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MSc / MSc(Res.) in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture

Offered by the Department of Plant Sciences

‘Plant Cell and Tissue Culture’ in general, is the growth of individual plant cells or isolated tissues on a nutrient medium, under aseptic conditions in glass or plastic vessels under artificial light. Also referred to as ‘in vitro’ culture, it is an important and essential technique used for plant regeneration and micropropagation, particularly in modern plant biotechnology and agriculture. Today tissue culture techniques are used throughout the world as a tool both in research and in commercial production and are being applied to a great extent in agriculture, horticulture, and related industry. Applications of plant cell/ tissue culture techniques include elimination of viruses from plant tissues to obtain virus free plants, micropropagation, clonal propagation, induction of genetic variability, crop improvement through genetic engineering, production of haploids, production of secondary metabolites through cell cultures etc.

The Department of Plant Sciences has been conducting the Master of Science (MSc) in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture for more than two decades. The programme structure has been revised in 2021 to bring it on par with the current Sri Lanka Qualifications Framework (SLQF 2015) of the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council of the UGC, Sri Lanka. The curriculum and the syllabi have also been revised to accommodate the most up-to-date knowledge in the field of study and to facilitate the degree holders to be conversant in skills and knowledge to respond to contemporary needs of the profession and industry.

Objectives

  • to enhance the capacity of participants to advance their knowledge and research skills, and other abilities for higher degrees and to provide a post-graduate qualification
  •  to produce experts in the field of Plant Cell and Tissue Culture for specialized professional employment, technological capacity, or entrepreneurship
  • to enhance employment opportunities in the areas of biotechnology/ agrobiotechnology, horticulture, and related research and/or training institutes
  • to generate skilled human resources, thereby assisting the development of biotechnology industry in the country

Target groups

  • Graduates who are expecting to pursue M. Phil/Ph.D. studies in a related field.
  • Research officers/scientists, extension officers, and educators in public and private institutions who require advanced training in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture.
  • Qualified entrepreneurs and enthusiast with an interest in the field

Eligibility

The applicant should have a Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized university*, with Botany/ Plant Sciences/ Plant Biotechnology/Biotechnology/ Agriculture as a subject

OR

Any other equivalent qualification acceptable to the Senate of the University of Colombo.
The candidates will be selected based on academic merits, and an interview.

Links for information on UGC recognized Universities/Higher Educational Institutes:

  • Universities and Higher Educational Institutions (http://www.ugc.ac.lk/en/universities-and-institutes/universities.html )
  • University Grant Commission (UGC) recognized foreign Universities (http://www.ugc.ac.lk/en/universities-andinstitutes/recognized-foreign-universities.html )
  • UGC recognized other Universities (http://www.ugc.ac.lk/en/universities-and-institutes/other-recognizeddegrees.html)

Tentative dates

  • Call for applications: October / November 2021
  • Closing date of applications: 22 November 2021
  • Selections: December 2021
  • Date of commencement: January 2022

Course Fees

MSc in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture - Rs. 275,000/-

Payable in two installments:  The first installment of Rs. 175,000/- shall be paid at the time of initial registration to Part I (Course Work). The second installment of Rs. 100,000/- to be paid within 06 months of initial registration and before semester I examinations.

MSc (Research) in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture - Rs. 350,000/- (subjected to change)

Only the students who successfully complete Parts I & II will be eligible to proceed to Part III leading to the MSc (Res.) degree programme. A payment of Rs. 75,000/- (cost to conduct the research; subjected to change) shall be made at the time of registration to Part III (Research Project).

Apart from the Course Fee, the following shall be paid when applying and at the initial registration:

  • Application Fee: Rs. 1,500/-
  • Registration Fee: Rs. 2,500/-
  • Library Fee: Rs. 3,000/-
  • Examination fee: Rs. 10,000/-
  • Refundable Library Deposit: Rs. 5,000/-

***Please note that fees paid are not refundable and subject to revision from time to time.


Registration for 2022 intake

The programme is advertised for the 2022 intake (to commence in January 2022).

Program brochure, the advertisement and the application form can be downloaded from the following links:

Apply:

Programme Duration

MSc in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture:  Total duration – 24 months (Parts I + II)

MSc (Res.) in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture: Total duration – 36 months* (Parts I + II + III)

  • The duration of Parts I and II of the MSc programme is 24 months while that of Part III leading to MSc (Res.) is of a further 12 months.
  • Students who fail to complete Part I and Part II within 3 years from the first registration will not be allowed to register for Part III.
  • The maximum period allowed to complete the degree is five (05) years from the date of first registration.

How to apply

Duly completed application form together with the paying-in-voucher for Rs. 1500/- paid using the Application Fee code 314011700009 to the University of Colombo account at the People’s Bank, Thimbirigasyaya Branch, (payment can be made at any branch) should be submitted online using the following Google Form on or before 22 November 2021.

Program Structure

The programme structure has been revised according to the Master of Science By-Laws No. 8 of 2021 of Faculty of Science, and the guidelines issued by the Sri Lanka Qualifications Framework (SLQF 2015) to fulfill the criteria of Postgraduate Diploma / Masters Degree programmes at SLQF levels 8, 9 & 10.
The Master of Science (MSc) in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture programme consists of two parts (Parts I & II), whereas the MSc (Research) in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture programme consists of a third part (Part III) in addition to Parts I and II:

  • Part I: Course Work (25 credits; equivalent for Postgraduate Diploma; SLQF Level 8)
  • Part II: Directed Study (5 credits)
  • Part III: Research Project (30 credits)

MSc in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture (30 Credits; SLQF Level 9)

The MSc program is conducted in two parts: Part I consists of coursework (25 C) and Part II consists of an independent guided project (5 C). Part I (Course work) includes theory modules, practical modules and field lessons of total 25 credits and is equivalent to Level 8 of the SLQF.

In order to proceed to Part II (Directed Study; 5C), a student must obtain a minimum GPA of 3.0 for Part I. Students who fail to obtain a GPA of 3.0 but maintain a GPA of not less than 2.7 in Part-I will be eligible* for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture (25C; SLQF Level 8), upon request.

Part II of the MSc programme consists of a directed study equivalent to a guided mini research project (5C) of three to six months duration (based on the time spent on the project by individual student). The mini research project shall be carried out at an institution where necessary facilities are available, and a report shall be submitted on the research carried out. Evaluation of Part II will be based on the written report, a presentation, and a viva-voce examination. The students who successfully complete Part II with a GPA 3.0 or above will be eligible* for the award of the degree of Master of Science in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture (30C; SLQF Level 9).

MSc (Res.) in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture (60 Credits; SLQF Level 10)

This programme (MSc (Res.) in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture) includes Part III, Research Project (30C), in addition to Parts I & II described above for the MSc programme. To proceed to Part III leading to MSc (Res.) degree, a student should achieve a GPA of 3.00 for Part II and complete parts I and II within three years from the date of initial registration. Part III consists of an individual independent research project of 30 credits, which, with prior approval of the faculty, shall be carried out at an institution where necessary facilities are available. Part III will be evaluated through a written research proposal, progress presentations, a dissertation, a viva-voce examination, and a manuscript. Students who obtain a GPA of 3.00 or above for Part III will be eligible* for the award of the degree of Master of Science (Research) in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture (60 C; SLQF Level 10).

A student who fails to achieve a GPA of 3.00 or above for Part III will be eligible* to be awarded the degree of Master of Science (MSc) in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture, upon request.

* In addition to the GPA requirements, to be eligible for the award of the MSc (Res.)/ MSc Degree or the PG Diploma in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture, a candidate must have fulfilled any other general requirements as prescribed by the relevant By-Laws and Rules and Regulations of the University of Colombo.

Course Modules

PART I

Semester I

Course Code Name Credits Note
MTC 5109 Plant Growth and Development 1C 15L
MTC 5110 Plant nutrition and growth regulators 1C 15L
MTC 5111 Principles of plant tissue culture technology 1C 15L
MTC 5112 Tissue culture media and tissue culture environment 1C 15L
MTC 5113 Laboratory design and management 2C 20L, 20P
MTC 5114 Molecular gene technology 2C 30L
MTC 5115 Biosafety, Bioethics and IPR 1C 15L
MTC 5115 Biosafety, Bioethics and IPR 1C 15L
MTC 5116 Practical Module I 4C 120P

Semester II

Course Code Name Credits Note
MTC 5209 Data analysis and computer applications in tissue culture 2C 30L
MTC 5210 Scientific communication 1C 30P
MTC 5211 Cell culture and natural products 1C 15L
MTC 5212 Tissue culture in crop improvement 1C 15L
MTC 5213 Commercial tissue culture 2C 30L
MTC 5214 Entrepreneurship 1C 15L
MTC 5215 Practical Module II 4C 120P

TOTAL NOTIONAL HOURS – 1250
TOTAL CREDITS FOR PG DIPLOMA (PART I) – SLQF L8 25C

PART II - Semester III

Course Code Name Credits Note
MTC 5303 Directed Study 5C 150P

TOTAL NOTIONAL HOURS – 500
TOTAL CREDITS FOR MSc (PART I + II) – SLQF L9 30C

PART III- Semester IV

Course Code Name Credits Note
MTC 4501 Research Project 30C 12 months

TOTAL NOTIONAL HOURS – 3000
TOTAL CREDITS FOR MSc (Res.) (Part I+II+III) – SLQF L10 60C

Mode of Learning

  • Part I (Course work) lectures and practicals will be conducted on Friday evenings (3 – 6 pm) and Saturdays (8 am to 5 pm) during two semesters, each approximately of 20 weeks.
  • Theory modules, (and some practical component where applicable), will be conducted in a blended mode with both online and face-to-face lectures, discussions and tutorial classes. Practical modules will be conducted mainly through laboratory work and some field visits.
  • In a theory module fifteen lecture hours is considered as one credit (1C) and in a practical module thirty hours of laboratory/ field work is considered as 1C.
  • The estimated amount of study time or the commitment expected (= 'Notional learning hours') from an average student to achieve the intended learning outcomes of a 1C theory or practical module is ~ 50 hours. For a research module 1C is equivalent for ~ 100 notional hours.

Medium of Instruction

  • The medium of instruction as well as that of assessments/examinations shall be English, and the medium for correspondence shall also be English.

Mode of Learning

  • Part I (Course work) lectures and practicals will be conducted on Friday evenings (3 – 6 pm) and Saturdays (8 am to 5 pm) during two semesters, each approximately of 20 weeks.
  • Theory modules, (and some practical component where applicable), will be conducted in a blended mode with both online and face-to-face lectures, discussions and tutorial classes. Practical modules will be conducted mainly through laboratory work and some field visits.
  • In a theory module fifteen lecture hours is considered as one credit (1C) and in a practical module thirty hours of laboratory/ field work is considered as 1C.
  • The estimated amount of study time or the commitment expected (= 'Notional learning hours') from an average student to achieve the intended learning outcomes of a 1C theory or practical module is ~ 50 hours. For a research module 1C is equivalent for ~ 100 notional hours.

Further Information

Further information regarding the MSc Program can be obtained by contacting the programme coordinator.

Contact details of the programme coordinators are as follows.

Intake Coordinator Email Mobile Phone(office)
2022 Dr. P Saputhanthri pradee@pts.cmb.ac.lk 0718565305 0112585038