Be in demand
There is a shortage of applied plant breeders in New Zealand and overseas - you will be in demand in the industry. Many graduates have employment before they graduate.
Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.
When you study the Master of Science (Plant Breeding) at Massey University you will become a member of a significant international scientific community responsible for global food security.
This plant breeding major is a unique qualification in New Zealand. This course will provide you with training in quantitative genetics & applied plant breeding methods, multisite experimental design, data analysis & interpretation, application of molecular tools in plant breeding and visits to field programs & interaction with applied plant breeders.
This course will be taught by highly-skilled internationally-recognised and active researchers with expertise in; plant genetic resources, quantitative genetics, applied plant breeding, plant molecular biology, evolutionary biology, systematics and taxonomy and plant physiology. During the course of your studies you will visit applied field programs and learn from practicing scientists and experienced field breeders.
The modern plant breeder is one who has not only to have a good understanding of genetics and plant breeding methods, but also know how to apply new tools such as molecular marker technologies and also interact with other significant disciplines such as agronomy, plant protection, plant physiology. This is why our course takes a multi-disciplinary approach. The students are taught the importance of a team approach to plant breeding. They are also given a global prospective of the significance of the international plant breeding community responsible for food security of the human population.
As a plant breeding student you will have access to Massey’s world-leading equipment and facilities such as our extensive glasshouses and farms, moleculAar labs, the Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium, the Palynology Laboratory, Plant Growth Unit, Seed Testing Services, Massey Genome Service and the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre.
We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means that you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers.
During the course of your study you will get the opportunity to visit and work with organisations working on plant breeding, like the AgResearch Grasslands Research Centre, Plant & Food and SCION. Some of our students are able to conduct their projects at these organisations whilst undertaking their postgraduate study, benefiting their career and gaining real-word experience in the process. Masters and PhD students from Massey are often co-supervised by experienced scientists from these organisations, most of which are physically located very close to Massey’s Manawatu campus.
Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Completing this course will also provide you with the opportunity of undertaking a PhD.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning, undertaking research, improving scientific skills and also presenting scientific information to an audience.
Massey University’s Master of Science is primarily a 240 credit master qualification. This is made up of 120 credits of taught courses and a 120 credit research project.
Or if you have already completed the BSc (Hons) or PGDipSc you can conduct a 120 credit thesis to achieve your masters qualification.
Plant Breeding plays an important role in the development of plant varieties for food, feed and industrial uses. New varieties have to meet current demands regarding yield, disease resistance, quality characteristics, salt or drought tolerance and suitability for sustainable plant production systems. Plant Breeding involves a variety of aspects, ranging from the molecular level to the population level and requires knowledge on the physiology, ecology and genetics of cultivated plants.
The use of various molecular techniques contributes enormously to the rapid identification of genes for natural resistance and is essential for accelerating the selection process by marker-assisted breeding.
This online master's specialisation is designed as a part-time study. The approximate workload is 20 hours per week and gives the student the flexibility to combine work and study. The programme is therefore also suitable for employees who want to continue their education in the sense of life-long-learning.
The general structure is a 2 year part time course-programme followed by a tailor-made internship and master's thesis agreement of 1 or 2 years. Read more about the programme.
Graduates from the master's Plant Sciences have excellent career prospects and most of them receive job offers before graduation. They are university trained professionals who are able to contribute to the sustainable development of plant production at various integration levels based on their knowledge of fundamental and applied plant sciences and their interdisciplinary approach.
Graduates with a research focus are employed at universities, research institutes and plant breeding or agribusiness companies. Other job opportunities are in management, policy, consultancy and communication in agribusiness and (non-) governmental organisations. Read more stories of Wageningen University & Research graduates.
Related on-campus programmes:
The Bordeaux Biology Agrosciences (B2AS) program offers an integrated multidisciplinary approach that is adapted to the realities of research (background research) as well as to the socio-economic sector (professional courses). The program objectives are to train and equip researchers and professionals to face the issues posed by agriculture in the 21st century. This is achived by integrating plant biotechnology and agrofood technology within course content in order to deal with the challenges of innovation in agriculture.
With such an integrated approach, the Master B2AS represents a meeting point between academia and professionals. During the program, students may specialize either in the field of plant biology, biotechnology, plant breeding, genetics, plant and human health benefits, food production and innovation. The wide partner network provides students with a range of complementary expertise. This means that specific competencies are developed within the chosen field of biotechnology and plant breeding for agriculture improvements.
Scientific English (3 ECTS)
Plant development and reproduction (3 ECTS)
Metabolism and cellular compartmentation (3 ECTS)
Biotechonology (3 ECTS)
Plant pathogen interactions (3 ECTS)
Plant breeding (3 ECTS)
Quantitative and population genetics and evolution (3 ECTS)
Laboratory Practice (6 months/30 ECTS)
During their studies, students will:
The objectives of the B2AS program are to prepare students for further study via PhD programs and/or careers in the food and agronomy industry throughout the world. This is achieved by providing high-level training in plant sciences but also by preparing students with relevant knowledge and skills in management and business.
Graduates may apply for positions in the following industrial sectors in a R&D laboratory as well as in production activities:
Plants form the basis of life as they convert sunlight into an inexhaustible source of food and renewable raw materials. Plants also have a stabilising effect in (agro) ecosystems, a landscape function and ornamental value. In a nutshell, we cannot do without plants.
The Plant Sciences programme has been designed to help meet the worldwide demand for scientific expertise in the development of plant and crop production and farming systems. It not only covers the technological aspects of crop production, but also deals with important environmental, quality, health and socio-economic aspects. Interdisciplinarity is a hallmark of the programme.
On the programme of Plant Sciences page you can find the general outline of the programme and more detailed information about courses, theses and internships.
Within the master's programme you can choose one of the following Specialisations to meet your personal interests.
Graduates in Plant Sciences are university-trained professionals who are able to contribute to the sustainable development of plant production at various integration levels, based on their knowledge of fundamental and applied plant sciences and their interdisciplinary approach. Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme.
Plants form the basis of life as they convert sunlight into an inexhaustible source of food and renewable raw materials. Plants also have a stabilising effect in (agro) ecosystems, a landscape function and ornamental value. In a nutshell, we can't do without plants. Modern molecular biology has opened up a whole new range of techniques and possibilities to scientists working in the different fields of the classical plant sciences (e.g. plant physiology, plant breeding, plant pathology). The combination of these disciplines forms a challenging domain: Plant Biotechnology.
Plant Biotechnology aims to impart understanding of the basic principles of the plant sciences and molecular biology, as well as the integration of these disciplines, to provide healthy plants in a safe environment for food, non-food, feed and health applications. Besides covering the technological aspects, Plant Biotechnology also deals with the most important environmental, quality, health, socio-economic and infrastructural aspects.
On the programme of Plant Biotechnology page you can find the general outline of the programme and more detailed information about courses, theses and internships.
Within the master's programme you can choose one of the following Specialisations to meet your personal interests.
Graduates in Plant Biotechnology are university-trained professionals. Their main career focus will be on research and development positions at universities, research institutes and biotech or agribusiness companies. Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme.
Life on Earth depends on solar energy captured by plants - they are the base of most food webs and underpin the functioning of all major ecosystems. Plants release the oxygen we breath. They convert solar energy into chemical energy, providing us with food, fibres, renewable energy sources, and raw materials for many industries. Plants do not carry out these processes in isolation. They interact with other organisms and the physical and chemical environment, communicate and actively adjust to their circumstances. How do they do these things and how can we profit from understanding them? When you have graduated from the Master’s Program in Plant Biology you will have the answers to these big questions, and more, such as:
You will also be able to:
After earning your degree, you can continue towards a PhD or move directly into a career. If you have a Bachelor’s degree in a field of biology from another Finnish university or from a foreign university anywhere in the world, you are welcome to apply for the Master’s programme in Plant Biology. Based on your previous studies we will evaluate the possible need for supplementary studies, which will be included in your degree.
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The Master’s Programme in Plant Biology is a joint programme of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, which ensures an exceptionally comprehensive curriculum. You will be able to study the diversity of wild and cultivated plants from the Arctic to the Tropics, as well as plant functions from the molecular to the ecosystem level.
The teaching is diverse, consisting of modern laboratory and computer courses, field courses, seminars and excursions. The curriculum is intertwined with research. You will be introduced to the research groups from the beginning of your studies, so you will become familiar with research methods as your studies progress. Much of the study material is in various learning platforms (such as Moodle), which allow distance learning. You will have a personal tutor who will help you tailor an individual study plan according to your requirements.
Within the programme you can choose among several optional study modules and focus on, for example:
All modules are worth at least 15 credits. They are interlinked to ensure a coherent and balanced degree that allows you to obtain a broad perspective. Alternatively, you can focus on your primary research interest while acquiring the skills needed to follow your career goals on completion of your degree.
A translational perspective is emphasised in courses in which it is relevant. That will allow you to apply the acquired basic knowledge in problem-based research, bridging the gap between basic and applied research.
This research course focuses on advanced concepts and technologies related to the molecular basis of plant and microbe functions.
The backbone of the MRes in Molecular Plant and Microbial Sciences is a 12-month period of research starting in the first week of October.
It consists of two research projects performed in research groups focusing on plant genetic engineering, plant development, plant molecular biology, proteomics, plant biochemistry, plant-microbe interactions, transcriptomics and bioinformatics.
Career opportunities continue to expand as the potential of plant biotechnology is realised by employers, research companies and governments. A high proportion of our graduates are expected to enter further research leading to a PhD degree. There may be opportunities to join one of the Research Council-funded institutes, which develop and monitor a range of aspects of plant biotechnology.
Some graduates may gain employment in the food industry and agrochemical companies, which are increasingly focused on modern approaches to plant breeding. New developments in biofuels research offer future employment opportunities.
For full information on this course, including how to apply, see: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/life-sciences/molecular-plant-microbial-sciences/
If you have any enquiries you can contact our team at: [email protected]
Are you interested in crop protection and sustainable agriculture? Are you looking for a research career working in agriculture and related areas? Do you want to do something positive for the environment? Then this is the postgraduate course for you:
The continuing production of safe, wholesome food in an environmentally sensitive manner is a major political issue for national governments and internationally within global commodity markets. A report produced by the UK Cabinet Office in 2008 (Food Matters: Towards a Strategy for the 21st Century) predicts that the global population will rise to 9Bn by 2050 rising from a current estimate of nearly 6.8Bn. This increase in population size will substantially increase the demand for food. The global estimates vary in magnitude, but it is thought approximately 25% of crops are lost to pests and diseases, such as insects, fungi and other plant pathogens (FAO Crop Prospects and Food Situation 2009).
The Crop Pest and Disease Management course will offer students training in techniques to facilitate crop food production. The course covers a broad range of topics in applied entomology, plant pathology and nematology and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter either a pest/disease management work environment or a research career in applied entomology, plant pathology or pest management. There is, however, considerable flexibility within the course thus enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.
Research projects are available in a wide range of subjects covered by the research groups within the Crop and Environment Sciences Department and choices are made in consultation with expert staff. Projects at linked research institutes in the UK and overseas are also available. The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of research at Harper Adams and long-standing collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.
A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from entomologists, plant pathologists and pest managers in collaborating governmental organizations and commercial biological control companies. This participation takes a variety of forms, including guest lectures, field visits and specific training courses, but may also include providing research projects in their organizations.
Examples of collaborating organizations include, CEH Wallingford, Forest Research, Horticultural Development Company, The International Pesticide Application Research Centre, The Natural History Museum London, Rothamsted Research, and Wye Bugs.
Having completed the MSc you will be able to identify the underlying causes of major pest and disease problems and recognize economically important insects, plant diseases and weeds.
You will also be able to apply integrated pest control methods and oversee their application. The course will focus on the ecological and management principles of pest control and you will learn to evaluate the consequences of pesticide use and application on the biological target. You will also receive training in the evaluation of the economic and environmental costs of integrated approaches to pest control in relation to biological effectiveness. Ultimately, the course will enable students to produce integrated pest and disease management solutions that pay due regard to agricultural, horticultural, social and environmental requirements.
In addition, there is considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions
The research project for the MSc will allow you to test hypotheses relevant to pest and disease management research by designing, carrying out, analysing and interpreting experiments or surveys. You will learn to evaluate and interpret data and draw relevant conclusions from existing pest and disease management case studies.
The MSc covers a broad range of topics relevant to pest and disease management and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter a vocational work environment or pursue a research career. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.
The full-time and two year part-time courses are eligible for a postgraduate loan.
(Reaping the benefits: Science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture - October 2009, Royal Society)
This Sustainable and Efficient Food Production postgraduate course centres on increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impact within the extensive pasture-based production sector. The programme provides flexible, accessible, postgraduate level training for people employed in the agri-food sector. Training comprises distance learning modules and work-based research projects. These are accessible as CPD or as credit-bearing units, which can be built towards a range of postgraduate qualifications.
Taught by experts at both Aberystwyth University (AU) and Bangor University (BU), the Sustainable and Efficient Food Production course offers you a highly vocational option. In the most recent joint submission to the Research Excellence Framework assessment (2014), the department was placed in the top 10 universities in the UK for research intensity and 78% of our research was world-leading or internationally excellent.
To achieve an MSc students must complete five optional modules (including up to three from BU) plus Research Methods and a Dissertation.
Two to five years to complete a full MSc. 14 weeks for one module by distance learning Three intakes per year (January, May, September). Students will be eligible for a UK Student Loan if the course is completed in 3 years.
Optional modules - Choose any 5 from:
We have designed our training to be as accessible as possible, particularly for those in full time employment. Each topic comprises a 12-14 week distance learning module worth 20 credits which can be taken for your own continuing professional development or interest; or built towards a postgraduate qualification. The research elements of our qualifications are carried out in your work place with regular academic supervision. The training is web-based which means that as long as you have access to a reasonable broadband connection (i.e. are able to stream videos such as on YouTube), you can study where and when best suits you. Learning material includes podcast lectures, e-group projects, guided reading, interactive workbooks and discussion forums, as well as assignments and e-tutorials. By signing a re-registration form each year you will have access to e-journals and library resources for the full five years.
There are no exams within this programme. Taught modules are assessed via course work and forum discussion.