United Kingdom, Brighton

Plants: their Role in Sustaining Human Life

when 18 July 2016 - 11 August 2016
duration 4 weeks
credits 7.5 ECTS
fee GBP 1520

This module looks at how plants created the conditions for life on land and how plants evolved a central role in human civilisation. You explore the development of agriculture in the ‘Fertile Crescent’ and how plants have been traded all over the world. You discover the extraordinary versatility of plants and their diverse uses. From food, fibres and fossil fuels, to medicines, musical instruments, micro-propagation, bio-fuels, bio-plastics and much more. We investigate the burgeoning science of ethnobotany, the study of the relationship between cultures and their use of plants, and the effects of biotechnology. We will visit the Economic Botany Collection at Kew Gardens to see the importance of plants for people.

Field trip fee: £40

Course leader

Sarah Mckenzie

Target group

The University of Sussex International Summer School welcomes applicants from a wide range of educational backgrounds. Although most of you will be currently enrolled at a university or college, we also welcome applicants who have been away from education for some years, as well as highly committed senior high school students - for some courses a good general

Course aim

The International Summer School provides an opportunity to meet and study with people from different countries and cultures, on a cosmopolitan campus. The large range of courses on offer allows you to get ahead with credit in core courses, or simply to experiment with something new.

Credits info

7.5 ECTS
Summer School courses carry 15 credits and last for four weeks. Since the standard annual load for a Sussex student is 120 credits, this means that each course is equivalent to four semester hours or seven and a half ECTS credits. Students can take only one course per session, as the courses are intensive. You can expect to spend 30 to 45 hours each week on your course between attending classes, labs and workshops, as well as time spent outside class preparing the readings and assignments. You can find information about the courses offered by the International Summer School through our course directory or courses by subject pages of our website.

Fee info

GBP 1520: Tuition only (one four week session).
GBP 2820: Tuition only (BOTH four week ISS sessions).


The University of Sussex offers a limited number of scholarships for participation in the ISS in the form of partial fee waivers to students from developing countries who have high potential for future leadership in their field of study or career.