Undergraduate Study
Plant Protection

Study Programme Coordinator: Prof. Maja Šćepanović, PhD

Plant protection is a field of agriculture that deals with preventing losses due to diseases, pests, and weeds. The difficulty of choosing from a large number of measures and products for plant protection and the need for their proper application requires special knowledge. Almost all plant protection products are classified as poisons, so their use is associated with hazards to humans and the environment. Modern pest management addresses existing problems by integrating contemporary knowledge that includes preventive, administrative, mechanical, chemical, biological, and other means of controlling pests to minimize yield loss and cause as little harm as possible to the environment. Almost all crops are attacked by parasites and diseases that cause significant economic damage. Therefore, plant protection is equally important in all areas of crop production, landscapes and urban areas, industrial and sports objects, watercourses, canals, etc. In addition, plant protection also includes the storage of plant products.


In the first year, students acquire basic knowledge of the natural sciences and the fundamentals of agriculture, soil microbiology, and agricultural economics, as well as basic knowledge of vegetable, woody, and field crop production. In the second year, students acquire basic knowledge in phytopharmacy, pest control systems, entomology, phytopathology, weed biology, and pesticide application methods through specialized courses. In the third year, students can choose electives that expand their knowledge of the production of specific crops, as well as those that provide them with specialized knowledge of the protection of a particular group of crops (field crops, fruit trees and vines, or vegetables and ornamentals). In the sixth semester, students create professional projects that develop the ability to apply scientific achievements in solving specific problems, and they are encouraged to work in teams. Thesis preparation is usually experimental, the defence of which is a requirement for graduation, and takes place in the sixth semester. Students are required to complete a professional internship of 120 hours.

Upon completion of this programme, students receive a bachelor's degree (baccalaureus) in engineering of plant protection. The course of study includes the basic knowledge of natural sciences and agricultural production. In this way, students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to solve problems in the field of protection of various agricultural crops from pests according to the principles of conventional, integrated and organic plant protection. They are able to manage the business of plant protection in family and commercial farms, work in agricultural pharmacies, state and municipal control services. Employment is not necessarily limited to the field of plant protection.

Upon completion of this undergraduate degree, students have the right to enrol in one of the graduate programmes offered by the Faculty of Agriculture at the College of Zagreb, subject to the conditions for each programme. Students also have the right to enrol in any other college in Croatia and abroad under the conditions set by these institutions.


The objective of the Plant Protection study programme is to train experts for various professions that require essential skills in the field of plant protection. The aim is to train professionals who will professionally apply the regulations and principles of plant protection in practice, expand existing competencies, and acquire new competencies for the analysis and synthesis of basic and practical knowledge in the fields of zoology, phytopathology, weed science, phytopharmacy and pesticide application, as well as in general agricultural knowledge. The goal is to enable students to develop a critical and self-critical opinion and approach aimed at solving the most important practical problems in the field of plant protection through the application of acquired skills and in accordance with high standards of academic integrity (ethics and morality), both in the profession and in society as a whole. In addition to employment opportunities in public, governmental, and private companies, as well as in industry, the programme provides advanced training at the level of a university degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Elaborate basic principles of agricultural production with emphasis on the principles of crop protection
  2. Describe the role and importance of crop protection in crop production and interpret the basic regulatory framework
  3. Describe non-chemical methods of crop protection from pests and distinguish the key elements of integrated and organic crop protection
  4. Distinguish basic cropping characteristics of arable crops, vegetables, and woody plants and integrate plant protection measures into cropping techniques
  5. Identify types of damage, estimate direct and indirect losses from diseases, insects and weeds, and calculate their value
  6. Describe the morphology, anatomy, and biology of major pests and classify them into basic systematic categories
  7. Identify pests based on their morphological appearance and injury symptoms.
  8. Determine and describe the interactions between pesticides, soil, and plants, and between pesticides and the environment.
  9. Determine and describe the characteristics of pesticide groups (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides).
  10. Describe pest control and major methods of pesticide application Develop the learning skills necessary to continue studies and/or engage in lifelong learning.

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