Plants and People - An Introduction to Ethnobotany

Course code 72193

The study of the interaction between plants and humans is ethnobotany, from ‘ethno’ (the study of people) and ‘botany’ (the study of plants). It is an interdisciplinary subject which can also include elements of anthropology, human geography, biological conservation, pharmacology and nutrition. This is an introductory course that looks at ethnobotany from a world perspective. It also explores the relationship between plants and Māori in New Zealand/Aotearoa while looking at comparable examples of traditional botanical and ecological knowledge found in other indigenous and local cultures.

How to enrol

Before enrolling in this course you need to:

  • Choose the qualification you will study the course under. See the Work towards tab below for qualification options.
  • Check the order that courses in the qualification should be studied in the Qualification Structure table. This is in the Choose courses tab on the qualification page.
  • Level 5  
    Credits 20 
  • Study type Trimester  
    EFTS 0.1667  
  • Availability
    2019 :  
    Trimester 1 enrol by 12 Feb 2019 to start 25 Feb 2019
    Trimester 2 enrol by 23 Jun 2019 to start 1 Jul 2019
  • Delivery type
    2019 :  
    Trimester 1 & 2 2019 Print only
  • Workload

    Allow approximately 10-12 hours study time per week for each 20 credit course. This may be higher around assessment due dates or exam time.

  • Fees
    2019 :  
    NZ students $730 + $60 annual administration fee
    International students $2,254 + $60 annual administration fee
  • Prerequisites Check entry and other requirements under the qualification you are studying  

Topics covered include

  • how plants influence human culture
  • the relationship between ethnobotany and biological conservation
  • traditional methods of managing and harvesting plants
  • the use of plants by Māori for food, medicines, fibre and construction; and
  • intellectual and cultural property rights issues.


This course is 100% internally assessed


No textbooks are required for this course

Lecturer / Tutor