Faculty of Natural
Comenius University Bratislava

Plant Physiology

Study plan  [daily form]   [external form]

Teachers     [daily form]  [external form]

Responsible persons

The person responsible for the implementation, development and quality of the study programme

prof. RNDr. Alexander Lux, CSc.,   funkčné miesto profesor,    [portál VŠ]

Persons responsible for the profile courses of the study programme

doc. RNDr. Marek Vaculík, PhD.  [portál VŠ]

doc. Mgr. Viktor Demko, PhD.  [portál VŠ]

doc. Mgr. Michal Martinka, PhD.  [portál VŠ]

doc. Mgr. Renáta Švubová, PhD.   [portál VŠ]

Graduate profile and learning objectives

The institution defines the learning objectives of the study programme such as student's abilities at the time of completion of the programme and the main learning outcomes.

By completing the third degree of university studies in the study programme Plant Physiology, students will acquire the latest knowledge about plant physiology with emphasis on the structure and physiological functions of the plant organism on molecular and subcellular level, as well as in the context of the plant organism as a unit, and its functioning in a group of individuals. Gaining an overview of the mechanisms and importance of physiological processes, functional cytology and plant anatomy, the role of cell structures, tissues and organs in individual physiological processes, and the mechanisms of their regulation, will enable students to engage in solving scientific problems at all levels in the concerned field, from individual biological and metabolic processes up to the physiological functioning of the whole plant. All theoretical knowledge and practical skills when working with experimental material, which will be acquired during the dissertation thesis preparation, will be applicable in any type of experimental work in the field of plant physiology. Part of the studies focus on the molecular-biological interpretation of vital functions of plant cells and tissues, and their regulation from gene expression to the activity and manifestation of their final products. Emphasis is placed on metabolic control through gene expression regulation, enzyme activity regulation and compartmentation, protein synthesis and degradation, carbon metabolism mainly involving plastid and mitochondrial metabolism and their interactions with cytosol, nitrogen metabolism including nitrogen fixation, the metabolism of phosphorus and sulphur, and the prospects of plant metabolism modification using genetic engineering. Graduates will also gain practical experience with the processing, interpretation, and critical comparison of the obtained experimental data with the available information published in the most prominent scientific journals. Graduates will be able to outline achievable and desired research goals, design and plan the research up to conducting it, and obtain original scientific results that will be valuable in the progress of science, research and the whole human society. They will learn professional skills in presentation and interpretation of scientific data by presenting their experimental results at both domestic and international scientific events. At the same time, graduates will be able to publish their results in highly recognized international scientific journals. Integrating students into current scientific projects of the institution will allow them to acquire important social contacts within the scientific community and the opportunity to extend their scientific experience to different foreign scientific institutions. The tutors of graduates will outline the most important scientific issues within the study programme with regard to the topics of the dissertation theses. As part of the study, students will also learn the most advanced methodological procedures carried out in the field of plant physiology. After completing their studies, graduates should make use of the acquired knowledge in both conservative scientific research and applied research.

The institution indicates the professions for which the graduate is prepared at the time of completion and the potential of the study programme from the point of view of graduate's employability.

Graduated student can find a professional occupation as Plant Physiologist – expert; Plant Physiology Scientist, or can be employed as university teacher, researcher or specialist in the area of biological sciences. The graduated student has got a training in various methods of plant physiology research, including signalling cascades of physiological processes, explant cultures, transport of substances and their conversion in plants, growth and differentiation of plant cells, plant metabolism and behaviour under abiotic and biotic stress conditions. The student is investigating the structure and function of plant organism on various levels, from subcellular (molecular) to whole-organism level and does not focus only on molecular background of individual actions, but also on relationships and mechanisms of plant responses on the whole-plant level. Student is also skilled in biochemical and analytical methods, bright-field and electron microscopy techniques which combines with methods of molecular biology and genetics. The results of experimental work contribute to the field of science in general, and can be used also in the applied sphere, especially in the agriculture, forestry, horticulture, and environment protection. The use of gathered knowledge in genetic engineering and plant breeding practice could contribute to development of new cultivars, more efficient and resistant to negative effects of human activities, or plants more tolerant to changing environmental conditions.


After completing the study of the programme Plant Physiology, students became independent experts able to plan and carry out works associated with scientific research. They participated in theoretical and practical lessons from the preparation and realisation of experiments to experimental data analyses, which can be furtherly used in their work experience. After a successful PhD. study in the programme Plant Physiology, the graduates find applications as research assistants and university teachers either at the Comenius University in Bratislava or other universities, such as the University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice, the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Technical University in Zvolen. Besides that, many of the graduates have found the application as researchers at the Slovak Academy of Sciences – SAS (The Institute of Botany of the Plant Science and Biodiversity Centre SAS in Bratislava, Institute of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology SAS in Nitra, Institute of Chemistry SAS in Bratislava). Other graduates work as inspectors and specialists in state institutions, departmental research, testing, and control institutes (Institute of High Mountain Biology in Tatranská Javorina, The Central Control and Testing Institute in Agriculture, Bratislava). A significant group of graduates is also active in the private sector. They work as analysts and representatives in the pharmacological industry (Johnson & Johnson, Ltd, Bratislava, Novartis Slovakia, Ltd, Bratislava, Pfizer Luxembourg Sarl, Oz, Bratislava), chemical industry (Henkel Slovakia, Ltd), and in biotechnological private companies.

The graduates of the study programme Plant Physiology are successful not only in Slovakia, but also abroad, especially at educational and research institutions in the Czech Republic (Institutions of Czech Academy of Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Palacký University, Olomouc, Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research), in Germany (University in Bonn), in Norway (Norwegian University of Life Sciences), in Switzerland (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich). Research and educational stays at these and other institutions are short- but also long-term. Successful PhD. students fully comply with the profile of the graduate of the Plant Physiology study programme.


For individual study plans, the institution states the requirements for completing the individual parts of the study programme and the student's progress within the study programme in the given structure:

    - Number of credits for compulsory courses: 20
    - Number of credits for compulsory optional courses: 10
    - Number of credits for optional courses: 165
    - Number of credits for state exams: 45, among them
            - Number of credits for the Dissertation exam: 15
            - Number of credits for the Defence of the Dissertation Thesis: 30