Globally, agricultural productivity will need to triple in the next 50 years to meet the food demand driven by a rapidly expanding human population.

This complex challenge requires us to increase food production sustainably, using the same amount of land and less water, while also dealing with a changing climate, declining soil health and dwindling soil nutrient reserves.

Agriculture students majoring in plant science will develop skills and knowledge that focus on the science and technologies involved in meeting these goals within farming systems.

You can specialise in broad-acre agricultural systems, including crops and pastures, as well as horticultural systems (fruit, vegetable, nursery and floriculture) in sub-tropical and tropical environments. Studies in this field underpin rural industries and enhance food security, government policy, human health and general economic development, and also help to conserve the natural environment. 

As an undergraduate, you’ll learn across a broad range of topics, including agronomy, horticulture, plant pathology, precision agriculture, soils, weed science, ecology, genetics, economics, land use and the environment, and agricultural development.

If you opt for an honours degree program, you’ll complete a research project in your final year. 

Postgraduate study will build on your existing knowledge and expertise, and you'll gain an understanding of sustainable food production and plant science research within agriculture. 

Why choose plant science at UQ?

UQ is ranked number 1 for agriculture in Australia for research and teaching, and we're world leaders in research for plant biology, crop and pasture production, soil sciences, genetics and horticultural production. 

You'll have access to excellent facilities for cropping, pastures and horticulture studies, including upgraded laboratories, glasshouses and UQ's Gatton-based broad-acre farm.

Our strong connections with industry facilitate practical and integrated learning, and industry placements will enable you to build on your knowledge and skills, and experience real-world applications outside the University environment.

Plant science graduates are in high demand, both domestically and internationally, and we're renowned for producing outstanding Gatton-trained agronomists and horticulturalists.

You can expect to find work in:

  • rural industries
  • technical or policy roles in government and industry
  • rural enterprise management
  • cropping, fruit or vegetable production, plant nursery, and floriculture production
  • business management, banking, finance and insurance
  • research and development
  • teaching (on completion of a Graduate Diploma in Education).

What our graduates say

billie white"I’ve always had a passion for agriculture, and the opportunity to learn at a world-class facility was pretty awesome. Almost every agronomist I’ve spoken to studied at Gatton. The lecturers are up to date with their knowledge, and have many years of industry experience. Getting to use the fantastic new laboratories and facilities was a highlight, and being able to go out to farms and look at real-world applications of what we were learning was so interesting and motivating, and a great opportunity to create industry contacts."

Billie White (Bachelor of Applied Science - Extended Major in Crop Production), agronomist at Farmacist Burdekin

View more student success stories on UQ's Careers that started in science website.

Undergraduate programs

Single degrees

Honours degrees

Dual degrees

Find out more

Visit the Faculty of Science Study Planner website for more details about UQ science programs.

Postgraduate coursework

You can study:

Visit the Faculty of Science Study Planner website for more details about UQ science programs.

Higher degree by research

We offer:

Find out more about our HDR programs.