Education and Training


Government and key partners have taken a range of actions to improve education and training on plant health and address the varied levels of knowledge and skills across different audiences.

Plant diseases are now included in the English GCSE and A-level curriculum as part of communicable diseases with the inclusion of emerging plant health problems, such as ash dieback.Fera Science Ltd has been involved in working with the National Stem Learning Centre training secondary school teachers and laboratory assistants in practical techniques for plant pathology, in addition to work with Gatsby funded Science and Plants for Schools.



University Programmes 

We have created a Master’s degree in Plant Pathology and Post Graduate Certificate in Plant Health and Biosecurity in partnership with Harper Adams University. 

Deadlines for applications for 2024 entry:

  • UK and Irish citizen applications: 10th September 2024

  • ​International applications: 31st May 2024

  • International MRes applicationa: 30th April 2024

We have funded a Plant Health Undergraduate Studentship Scheme co-ordinated by the Royal Society of Biology, providing paid summer internships for the past 3 years. This has been used to leverage further studentships from well informed societies, such as the British Society of Plant Pathology, building a portfolio of 10 studentships per annum. 

Applications must be received by 23:59 on the 21st April 2024

We have successfully supported the Gatsby Plant Sciences Summer School engaging with over 1,000 undergraduate students and teachers during the last 10 years.

Educational Resources and Training

  • We have worked with the Royal Society of Biology to develop a new National Plant Health and Biosecurity competency framework and Plant Health Professional Register, with over 80 professionals now registered, to recognise and develop competency. 
  • Observatree have produced a series of training materials to help volunteers identify pests and pathogens.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, have designed Endeavour, a training resource for teachers to deliver inspiring lessons about plant science and the environment 
  • The Royal Horticultural Society have published gardening webpages as a public resource for gardening advice on different pests and diseases and good biosecurity practice. 
  • Forestry Commission have produced e-Learning modules, which are widely available for land managers on the threats to trees, including how to practice biosecure woodland management. Several of the Environmental Land Management pilots will pay land managers to complete this training. 

Help Protect Our Plants with Izzy the Inspector

Find out fascinating facts about plants and discover how you can help protect our plants with Izzy the Inspector!