FST Postgraduate


Systematic botany is an important component in life sciences, dealing primarily on a science of arranging plants into natural groupings and the naming of these groups. Systematic principles aim to produce classification systems which best express the various degrees of overall similarity between the living organisms. Such systems are used in biology for the storage, retrieval and communication of information and for the making of reliable predictions and generalizations. They are based on as broad as possible study of the variation of living organisms and aim to establish groups, the members of which possess the largest number of common features and exhibit therefore the greatest overall similarity. This expertise will provide a basic service to biology, especially on identity, probable close relatives and characteristics of plants to those who require it, especially to those doing research in other areas of biology. Plant systematic will be able to provide an accurate name, expressing natural relationships. This will support other life sciences such as plant biotechnology, pharmaceutical, forestry, agriculture and environmental sciences.

This program aims to help enhance the expertise of our biologists with knowledge and basic expertise to be involved in systematic and taxonomic projects. This will contribute to the capacity building in this area especially in megadiversity countries of the tropics. It will also complement other interests such as ecology, system management, agriculture, environmental and development assessment, plant genetic resource management, natural resource exploration, environmental education. This one year course provides a stimulating approach to a wide range of modern taxonomic theory and practice, especially on taxonomic foundations, biodiversity assessment methodologies, economic and applied aspects such as ethnobotany, economic botany, natural resources and conservation, bioprospecting and Flora writing. It is therefore attractive not only to those intending to follow plant taxonomy or systematic professionally, but also to those with interests in such areas as ethnobiology, plant ecology, dendrology, management of genetic resources, biodiversity and conservation biology.

Course Work & Full Time

Minimum 2 semesters (1 year)

Maximum 4 semesters (2 years)


Intake – 2 times a year (March & October)

*subjected to UKM academic calendar

English Language

SemesterCourse TypeCourse Code & NameTotal Credit

Core Course

STPD6024   Research Methodology

STAP6043   Plant Systematics and

STAP6974   Research Project I


Elective Course

STAB6174   Principle and Methods of Phylogeny Reconstruction

STAB6123   Taxonomic Data and Resource Management

STAB6153   Plant Micromorphology and Anatomy


Core Course

STAB6143   Economic Botany and

STAP6986   Research Project II

Elective Course

STAB6013   Conservation Biology

STAP6033   Biogeography

STAB6134   Phylogeny, Diversity and Taxonomy of Cryptograms


Total Credits


STPD6024 Research Methodology

This course provides guidance in planning, implementing and succeed in scientific research. Students are introduced to the philosophy of science and ethics necessary to be adopted by researchers. Students are given exposure to determine and manage risks in scientific research. Apart from that, issues and rules related to research such as intellectual property, copyright, plagiarism etc. will be discussed.  Subsequently, students are guided to plan their research and prepare a research proposal. For this, students are trained with techniques in information search both manually and on-line, identifying issues and research objectives, planning research and experimental design within their period of study. Students are required to prepare their research proposal according to the format and free from plagiarism. Students are given the opportunity to present and defend their proposal in a seminar. Students will be evaluated based on written and oral presentation of the research proposal, and final examination

STAB6013 Conservation Biology
The Earth is now in a critical period for the survival of its natural ecosystems and their plant and animal members. Conservation biology is a multidisciplinary science that has been developed to deal with this crisis. Conservation biology is not just about maintaining viable populations of all species. Conservation is also about moral philosophy, social justice, economics and politics. The course will be divided into a number of sections to reflect this multidisciplinary approach, namely the origins of conservation biology; biological diversity and its importance; threats to biological diversity; protection, restoration and management of populations, species, habitats and ecosystems; and economics and sustainable development.

STAB6043 Plant Diversity and Systematics
This course covers the introduction to the scope and importance of plant systematics to plant biodiversity, highlighting the needs for plant identification, classification and to understand the practice of botanical nomenclature. A brief history of taxonomy and also the classification of systematics in the modern era is touched. Emphasis is given to understanding the concept of population, species, genus and family and other categories in the taxonomic hierarchy. The course also focuses on the nature, type and application of taxonomic evidences paying special attention to the traditional evidences as well as the modern molecular evidences such as DNA. The course ends with some discussion on what the taxonomic institutions do and also what taxonomists normally practices.

STAB6123 Taxonomic Data and Resource Management
This course introduces students to the latest method in taxonomic data and resource management. It includes information and documentation system which are important aspects of biological diversity information management. Students are introduced to concepts and principles of database, information system, collection and editing. Students will be exposed to various computer software (Microsoft, GIS, etc.) and will be able to design database management system.

STAB6134 Phylogeny, Diversity and Taxonomy of Cryptograms
The courses focuses on discussion on taxonomy, ecology, phytogeography, reproductive biology, phylogeny, diversity and classification of the lower plants or cryptograms. This will include all three part of cryptogram viz. algae, bryophytes and pteridophytes. Practicals involve collection method, curation of specimen, sectioning and preparation of slide and identification of the major groups of cryptogams will be given. Mini project will be given for knowledge enhancement and application of knowledge.

STAB6153 Plant Micromorphology and Anatomy
This course contents emphasize on the plant biodiversity, leaf micromorphology and anatomy and also includes polen morphology. Leaf anatomical and micromorphological characteristics and the application of these characters as supporting characters will be discussed in plant systematic. Examples of local and foreign species will be given. Polen morphological characters which are useful in identification of plant species will be discussed, including types, classes and aperture ornamentation. Mini project will be given for knowledge enhancement and application of knowledge.

STAB6174 Principles and Methods in Phylogeny Reconstruction
This course discusses the use of molecular data in plant and animal systematics. Various types of molecular data and multiple sequence alignment of molecular data are explained. The phylogenetic concepts are approached through the application of various phylogeny reconstruction methods i.e. Neighbour-Joining, Maximum Parsimony and Maximum Likelihood. Students will be exposed to computer software such as BIOEDIT and PAUP for phylogenetic analyses.

STAB6143 Economic Botany and Ethnobotany
The course will focus and discuss the plant botanical aspects that have economic and ethnobotanical importance to man including their role in culture and civilisation of man. It also covers some plant commodity groups such as food crops (rice and other carbohydrate sources), medicinal plants and plants in rural and urban landscape. A brief history on the use of plants among the people of Southeast Asia will be outlined from the aspects of biology, environment, socio-economy, culture and their roles in modern utilisation such as plantation crops and agro-biotechnology.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in relevant field with minimum CGPA 2.50 or equivalent, from any institutions of higher learning  recognized by the UKM Senate; or
  • Bachelor’s Degree in relevant field with minimum CGPA 2.00 – 2.49 or equivalent, with minimum of 5 years working experience or research project in relevant field. Proof of the working experience of a foreign candidate should be acknowledge by the embassy of the respective country; or
  • Fulfill Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL A) for local candidates only:
    • should be more than 30 years of age in the year of application; and
    • possess at least STPM or diploma in relevant field or other equivalent qualification recognized by the Government of Malaysia and approved by the UKM Senate; and
    • possess a certificate of MQA APEL with MQF Level 7
  • An international student shall obtain minimum results of TOEFL iBT score 46 / IELTS band 5.5 / CEFR band B2 / MUET band 3 (An international student who comes from a country where English is the official language, or who has obtained academic qualifications from any institution of higher learning that uses English as the medium of instruction may be exempted from the requirement for TOEFL / IELTS / MUET); and
  • Fulfill other requirements prescribed by the UKM Senate from time to time.

Programme Coordinator

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Haja Maideen Kader Maideen

Email : deen@ukm.edu.my
Phone : 03-8921 3365

Tuition Fee


RM6,450.00 / study (minimum 2 semesters)
  • RM 1,010.00 - Registration Fee (1st semester only)
  • RM 420.00 - Service & Activity Fee (every semester)
  • RM 115.00 - Tuition Fee (per credit)
  • RM 1,430.00 + (RM 115.00 x no. of credit) - total fee for 1st semester
  • RM 420.00 + (RM 115.00 x no. of credit) - total fee for subsequent semester


RM34,610.00 / study (minimum 2 semesters)
  • RM 1,410.00 - Registration Fee (1st semester only)
  • RM 16,600.00 - Tuition Fee
  • RM 18,010.00 - total fee for 1st semester
  • RM 16,600.00 - total fee for subsequent semester

Programme Advisor

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