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.
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.
This scheme aims to facilitate knowledge exchange between academia and industry. Students must complete three taught modules including research methods and a 120 credit work-based dissertation / research thesis (approximately 20,000 words in length).
While the primary academic focus is on the completion of an advanced piece of research, the collaborative route provided by a work-based research project provides an ideal opportunity to embed new knowledge in the work place and ensure that research is relevant to industry. As such, it is crucial that a student’s employer is supportive of both their research aims and the time commitment that the proposed research will involve. Self-employed students should aim to undertake research which will be closely aligned to their business.
Students may build on the MRes to work towards a Professional Doctorate.
An MRes can be completed in 2-5 years but we would expect most students to spend 1 year on their taught modules and 2 years on their work based dissertation. 12 or 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 their course is completed within 3 years.
MRes Research Project
The MRes comprises three taught modules (including Research Methodologies and Advances in Bioscience) followed by a 120 credit work-based dissertation (20,000 words).
We have designed our training to be as accessible as possible, particularly for those in full time employment. Each taught module comprises a 12 or 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 duration of your registration.
There are no exams within this programme. Taught modules are assessed via course work and forum discussion. Research is monitored and assessed.
The M.S. degree in Sustainable Agriculture aims to provide advanced knowledge in the field of agricultural systems as well as skills to develop and manage sustainable production systems.
The context of the topics is international, having as its main area of investigation warm-temperate environments at a global level. The graduate in Sustainable agriculture must work to achieve food security objectives associated with improving the quality and wholesomeness of food products. The graduate must know the issues related to biodiversity, global change and ecosystem services, which are analyzed according to a systemic and adaptive approach, considering also the traceability of processes.
To address the global challenges, students are equipped with a wide learning platform, and are able to make comparisons between different production systems at the international level in terms of environmental, socio-economics, and regulatory environments.
With the aim of strengthening this global approach to sustainability and food security, the degree program has been included in an internationalization project in collaboration with the University of Georgia, USA, which enables students to achieve a dual degree in "Sustainable Agriculture" (Italy) and "Crop and Soil Science" (USA).
The course is intended for highly-motivated national and international students and is conceived for Bachelor graduates with a main interest in agricultural and environmental sciences.
The graduate in Sustainable Agriculture is able to perform a wide range of activities in a professional and efficient manner:
1) Operate internationally by conducting activities of planning, management, monitoring, coordination and training in agricultural production processes to meet the needs of the international market;
2) Be involved in activities of experimentation and research in both the public and private sectors (eg. Biotechnology companies);
3) Fill a position or interact with international organizations such as FAO, EU and World Bank;
4) Be involved in the transfer of technologies (innovation broker);
5) Manage technical and international business related to agricultural products and processing, and related to agricultural mechanization;
6) Play an active role in private and public structures aimed at land management and the management of water resources, including historical, cultural and landscape values of agricultural land;
7) Collaborate in the establishment and operation of projects in basic and applied research in the field of agricultural production in the international arena.
The training course in Sustainable Agriculture, lasting two years, includes two main areas of study:
1) Production: training in the areas of agronomy, crop and animal productions, soil science, plant breeding, and integrated management of pests and diseases, all aimed at the sustainability of the production process and its social implications;
2) Technology: training in the areas of management and protection of air-soil-water, use of biomass of agricultural plants and animals, land management, and management of the production process (at different geographic scales) considering both innovative technologies and socio-economic aspects.
Learning is based on active studies covering activities in the classroom, in the laboratory and in the field as well as the possibility of using the contribution of Italian and foreign teachers, and industry experts that can provide specific case studies. The program offers intensive individual tutoring of students, as well as the opportunity to intern for six months, in companies in the public and private sectors, possibly abroad, for the study of cases of excellence in preparation of the thesis
Visit the MSc “Sustainable agriculture” page on the Università di Padova web-site http://www.unipd.it/en/educational-offer/second-cycle-degrees/school-of-agricultural-sciences-and-veterinary-medicine?ordinamento=2016&key=AV2293 for more details.
The University of Padova, the Veneto Region and other organisations offer various scholarship schemes to support students. Below is a list of the funding opportunities that are most often used by international students in Padova.
You can find more information below and on our website here: http://www.unipd.it/en/studying-padova/funding-and-fees/scholarships
You can find more information on fee waivers here: http://www.unipd.it/en/fee-waivers