportunities

The range of employment opportunities available for plant biology graduates include, as plant biologists, taxonomists, researchers, secondary school teachers, agriculturists, quarantine and border control agents, roles in western and traditional medicine, park rangers and tour guides, and employment in conservation and biodiversity projects.

Course overview

The study of plants is vital as they are critical for sustaining life on earth, through generation of oxygen and providing food and medicine for all life forms including man to exist. Plant Biology or Botany is the science of plant life including fungi, algae and viruses. Plant Biology began with early human efforts to identify edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, making it one of the oldest branches of science, which gets updated continuously. With high levels of malnutrition and deficiency diseases in diverse regions of the world including South Asia,there is an impending need to maximize the potential of food crops, to ensure that mouths are fed and deficiency diseases are eradicated from the face of the earth. In order to harness the fullest potential of plants as manufacturing units of foods, biological processes that form the foundation of the vitality of plants, should be extensively studied and the labyrinths of interlocking biological pathways elucidated, which essentially requires the aptitude and dedication of a new breed of plant biologists.

Sri Lanka is a nation rich in endemic biodiversity and there is a vast amount of untapped resources to be sustainably harnessed from our unique assortment of flora found within our island shores. In order to reap the benefits of our endemic plant biodiversity, it is essential that a pool of graduates is developed with an in depth knowledge in contemporary plant biology. Therefore, the discipline, plant biology, engineers a fortified foundation for a student to pursue a rewarding career while securing his/her interests in the appreciation of the diversity in plant life.

Course structure

The subject plant biology constitutes one third of the B. Sc. (General) degree programme in an allowed subject combination. All students who wish to offer plant biology will have to follow common compulsory and core course units during the first two years of the degree programme prior to the selection of plant biology as their chosen field of study. At the end of three years, total credit value gained by a student who has opted for general degree following a particular course should not be less than 27.0. A student can also opt for a Special degree spending an additional year offering more advanced areas pertaining respective subject he/she has selected

Plant Biology – B.Sc. (Special) Degree Program

Duration: 4 Years

Career opportunities

The career opportunities available for graduates of the Special Degree Program in Plant Biology, will be centered on academia as well as practicing their trade as researchers in a diverse range of hierarchical positions undertaking in depth studies on contemporary research topics with the objectives of bridging gaps in knowledge and deciphering cryptic areas of fundamental Plant Biology.

Course overview

The department offers special degree programs in Plant Biology for fewer numbers of students with the intention of producing graduates having an in-depth knowledge, better skills and competent in handling various aspects of the subject selected. The core curriculum of the special degree program is designed to provide advanced knowledge in the subject and simultaneously to impart hands-on experience in the world of work through an internship program in a government research institute or in a private sector organization for a short period. The final year research project assists students to improve on problem solving ability. critical thinking, and time management and there by preparing them to become professionals.


Selection of students to follow a special degree in Plant Biology is based on their performance during the first two academic years. The intake is limited to a maximum of10 students per course.

Instruction and assessment

Through the knowledge and experience of academic staff of the Department of Botany and of visiting staff, we endeavor to expose students to a range of teaching and learning activities, based on the course units identified under each of the subjects offered by the department. The modules conducted include lectures, laboratory practical classes, tutorials, field classes, individual and group assignments/projects. Majority of these modules are assessed through semester end theory examination, practical examination, presentations and reports/theses, while a few are assessed continuously.