Master of Science in Plant Pathology


The course in plant pathology aims at training and equipping technical personnel in all matters pertaining to plant disease and their management. Issues on crop protection play a key role in agriculture and in the horticultural industry which is now the fastest growing industry in Kenya.

In-depth studies on the causes of plant diseases, factors that influence plant epidemics and effective management of the diseases will be taught. Training on pesticide efficacy and effects on the environment in relation to risks and proper usage of the chemicals will be given. Host-pathogen relationships, plant disease resistance and biotechnology aspects including biosafety aspects on transgenics and living modified organisms (LMO) will be addressed. The candidate will be taught research methodologies and will be equipped with the necessary tools, for undertaking research. The training will produce competent personnel capable of handling all issues relating to plant diseases and their management and capable of making enlightened decisions in the relevant field.

Objectives of the program are to:

a)      Train qualified personnel in the field of plant pathology who will be competent in identifying and managing plant diseases using environmentally safe procedures.

b)      Equip the candidates with the necessary tools to undertake research in all fields of plant pathology.

c)   Develop competence in pesticide safe handling, usage, disposal, monitoring and evaluation in the environment.


d)      Guide the candidates in carrying out a research project aimed at solving identified problems in plant pathology.

e)      Train the candidates on how to communicate and present their findings in the form of seminars and publications.

   The degree program shall consist of coursework, examinations and project.

(b)The course shall cover a minimum of 4 semesters and a maximum of 15 semesters and each semester will be 15 weeks.

(c)   Each candidate will be required to take and pass in all the 9 compulsory courses.

(d)   A student shall be required to take a minimum of two courses in one semester and a maximum of four.

(e)  On successful completion of coursework, each candidate will be required to undertake a research project leading to an examinable project paper. The choice of the project shall be made in consultation with the department and the academic supervisor.

(d)  Each course unit shall have a minimum of 45 lecture hours and 15 practicals and shall be covered in one semester.

(g)The project will start at the second semester of study.

  1. A holder of a degree with at least Upper Second Class Honours in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Botany and Zoology, Environmental Sciences, Forestry, Horticulture or related plant science degree or Bachelor of Education in Science with botany and Zoology option and any other relevant science disciplines from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by senate.
  2. A holder of a degree with at least Lower Second Class Honours in any of the degrees specified in (ii) above with two years of relevant experience or a postgraduate diploma in (ii) above or equivalent from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by senate.
  3. A holder of a pass degree with a postgraduate diploma in the above relevant disciplines or its equivalent from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by the senate and 2 years relevant experience .
  4. A holder of pass degree in any of the degree categories specified in (ii) above with at least five years relevant work experience.

Application for admission to Master programmes


Mode of delivery for Masters Degree programmes

The programmesare offered through face-to-face, blended learning and Open, Distance and Electronic Learning (ODeL) modes of delivery.

Lectures – mainly delivered via online learning platforms

Practical – delivered via on-campus hands-on sessions as per schedule

Pests and Diseases control
Pesticides testing and production
Non-Governmental Organizations
Entrepreneurial self-employment in agricultural production
National and international research organizations
Lecturers in tertiary technical and academic institutions

TOTAL UNITS - 12UNITS  Year 1     Year 2     
   Semester - 1   Semester - 2   Semester - 3   Semester - 4   Totals 
TUITION        192,000.00      192,000.00   192,000.00     192,000.00    768,000.00
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)            3,000.00          3,000.00       3,000.00         3,000.00      12,000.00
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)            7,000.00                     -         7,000.00                    -        14,000.00
THESIS EXAMINATION                       -                       -                    -         30,000.00      30,000.00
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)            2,250.00          2,250.00       2,250.00         2,250.00        9,000.00
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)            1,000.00                     -         1,000.00                    -          2,000.00
CAUTION - (ONCE)            5,000.00                     -                    -                      -          5,000.00
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)            6,500.00                     -         6,500.00                    -        13,000.00
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)            5,000.00                     -         5,000.00                    -        10,000.00
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)            2,000.00                     -         2,000.00                    -          4,000.00
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)            1,000.00                     -         1,000.00                    -    
Grand totals        224,750.00      197,250.00   219,750.00     227,250.00    867,000.00
Philosophy, Rationale
  1. Philosophy of the Programme

The philosophy of the Master of Science in Plant Pathology is to train and produce world-class University graduates who will provide leadership and excel in research, academia and crop production with respect to issues on plant diseases and their management. The programme will provide quality training that embodies the aspirations of the Kenyan people and the global community through creation, preservation, integration, transmission and utilization of knowledge. The hallmark of the training will be innovation, creativity, freedom of thought and expression and excellence, taking into account the prevailing national and international policies.

  1. Rationale of the Programme:Needs assessment/market survey/situation analysis

Agriculture is the backbone of the Kenyan economy and represents about 34 per cent of GDP. Agricultural produce accounts for 65 per cent of Kenya’s total exports and the sector accounts for 18 per cent of total formal employment in the country. Horticulture and beverage crops such as tea and coffee are a major foreign exchange earner while the staple crops like cereals and legumes are important for food and nutrition security in Kenya. However, major losses of up to 40 per cent are incurred due to diseases in the field, rejection of export produce due presence of disease causing pathogens and during storage, in addition to contamination with mycotoxins in cereal grains. Therefore, for the country to attain food security and to fully benefit from international trade opportunities, pre- and post-harvest crop losses due to plant diseases must be reduced to minimum levels possible. Increased access to markets creates wealth at all levels, from macro-economic growth to poverty reduction both at individual and family level.

Application Information
Mode of Delivery

The programme shall be offered through face-to-face, blended learning and Open, Distance and Electronic Learning (ODeL) modes of delivery.

Face-to-Face Mode

The face-to-face method of delivery will be through class room lectures, seminars, discussions, tutorials, guided practical experiments and demonstrations.

 Open, Distance and e-Learning (ODeL)

The open, distance and electronic learning (ODeL) modes of delivery will be through home and/ or office-based media using variety of self-instructional and online self-study materials, including:

i. Written self-instructional study modules issued at registration time

  1. Study course materials like booklets
    1. Relevant literature
    2. Online interactive devices and self-tests

ii. Mediated technical learning materials for example:-

  1. Audio visual
  2. e-learning materials

iv. Limited face-to-face sessions to provide overview of the course at commencement of semester, mid semester and revision period before examinations.

v. The University of Nairobi study support centres and libraries at the University of Nairobi and other institutions.

vi. Orientation immediately after registration:

  1. Orientation in ODeL delivery.
  2. Study, reading and use of online study materials.
  3. Time management and techniques of handling assignments.
  4. Mentorship, guidance and counselling.

 Blended learning

The blended learning mode of delivery will combine face-to-face and online learning approaches.

  1. Use online tools and resources such as Google Classroom, YouTube, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Moodle and Blackboard.
  2. Hands-on practical exercises in the laboratory or field, face-to-face group work in a classroom and face-to-face tutorials between online lessons.
  3. Use of cloud-based content and learning course management system application to connect with students online. The online platforms will allow students to access videos of lectures, track assignments, interact with the lecturers and classmates, and review supporting materials such as PowerPoint presentations and scholarly articles.
Contacts of Support Persons

Dr. Maina Muiru

e mail:
020 2055129, Mob. Phone 0738 079 554

Prof James Muthomi

Cell phone +254 722984179