Plant Resources and their Conservation - SACO8980

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 7 15 (7.5) Rajindra Puri checkmark-circle


This module covers selected aspects of botany, plant conservation, ethnobotany and botanic gardens, chosen with reference to their relevance to the Ethnobotany MSc. Students should complete the module with enhanced understanding of plant classification and the botany of selected plant families, plant conservation techniques, the role of botany in carrying out ethnobotany, and the range of work and facilities at a botanical garden.

Indicative topics are:
* Botanical information resources
* Basic taxonomy
* The role of the herbarium
* Plant systematics and family sorts
* Taxonomy of selected families
* Collecting plant specimens under tropical conditions
* Ethnobotanical research at Kew
* Yam ethnobotany
* History of economic botany and the role of the botanic garden
* Chinese herbal medicine
* Plant phytochemistry in relation to ethnobotany
* Applied Ethnobotany


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 20
Private study hours: 130
Total study hours: 150


MSc Ethnobotany

Method of assessment

Essay (3000) (100%).

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework.

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Balick, M.J., and P. Cox 1996. Plants, people and culture

Harris, J.G. and M. W. Harris 1994. Plant identification terminology

Heywood, V. 1993. Flowering plants of the world

Hobhouse, H. 1992. Seeds of change

Lewington, A. 2002. Plants for people

Mabberley, D. J. 1997. The plant book.

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 discuss critically the relationship between plant species, groups or plants and the uses to which they are put, from the perspective of economic botany

8.2 deal with the threats posed by plant use through effective conservation.

8.3 understand the ways in which botanists have approached the study of plant specimen collection and taxonomy, and the role of the botanic garden in plant conservation and ethnobotanical research

8.4 present case studies through which these concepts can be thought and critiqued

8.5 develop a nuanced comparative perspective on these concepts engaging ethnographic and ethnobotanical materials

8.6 appreciate the potential challenges and benefits of ethnobotanical research in local, regional, national and international settings.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 articulate and assess a number of botanical approaches to issues in economic botany and conservation.

9.2 understand the study of economic botany and plant conservation in relation to how the subject has developed, and the role of botanic gardens

9.3 evaluate various theories of how botanical knowledge is organized and explained

9.4 think critically in botanical terms about the relationship between plants and people

9.5 choose appropriate methods in relation to ethnobotanical questions suitable for research study

9.6 present ideas systematically and cogently both orally and in writing

9.7 interact with peers and their seminar leaders in the exchange of ideas

9.8 summarise complex material succinctly


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.