Specialist Study

Welcome to the new postgraduate specialist study "Phytomedicine" which is performed since the academic year 2018/2019. The study belongs to the biotechnical scientific field, the scientific field of agriculture, the scientific branch of phytomedicine. It lasts one academic year (2 semesters, 60 ECTS). The implementation of studies is the responsibility of the Committee for Postgraduate Specialist Studies whose president is Prof. Nikica Šprem, PhD

About the Study:

  • Reasons for starting the Specialist Study Phytomedicine

    The main reasons for starting the postgraduate specialist study Phytomedicine are growing demands and tasks set before the agronomic profession in practice. The launch of the specialist study aims to offer participants to acquire broader theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of phytomedicine as well as in professional and personal development. Furthermore, the implementation of the project on the standard of occupations within the Operational Program "Human Resources Development" 2007-2013 surveyed reputable companies and family farms from various fields of agronomy, from small to multinational companies. The aim of the survey was to gain knowledge about the knowledge and skills that employers are looking for in the labor market. As key tasks, employers mostly emphasize the organization of protection of agricultural crops and general knowledge in the field of phytomedicine. More than half of the surveyed employers think that in the future the need for plant protection jobs will be greater than at present, and a quarter of the respondents think that technologists should acquire their knowledge and skills in the process of schooling.

    In accordance with the changes in the higher education system in Europe, the Bologna Declaration and the Law on Scientific Activity and Higher Education, and to harmonize studies with European higher education programs, the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, initiated the development of a new postgraduate study program in the field of phytomedicine as another component of lifelong learning (LLL). Thus, the newly acquired knowledge and skills would provide participants with the ability to cope with the rapid development of scientific and professional knowledge and new technologies. It is evident that there is a continuing need for specialist and interdisciplinary highly educated professionals, who will be able to lead and improve the field of phytomedicine and find new solutions in accordance with new challenges and problems. The need for continuous professional development is not unknown to our agronomists or the plant protection profession. Although today access to information is readily available online, having information is not the same as having the knowledge and critical thinking, years of lifelong learning, and evaluating the quality of the information we are surrounded by.

  • Openness of the Study to student mobility

    The postgraduate specialist study of Phytomedicine is open to all students who have completed a university undergraduate study (lasting 8 or 9 semesters, B.Sc. or equivalent to the previous system) or a university graduate study (master's degree in Bologna 3 + 2 system) in biotechnical or other sciences in addition to taking differential exams. The ECTS credits system of evaluation of teaching contents is the basis for the mobility of students towards other higher education institutions or postgraduate doctoral studies. Thus, the openness and mobility of students at the university level is ensured by (1) the possibility of enrolling in this study for other professionals, (2) the possibility of students enrolling in elective courses in other related studies, (3) offering elective courses to students from other related programs at the University; (4) the possibility of including participants in internationally comparable programs, given that the curriculum is in line with European educational standards.

  • Coditions for applying

    The right to enroll in the specialist study of Phytomedicine have students who have completed university undergraduate studies (lasting 8 or 9 semesters, graduate or equivalent in the previous system) or university graduate studies (master study according to the Bologna 3 + 2 system) in biotechnical or other sciences (Statute of the University of Zagreb, Art. 55, para. 9). Participants who have completed studies outside the biotechnical sciences may be granted enrollment by taking differential exams to be determined by the competent Faculty Board. Students who have a average grade of at least 3.5 in their previous education can enroll in the study. If the average grade is lower (not lower than 3.0), the recommendations of two professors should be attached. Students from abroad, whose diploma has been nostrified, may also enroll in the study, if they meet the other requirements listed here. When enrolling in the study, applicants must meet other conditions specified in the public competition.

  • Competences acquired after the completion of the Study

    Upon completion of the university postgraduate specialist study of Phytomedicine, in accordance with this study program, the applicant acquires the competencies of self-identification of harmful organisms in crop production, through an integrated approach to organizing and implementing pest control measures according to the principles of good economic practice. This study also enables the continuation of lifelong learning. Competencies acquired by specialist study of this program content, and especially considering the continuity of undergraduate and graduate study in the biotechnical field, can be divided into general and special competencies. General competencies are based on a comprehensive education that contains theoretical and applied knowledge in the field of plant protection. Special competencies are based on the highly skilled skills of applicants in setting, analyzing and using new approaches in solving the problem of pest control in fruit and grapes production, field crops and vegetable production and in the cultivation of ornamental plants, as well as in solving pest control problems in organic production. Basic and special competencies will enable applicants to independent professional and personal development, independent action and improvement of the field of phytomedicine by implementing new professional knowledge in practice.

  • Academic title acquired after the completion of the Study

    Upon completion of the university postgraduate specialist study Phytomedicine the person acquires the academic title of university specialist with an indication of the profession or part of the profession in accordance with the name of the study program (university specialist of phytomedicine) that can be used with the academic title. The abbreviation of the name is univ. spec. with an indication of the profession or part of the profession in accordance with the name of the study program (univ. spec. phytomedicine) and can be used with the abbreviation of the academic name (mag. ing. phytomedicine univ. spec. phytomedicine) and placed after the name and surname of the person (according to academic and professional titles and academic degree, Article 6, OG 107/07).

  • Structure

    During the specialist study, students enroll in six compulsory courses in the first semester, gaining 26 ECTS credits, and four (4) ECTS credits are required by enrolling in one or more elective courses from the list of elective courses for specialist studies. In the second semester, students are required to acquire four (4) ECTS credits in extracurricular activities, five (5) ECTS credits by applying, preparing and defending a final specialist thesis and 21 ECTS credits by enrolling in elective courses, of which 18 ECTS credits from the list of elective courses and a maximum of three (3) ECTS credits from other postgraduate specialist studies. By fulfilling all study obligations, participants gain a total of 60 ECTS credits.

    The study consists of six compulsory courses which gain 26 ECTS credits, compulsory extracurricular activities worth four (4) ECTS credits, then enrollment in elective courses for study worth 22 ECTS credits, enrollment in three (3) ECTS credits from the list of elective courses from other related postgraduate specialist studies and 5 ECTS credits by applying, preparing and defending the final specialist thesis. The obligation of students to enroll in the second semester is at least 26 ECTS credits. The student can start defending the final specialist thesis after passing all compulsory and elective courses, completing extracurricular activities and achieving at least 55 ECTS credits and settling all financial obligations to the Faculty.

    Students enroll in a specialist study lasting one year (two semesters) and are required to complete the study within two years. Exceptionally, the head of studies at the proposal of the Expert Council of Specialist Studies may, at the request of the student, approve the extension of studies and determine the payment of additional costs, but not longer than four years, which does not include maternity leave, long illness or similar.

  • Criteria and Conditions for transfer of ECTS credits

    The Council of Postgraduate Studies (Committee for Postgraduate Specialist Studies), on the proposal of the Professional Council of Study, individually approves the transfer of ECTS credits from other postgraduate or specialist study programs in the country or abroad. Attributing the credit value to the subjects that students choose from other studies will depend on the assessment of the complexity of an individual subject, according to the instructions of the Ministry of Science and Education. A student can gain up to three (3) ECTS credits by enrolling in courses from other postgraduate or specialist study programs in the country and abroad.

    Conditions under which the student acquires the right to a certificate on the completed part of the study program, as part of lifelong learning

    After each individual course and exam, the student can receive a certificate on the completed part of the study program and acquired ECTS credits as part of lifelong learning. This certificate is issued at the special request of the student. In the second case, the completed parts of the study program and ESTS points are entered in the index.

  • The conditions for the eligibility to the graduation certificate for the study program, as part of the life-long education

    At any time, students can apply for the Transcript of Records (courses completed and passed by a definite time), which can be obtained in the Faculty Secretariat.

Completion of the Study

The student completes the postgraduate university study by preparing and publicly defending the final specialist thesis (ST) under the guidance of a mentor. The public defense of this paper should be announced on the notice board of the Faculty at least eight (8) days before the defense.

The preparation of a specialist final thesis begins with enrollment in the second semester when the student is obliged to propose the topic of his work to the competent body of the Faculty (Committee for Postgraduate Specialist Studies) with the consent of the mentor. A teacher who teaches at a specialist study can be assigned as a mentor. The application for the topic must contain: a proposal of the title, an explanation of the topic, a proposal of the language of writing and defense, and an explanation of writing and defense in a foreign language. Initiation of the procedure for the evaluation of the final specialist work can be initiated by the candidate whose topic has been accepted when he has fulfilled all the prescribed obligations set out in the study plan and program. The student submits a request to the competent body of the Faculty, which is appointed by the Commission for the evaluation of work of at least three members. A mentor cannot be the President of the Commission. Elected members of the ST Evaluation Committee submit a report to the competent body of the Faculty (Committee for Postgraduate Specialist Studies). The specialist thesis should contain a review of the research conducted in the field of phytomedicine. The paper should be written according to the requirements of professional and scientific journals and contain 50 to 70 pages of text. The Faculty Council, after accepting the positive assessment of ST, usually at the same session, and at the proposal of the competent body of the Faculty, appoints a Commission of at least three members. The approved commission judges the success of the defense of the specialist work.

Conditions for the organization of the Study

Study program locations: The basic place of realization of the study program is the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture.

Space and equipment data: The basic space for conducting studies is the Faculty of Agriculture, which has more than 20 laboratories and five (5) scientific and teaching experimental facilities, as well as the largest agricultural library in the Republic of Croatia. In 2005, with the support of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, a new pavilion was opened with several state-of-the-art laboratories for scientific and professional research. Such a structure ensures a daily connection with the latest scientific knowledge and top work in the entire scientific field. Part of these capacities will be used to perform this study. The implementation of the study program will be mostly oriented to the premises and equipment of the Department of Weed Science and the Department of Agricultural Zoology of the Faculty of Agriculture. The Department of Weed Science has one classroom equipped with a computer and LCD projector, one practicum equipped with binoculars, a computer and LCD projector, and six (6) teachers' offices. The Department of Weed Science is equipped with an air chamber for determining germination and methods of interrupting dormancy of weed species, a sieve shaker for dry and wet sieving for determining weed seeds from a soil seed bank, a laboratory sprayer TLC / HPTCL for determining herbicidal effect, a soil sampling measuring instrument, laboratory consumables and a rich fund of professional and scientific books and journals in the field of herbology. The Department of Agricultural Zoology has one classroom equipped with a computer and LCD projector, one practicum equipped with ten binocular magnifiers, a computer and LCD projector, a greenhouse of 100 m2, entomological and nematological laboratories equipped with a device for extracting cyst nematodes from soil samples (Spears, 1968) and a device for isolating free-living nematodes from soil and plant samples (Oostenbrink - MEKU GmbH), three air chambers for insect breeding, an applicator for research on plant protection products and other equipment for identification, cultivation and study of biology and ecology of harmful and beneficial insects. The Department of Agricultural Zoology also has a "mini" laboratory which houses two binocular magnifiers and one microscope with associated computer programs of morphometry and 13 teachers' offices. These departments employ 13 teachers in scientific and teaching positions, four (4) assistants, one (1) professional associate, two (2) technical associates and a secretary. In addition to teachers from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture the study also includes experts from practice (Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food, Centre for Plant Protection).

Optimal number of students: The optimal number of students is up to ten (10). If less than three (3) students are interested in one of the subjects, students will be offered the opportunity to master the subject through consultation with the subject teacher.


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