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:
Dig deeper into horticulture
Use Massey’s experts and world-leading facilities to develop your own ground-breaking research.
Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.
With Massey’s Master of Science (Horticultural Science) you can take advantage of Massey University’s 80 years of research and teaching experience in agriculture and horticulture to create your own innovative research project. Massey University’s horticultural science programme is the most research focussed in New Zealand.
Let our experts help you develop your own expertise. You will learn from, and research with, highly-skilled internationally-recognised and active researchers in horticulture, with a huge depth of knowledge and experience. Our current specific areas of horticulture research expertise include fruit and vegetable innovation, high-value plant products and services, applied plant and horticultural science and seed science and technology.
You will also be able to take advantage of Massey’s expertise across the sciences. We have a wide and relevant group of expertise within the university, from engineering and fundamental sciences like microbiology and biochemistry, to agriculture, environmental management and food technology and innovation.
This means no matter what your research interest you will have access to a broad range of experts to assist you develop your own research project.
As a horticulture student you will have access to our world-leading equipment and facilities such as our controlled environment plant growth facilities, the unique and extensive university orchards and state-of-the-art plant physiology and biology equipment.
Massey’s Manawatu campus hosts the only multi-function teaching laboratories in Australasia. The labs, built in 2010, won a Best Practice Award for Innovation at the Association for Tertiary Education Management conference in Australia and was shortlisted for the international UKS-Lab awards.
The facility is unique in Australasia in that it allows each laboratory to be tailored to accommodate a variety of disciplines. Technicians can do preparation in the dedicated technical area before moving this into the lab, which means students can spend more time doing lab practical work.
Massey University is a partner in the Joint Graduate School for Horticulture and Food Enterprise (with Plant&Food). Massey University is also home to ‘foodHQ’, New Zealand’s international centre for collaborative food research. FoodHQ is a collaboration between organisations including Massey University, AgResearch, AsureQuality, the Cawthorn Institute, SR, Fonterra, Plant & Food Research and the Riddet Institute. There is a breadth of horticultural research activities at Massey, including the work to understand the effects of light in improving crop production and quality, research on fruit crops such as kiwifruit and apples, Maori vegetable crop science, and plant disease.
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. Massey has strong links with industry, used to help our students find relevant and topical research projects.
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.
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 and undertaking research.
Massey University’s Master of Science is primarily a 180 credit master qualification. This is made up of 90 credits of taught courses and a 90 credit research project.
A 240 credit MSc is also available if you want to do more in-depth research.
Or if you have already completed the BSc (Hons) or PGDipSc you can conduct a 120 credit thesis to achieve your masters qualification.
This programme is intended for those who wish to enhance their understanding of the role of microorganisms in animal health and disease, and provides an excellent grounding in molecular biology, immunology, epidemiology and microbiology.
This grounding leads into the study of the complex mechanisms of host/microbe interactions that are involved in the pathogenesis of specific animal diseases, and provides insights into diagnosis and interventions, such as vaccines, essential for disease control.
You will enhance your critical and analytical skills and gain hands-on experience in the diagnosis of veterinary diseases, such that you may identify problems, formulate hypotheses, design experiments, acquire and interpret data, and draw conclusions.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
This is a full or part-time programme, intended mainly for graduates, those already working in veterinary diagnostic/research laboratories and staff from other laboratories who want to enhance their understanding of the role of microorganisms in animal health and disease.
Pharmaceutical research personnel, policymakers, veterinarians, public health personnel and environmental biologists will also benefit.
Most modules are offered as standalone short courses. The fee structure for short courses is different to that for registered students, and details may be obtained via admissions enquiries, please refer to the contact details on this page.
The option to study the MSc on a part-time basis is only available following successful completion of three modules as stand-alone/CPD. Please contact the [email protected] for further information.
This Masters programme is delivered by a consortium comprising the University of Surrey and two world class veterinary microbiology institutions: the BBSRC funded Pirbright Institute (PI), and the Government sponsored Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA).
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and Public Health England (PHE) also contribute to the programme.
You will have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the diagnosis of important veterinary diseases within the world reference laboratories of the APHA and Pirbright Institute (PI).
There will also be an opportunity to visit Public Health England (PHE) to gain a detailed knowledge of how zoonotic diseases outbreaks are investigated, and to visit the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), a livestock abattoir and an intensive livestock farm.
Colleagues from the CEFAS laboratory will also contribute to the programme, and further research training will be provided during your practical research project.
This is a one year full-time programme aimed at preparing graduates to work in a range of fields in which a detailed understanding of veterinary microbiology is a valuable asset.
These fields include research, commerce, government and policy, reference laboratory and diagnostic work, epidemiology and disease mapping, veterinary science, farming especially animal production, wild and zoo animal conservation and education.
As such, it is intended that graduates will achieve the highest levels of professional understanding of veterinary microbiology within a range of contexts.
The programme combines the study of the theoretical foundations of, and scholarly approaches to, understanding the application and various practices of veterinary microbiology within the contexts described above along with the development of practical and research skills.
The main aims are to enable students to:
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas.
The learning outcomes have been aligned with the descriptor for qualification at level 7 given in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) produced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education.
Knowledge and understanding
Following completion of the programme, students should display knowledge of:
Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:
Professional practical skills
Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Our MSc Bioscience course gives you the opportunity to develop a broad scientific base on which to build your future career.
On this course you’ll study core research training modules designed to equip you with the expertise needed to work at the forefront of the modern bioscience sector. You can specialise in exciting contemporary topics in the areas of human disease, bioinformatics, biotechnology and plant science, and choose from a range of optional modules, including those associated with the specialisms we offer. This means you can study the topics that interest you and match your career aspirations.
You’ll also carry out an independent research project in an area related to your course options.
The course is 100% coursework assessed (although some modules have small in-course tests). Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop your independent thinking, problem solving, communication skills and practical ability, making you attractive to employers or providing an excellent foundation for further study (eg PhD).
You’ll study in a faculty ranked 6th in the UK for its research impact in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).
This course is designed to equip you with the expertise necessary to work at the forefront of the modern bioscience sector. We’ll offer you a combination of practical training and theoretical modules to help you build your knowledge and skills.
The practical experience you gain during this degree is a vital part of your career preparation. You’ll receive substantial training in practical methods and technologies currently being used to advance the biological sciences.
During the course you’ll apply yourself through core research training modules. You’ll undertake a laboratory-based mini-project providing a hands-on experience in molecular biology techniques. You’ll also carry out a laboratory-based independent research project on an innovative topic related to your course options.
Importantly, we’ll also give you a strong foundation of theoretical teaching to enhance your practical training. You’ll develop your knowledge through research planning exercises and by studying methodologies underpinning contemporary bioscience, with many optional modules available to choose from, including Advanced Immunology, Plant Biotechnology, and Medical Diagnostics.
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.
The learning context has a strong research ethos, preparing you for academic (PhD and post-doctoral), industrial or public sector research. Taught modules address problems at the forefront of the subject, and learning activities (such as group work and mini-research projects) are designed to develop your subject-specific knowledge and research skills.
Your major project will involve cutting edge research with potential for publication in peer reviewed literature.
We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.
The strong research element of the Bioscience MSc, along with the specialist and generic skills you develop, mean you’ll graduate equipped for a wide range of careers.
Our graduates work in a diverse range of areas, ranging from bioscience-related research through to scientific publication, teacher training, health and safety and pharmaceutical market research.
Links with industry
We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advise us on what they look for in graduates and on employability-related skills within our courses.
We collaborate with a wide range of organisations in the public and commercial sectors. Many of these are represented on our Industrial Advisory Board. They include:
Industrial research placements
Some of our partners offer MSc research projects in their organisations, allowing students to develop their commercial awareness and build their network of contacts.
Professional and career development
We take personal and career development very seriously. We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advises us on what they look for in graduates and on employability related skills within our courses.
Our dedicated Employability and Professional Development Officer ensures that you are aware of events and opportunities to increase your employability. In addition, our Masters Career Development Programme will support you to:
You will also have access to seminars and presentations from industry professionals (including our alumni) at faculty led career events. We also have regular research seminars presented by leading academics from around the world on their specialist subjects.
Whether you are a new graduate or already employed and seeking to further your career prospects, this course offers a solid career development path. You can also choose this course if you wish to pursue research in biotechnology at PhD level.
Biotechnology is the application of biological processes and is underpinned by • cell biology • molecular biology • bioinformatics • structural biology. It encompasses a wide range of technologies for modifying living organisms or their products according to human needs.
Applications of biotechnology span medicine, technology and engineering.
Important biotechnological advances including
The course is led by academics who are actively involved in biotechnology research and its application to the manipulation of proteins, DNA, mammalian cells and plants. Staff also have expertise in the use of nanoparticles in drug delivery and the manipulation of microbes in industrial and environmental biotechnology.
You are supported throughout your studies by an academic advisor who will help you develop your study and personal skills.
What is biotechnology
Biotechnology is the basis for the production of current leading biopharmaceuticals and has already provided us with the 'clot-busting' drug, tissue plasminogen activator for the treatment of thrombosis and myocardial infarction. It also holds the promise of new treatments for neurodegeneration and cancer through recombinant antibodies.
Genetically modified plants have improved crop yields and are able to grow in a changing environment. Manipulation of cellular organisms through gene editing methods have also yielded a greater understanding of many disease states and have allowed us to understand how life itself functions.
You begin your studies focusing on the fundamentals of advanced cell biology and molecular biology before specialising in both molecular and plant biotechnology. Practical skills are developed throughout the course and you gain experience in molecular biology techniques such as PCR and sub cloning alongside tissue culture.
Core to the program is the practical module where you gain experience in a range of techniques used in the determination of transcription and translational levels, for example.
All practicals are supported by experienced academic staff, skilled in the latest biotechnological techniques.
Research and statistical skills are developed throughout the program. Towards the end of the program you apply your skills on a two month research project into a current biotechnological application. Employability skills are developed throughout the course in two modules.
The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.
The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.
The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.
Optional modules :
As students progress through the course they are exposed to a wide range of teaching and learning activities. The assessment strategy of the postgraduate course considers diverse assessment methods. Some modules offer dedicated formative feedback to aid skills development with assessments going through several rounds of formative tutor and peer feedback. Summative assessment methods are diverse, with examinations present in theory-based modules to test independent knowledge and data analysis. Several modules are entirely coursework-based, with a portfolio of skills such laboratory practical's and research proposals generated throughout the course forming the summative tasks. In all cases, the assessment criteria for all assessed assignments are made available to student prior to submission.
The course is suitable for people wishing to develop their knowledge of molecular and cell biotechnology and its application to solving health and industrial problems.
You can find career opportunities in areas such as
Students on this course have gone on to roles including experimental officers in contract research, research and development in scientists, diagnostics specialists and applications specialists. Many of our graduates also go on to study for PhDs and continue as academic lecturers.
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Instructions in English:
In the 2016-2017 academic year, the University of Padova inaugurated a new curriculum of the Master Degree “Biotechnology applied to Food Security and Nutrition” (Second Cycle Degree) entitled “Biotechnologies for Food Science " to be entirely taught in English.
The “Biotechnologies for Food Science " Master degree (MSc) is an interdisciplinary and research-oriented Master of Science Programme and explores how to produce healthier and safer food following a cross-cutting, farm/field-to-fork approach. It is focused on the application of advanced biotechnologies in food production and safety and it is the ideal trait-d’union between the requests of consumers, of producers in the agro-food sector and research applied to production and food-safety.
The course has a strong component on cutting-edge methods, such as genomics, bioinformatics, proteomics, metabolomics, nanotechnologies, all in the context of animal and crop production as well as food quality and safety. Theoretical lessons are mixed with practical training, offering hands-on experience in advanced DNA, RNA, and protein analysis together with substantial lab sessions in bioinformatics. Lectures will deal with food production, hygiene and quality, molecular methods of agro-food analyses, effects of agro-biotech products on human beings and environments. Moreover environmental stresses, disease mechanisms, pathogens and pests will be treated as essential to understand how to protect crop and farm animals and how food might impact on human health: the lectures move across animal infectious disease, immunology, microbiology, plant pests and pathogens as well as abiotic stresses to show how biotechnology might help preventing disease and improve food production. As consumers are increasingly worried about the presence of contaminants in food and on the real origin of what they eat; the Programme includes a course in food toxicology and regulation, and one on traceability for food authentication.
Our Programme is based at the Agripolis campus, where are located four departments of the School of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Padova, all of which contribute to the MSc course, offering the best opportunities for a rich, cross-disciplinary experience in a highly qualified scientific environment.
This programme is open to Italian and foreign students from the EU and abroad, interested in learning and implementing effective value-added practices for the production of high-quality food products both in the EU and in international markets. English knowledge must be minimum at B2 level (CEFR). Applying students might possibly have a three-year Bachelor’s degree in a field connected with the Master’s curriculum. Good background in molecular biology, biochemistry, and microbiology is requested.
Biotechnologies for Food Science is a 2-year Master programme (120 ECTS, equivalent to a Master of Science). Requirements for graduation include courses and preparation and defense of the Master thesis. Students will be encouraged to spend a period of their studies abroad, through Erasmus+ or other local programmes and agreements. Financial support to meet part of the cost for thesis work is granted to best students.
Visit the MSc “Biotechnologies for Food Science” page on the Università di Padova web-site (http://www.unipd.it/en/biotecnologie-alimentazione) for more details.
Teaching takes place in an international environment and includes lectures and laboratory activities, practical exercises and seminars by experts; opportunities for intensive tutoring and for master thesis-related stages of at least six months duration will be available with outstanding companies in the sector of the food industry or with other relevant organisations in the private or public sphere. The Programme assists students to find suitable internship opportunities with qualified laboratories in Italy and abroad.
Examinations are written or oral and assess students’ participation also through reports, presentations, and group work.
During the first year of the programme the student will acquire knowledge on animal and crop genomics, focusing on the most advanced methods for high throughput genomic analysis (transcriptomics, genome-wide SNP analysis, epigenomics) and on the most recent approaches for selective breeding (genomic selection, genomic prediction). In parallel, the student will learn how bioinformatics tools might be applied to manage large sets of data, how biological data bases are organized and how to link different types of data. Extensive practical training in bioinformatics will be offered with various sessions in a dedicated lab. Food-borne pathogens and the positive role of microorganisms in food processes will be examined in an integrated microbiology course, while the molecular basis of pathology, host-response to infection, epidemiology, and diagnostics of transmissible diseases will form the basis of two courses. A course on biotechnology for crop production will introduce the molecular and physiological basis of crop production. Biotechnological approaches to improve crop yield, with particular attention to fruit production, and to reduce impact of abiotic stresses will examined. Molecular tools for food traceability and an intensive practical lab in DNA/RNA/protein analysis applied to food control will conclude the first year.
In the second year, the first semester have three courses. One will focus on novel technologies (proteomics, metabolomics, nanotechnology) and their application to food production. A second one will extend knowledge on plant biotechnology exploring advanced technologies for crop disease and pest management. A third one will deal with contaminants in food and food legislation. The second semester is completely dedicated to lab internship. It is possible to join a research lab in the campus or to have a working stage in the private sector.
link to the Campus descriptions:
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