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MSc Plant Breeding (Online Master Specialisation)

Course Description

MSc Plant Breeding

This is an online Master specialisation within the MSc Plant Sciences


Would you like to know more about the Master programmes of Wageningen University, join us for the Master online open day on 17 March 2016! During the online open day you can meet the staff and students of the Master programmes, experience Wageningen University and check out the innovative campus. You can also ask your questions about application and admission, scholarships, the education system and much more, all online!

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Online Master

The online master specialisation is designed for part-time study (approx. 20 hrs/week) to combine work and study or in the context of Life-Long-Learning. A course-programme of 2 years will be followed by a tailor-made internship and Master thesis. During the courses, you will closely collaborate with lecturers, tutors and fellow distance learning students on a virtual learning platform. The course programme includes two short stays of two weeks, each in Wageningen, for essential practicals that relate to the theory. There may be options to organise the academic internship and Master thesis in your own professional context, either parttime or full-time.

Programme summary

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 of 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.

Your future career

Graduates of the Master 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.

Student Timo Petter.
After 10 years of practical experience in Allium breeding, Timo subscribed to follow courses of the master Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources. His job at Bejo Zaden brought him to many countries where the breeding company has her trial fields, breeding stations and sales representatives. But as a crop research manager he started to feel the need to improve his knowledge of the theoretical side of his profession: “Although I have not finished my masters yet, I use the knowledge that I have gained from the various courses every day! For a plant breeder, I believe that this master is the best educational programme available in the Netherlands.”

Related on-campus programmes:
MSc Biosystems Engineering
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Biology
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Organic Agriculture
MSc Plant Biotechnology

Visit the MSc Plant Breeding (Online Master Specialisation) page on the Wageningen University & Research website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Christina Kothes

3560.jpg Christina Kothes is one of our first students who participated in the online MSc programme in Plant Breeding and has agreed to share her story with us. She started the programme in September of 2015. She is 34 years old and lives on her parent’s dairy farm in Viersen, Germany. In 2015 she graduated and obtained a BSc degree in Sustainable Agriculture. Studying online enables her to combine work and study, which was an important reason for her to choose this new online programme at Wageningen University.

Why did you choose Wageningen University for your Master of Science?

“I have a huge interest in Plant Sciences and therefore participated in the summer school “Green Genetics” which was organized by Wageningen University back in 2012. I really enjoyed the week of theoretical and practical trainings. About a year ago, I read on the internet about the online Master specialisation in Plant Breeding, and I was immediately interested. Wageningen University is one of the world’s leading universities for Agriculture and Plant Sciences, and therefore seemed like a good choice for me.”

Since September 2015 you are following the online Master programme. What are your first impressions of the programme?

“I am really happy to get the opportunity of studying at Wageningen University and also to have a multicultural environment within the group of my fellow students. I believe that the programme offers an excellent opportunity to combine life-long learning and work, and I am glad that I have found this programme. Distance learning and studying online is a way of really profiting from today’s modern learning environments and really utilizes the opportunities that technology provides us with.”

What are your plans for the future?

“By following this programme, I am hoping that I can keep on developing my knowledge in Plant Breeding and through that move on to a job in the Research and Development Department of EURALIS. There, I would like to become a maize breeder.”


Entry Requirements

Enrolment in a MSc Programme at Wageningen University requires: A BSc degree (or equivalent) in one of the following fields: Biology; Agriculture; Horticulture; Life Sciences or related fields +A Grade Point Average (GPA) for this BSc of at least 70% of the maximum grade +Fluency in English, both written and spoken +Good skills in mathematics and/or statistics + Good computer skills + Access to broadband internet + Commitment to engage in a virtual learning community. The admission committee will judge every application on an individual basis.

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