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Masters Degrees in Agriculture, Netherlands

We have 16 Masters Degrees in Agriculture, Netherlands

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The Organic Agriculture programme has been designed to train students in multiple aspects of organic agriculture and the associated processing and marketing chain. Read more

MSc Organic Agriculture

The Organic Agriculture programme has been designed to train students in multiple aspects of organic agriculture and the associated processing and marketing chain. An important goal is to prepare the students for interdisciplinary teamwork at an academic level.

Programme summary

This programme has been designed to train students in multiple aspects of organic agriculture and the associated processing and marketing chain. An important goal is to prepare for interdisciplinary teamwork at an academic level. The programme is unique in its combination of detailed consideration of the underlying principles and processes from a natural science perspective with social and economic studies. Creative thinking is required to design new sustainable farming and marketing systems instead of simply optimising existing systems. The programme has an international character that uses case studies and offers project opportunities in both the developed and developing world. The curriculum has been carefully formulated to provide a balance between fundamental and applied science. Various university groups participate including farming systems ecology, soil quality, animal science, entomology, rural sociology, environmental policy, education and economy, making this a well-rounded and holistic programme.

Specialisations

Agroecology
Due to concerns on conventional farming practices, food safety issues and pollution, consumers increasingly demand wholesome agricultural products that are produced in a sustainable way. In addition to the demand for organic products by consumers in industrialised countries, there is a need for scientific agroecological farming practices in developing countries and countries in economic distress. In these regions, farmers cannot afford external inputs like pesticides, fertilisers or expensive seeds. Courses focus on: the analysis and design of sustainable organic farming systems; studying the relationship between plant and animal production; soil and landscape; analysing factors affecting plant and animal health; organic product quality. Students learn a systems approach to conduct research projects involving integrated agroecological systems.

Consumer and Market
Socio-economic constraints affect the demand for organic products, and are major bottlenecks to expand organic production. Improved understanding of consumer preferences is essential to stimulate sustainable production of healthy food and renewable resources. Production, processing and marketing of organic products is increasingly affected by (inter-) national policy and legislation. Insight into these aspects is crucial to expand organic production systems. Courses focus on: analysis of consumer perception; insight into relations between government policy and consumer behaviour; development of strategies for certification and trademarks for organic products; globalisation of food production and consumption; environmental education; global versus local production. Students acquire skills to analyse complex problems at the intersection of organic agriculture and society.

Double degree in Agroecology
The double degree programme combines the strengths of the two co-operating institutes, adding the specialist knowledge in agroecosystems management of FESIA with the expertise in designing and evaluating organic food production chains in Wageningen. Students get the opportunity to understand structure and function of complex agroecosystems. They learn to apply systems approaches in studying, designing and evaluating agricultural systems and food production chains, and to develop creative solutions for sustainable farming and marketing of organic products. Action learning and action research through cooperation with farmers, food system professionals and consumers will shorten the distance between practice and theory.

Your future career

Graduates have career opportunities in agribusiness, research, non-governmental organisations and public administration. They often hold jobs such as scientist, consultant, policy maker or quality assurance officer.

Alumna Natasja Poot.
“I have chosen the MSc Organic Agriculture because I was looking for a programme in which all aspects of agriculture are discussed. Courses addressed topics on soils, plants, animals and their interactions. I did not want to limit myself to just organic agriculture, but I can apply the knowledge to all conventional integrated farming systems as well. After graduating, I started at BLGG as a product manager Soil Health. BLGG is a laboratory in the agricultural sector that offers innovative analyses and advices that help farmers in their everyday management. In my position, I am focusing on developing tools for soil-borne diseases, nematodes and soil suppressiveness.”

Related programmes:
MSc Food Quality Management
MSc Environmental Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Animal sciences
MSc Biology
MSc Management, Economics and Consumer Studies
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation.

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The two year MSc programme Biosystems Engineering is for students with an (agricultural) engineering background on bachelor level that are interested to pursue a MSc degree in a field where the interaction between technology and biology plays an important role. Read more

MSc Biosystems Engineering

The two year MSc programme Biosystems Engineering is for students with an (agricultural) engineering background on bachelor level that are interested to pursue a MSc degree in a field where the interaction between technology and biology plays an important role.

Programme summary

During the master Biosystems Engineering, students are educated in finding innovative solutions. The programme combines knowledge of technology, living systems, natural and social sciences with integrated thinking using a systems approach. Solutions can be applied to either the field of food or nonfood agricultural production. During the programme, you develop independence and creativity while acquiring skills that enable you to analyse problems and work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Biosystems Engineering is a tailor-made, thesis oriented programme based on the specific interests and competencies of the student.

Thesis tracks

Farm Technology
This topic consists of four main themes, namely automation for bioproduction, greenhouse technology, livestock technology and soil technology. All these topics have the shared goal of designing systems in which technology is applied to the demands of plants, animals, humans and the environment. Examples of such applications include precision agriculture, conservation tillage, fully automated greenhouses and environmentally friendly animal husbandry systems that also promote animal welfare.

Systems and Control
Production processes and various kinds of machinery have to be optimised to run as efficiently as possible; and with the least amount of possible environmental impact. To achieve this, computer models and simulations are developed and improved. Examples include designing control systems for a solar-powered greenhouse to include a closed water cycle and designing a tomato-harvesting robot.

Information Technology
Information and communication play a vital role in our society. It is necessary to acquire, use and store data and information to optimise production processes and quality in production chains. This requires the design and management of business information systems, software engineering, designing databases and modelling and simulation.

Environmental Technology
Environmental technology revolves around closing cycles and reusing waste products and by-products. Processes have to be designed in such a way that they either reuse waste or separate it into distinct and reusable components. Examples include the production of compost, the generation of green energy or the design of environmentally friendly animal husbandry systems and greenhouses.

AgroLogistics
The goals of agrologistics are to get the right product in the right quantity and quality at the right time and to the right place as efficiently as possible while fulfilling the requirements of the stakeholders (such as government legislation and regulations). This requires the design of effective, innovative logistics concepts in agrifood chains and networks. Examples are the design of greenhouses developed for optimal logistics or designing a dairy production process with minimal storage costs.

Biobased Technology
The importance of biobased economy is increasing. Energy savings and the use of renewable energy are directions for achieving an environmentally sustainable industrial society. Biomass of plants, organisms and biomass available can be turned into a spectrum of marketable products and energy. In this track, you learn more about process engineering, biological recycling technology, biorefinery and how to abstract a real system into a physical model and analyse the physical model using dedicated software.

Your future career

Most graduates are employed in the agrofood sector, or related sectors of industry and trade, from local to international companies. They are project leaders, product managers, technical experts, sales specialists or managers at many kinds of companies including designers of agricultural buildings (animal husbandry systems, greenhouses) and bioenergy production systems. Others find jobs with IT companies (climate control computers, automated information systems) or firms in the agro-food chain that produce, store, process, distribute and market agricultural products. In the service sector or at governments, graduates enter careers as consultants, information officers or policymakers in the fields of technology and sustainable agricultural production, while others enter research careers at institutes or universities.

Alumnus Patrick Honcoop.
"I am working as a product manager at 365 FarmNet in Germany. 365FarmNet supports farmers to manage their whole agrarian holding with just one software application. I am responsible for the content of the software. I am the link between the farmers, the agrarian holdings and the software developers. I really enjoy these dynamics and variety within my function. Just like during my studies, when we visited farmers, companies and fairs during courses and excursions organised by the study association."

Related programmes:
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Geo-information Science
MSc Geographical Information Management and Applications
MSc Organic Agriculture

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This is an online Master specialisation within the MSc Plant Sciences. Read more

MSc Plant Breeding

This is an online Master specialisation within the MSc Plant Sciences

ONLINE OPEN DAY: 17 MARCH 2016

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!

sign up now

http://www.wageningenuniversity.eu/masteronlineopenday

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

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The two-year MSc programme Animal Sciences is a continuation of a BSc in Animal Sciences or an equivalent programme in the field of livestock, companion animals and wildlife. Read more

MSc Animal Sciences

The two-year MSc programme Animal Sciences is a continuation of a BSc in Animal Sciences or an equivalent programme in the field of livestock, companion animals and wildlife.

The focus is to deliver skilled professional animal scientists who are well equipped to tackle problems related to sustainable livestock development as well as to the management of livestock and companion animals. The animal-human interaction plays an important role in this study programme. Themes like animal nutrition, animal health, animal welfare, levels of management, genetic diversity and socio-economic factors are all widely discussed.

Programme summary

Humans interact with animals in many different ways, ranging from raising livestock for food to keeping pets for companion. Animal husbandry and livestock development are not only constrained by technical factors, such as feed supply, animal health, management and genetics, but also by infrastructural and socio-economic factors. Consequently, today’s animal scientists need in-depth scientific training combined with a critical attitude towards all factors that limit the sustainable development of animal husbandry. Our individually tailored programme trains students to become expert animal scientists, well-equipped to tackle relevant issues of livestock and animal management.

Specialisations

Within the MSc Animal Sciences you can choose from various specialisations. Each of the specialisations trains you to become an expert in the field. The specialisations in MSc Animal Sciences are:

Animal Breeding and Genetics
Understanding how genetic differences work and how they can be used in a sustainable manner in a wide range of species plays a central role in this specialisation. Students learn how breeding and genetics can contribute to safe and healthy food from animal origin and how it contributes to the health and welfare of animals.

Animal Nutrition
This specialisation deals with the interaction between animals and their nutrition. Students learn about the way animals digest and convert food by studying the nutrient flows and the physiology of the animals in relation to the composition of feeds. They also learn about the effect of feed in relation to health, welfare and behaviour of the animal.

Applied Zoology
Understanding the relationship between structure and function of all systems within the body is the main focus of this specialisation. Students look at organ structures, hormones, bone structure or the immune system of animals and learn how these systems respond to external influences.

Animal Health and Behaviour
Knowledge of the adaptive capacity of animals is required to be able to determine how to keep an animal healthy and how changes affect the animal. Students learn to study behaviour, stress or immune parameters or energy metabolism to determine e.g. which housing system or feed regime is best for animal health and welfare.

Animal Health Management
How can the risk of transmission of infectious diseases be quantified between and within groups of animals? And which factors are of influence on this process? In this specialisation, students learn to combine animal health management at population level with socioeconomic aspects by studying aspects of veterinary epidemiology.

Animal Production Systems
In this specialisation, students will look at animal production systems in relation to the environment worldwide. Students learn about human and animal interaction. They will also study the environmental, economical and social impact that animal production has on the world.

Professional Tracks and International Programmes
In addition to a specialisation, students can choose a professional track that leads to a specific type of career. You can focus on Research, Education, Communication & Policy, or Business & Management. We also offer international programmes that lead to a double master degree, i.e. in Animal Breeding & Genetics, Sustainable Animal Nutrition & Feeding, European Animal Management, or Animal Welfare Assessment.

Your future career

Our graduates work as nutritionists, policymakers, breeding specialists, advisors, managers, researchers or PhD students. They work for feed manufacturing companies, pharmaceutical companies or breeding organisations but also within regional and national governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations or research institutes and universities.

Alumna Linda van Zutphen.
"I work as a Communication Officer for the Research & Development and Quality Affairs department of Nutreco. This company is a global leader in animal nutrition and fish feed. I am involved in marketing and group communication about innovations, quality and sustainability. During my MSc Animal Sciences, I did my internship at Nutreco’s research facility in Spain. The MSc programme provided me with multidisciplinary knowledge on animal production and the skills to apply this. My job gives me the opportunity to combine my scientific background with my passion for communicating about the applications of our research in products for animal health."

Related programmes:
MSc Biology
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MSc Biosystems Engineering
MSc Organic Agriculture.

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The two-year Master International Land and Water Management programme focuses on the scientific analysis of land and water management issues at various scales. Read more

MSc International Land and Water Management

The two-year Master International Land and Water Management programme focuses on the scientific analysis of land and water management issues at various scales. An integration of physical, technical, socio-economic and political dimensions in various approaches is sought in order to critically analyse, understand and tackle land and water management problems.

Programme summary

The MSc International Land and Water Management focuses on the scientific analysis of the physical, environmental, technical and socio-economic aspects of land and water management and their mutual interactions. Students develop comparative insights into the development of land and water management, take a scientific approach to various research paradigms and acquire a problemoriented, interdisciplinary attitude towards land and water management and rural development issues. Graduates will not only be able to study these issues, but also design and propose sustainable solutions to land and water management problems.

Specialisations

Sustainable Land Management
This specialisation deals with the processes, drivers and consequences of land degradation; as well as with interventions and conservation practices for sustainable land management. By providing in-depth knowledge and developing skills in physical and socio-economic aspects, this specialisation prepares students for both research and development jobs. Topics covered range from erosion processes and modelling to impact assessment and strategies, from field scale to watershed and beyond.

Irrigation and Water Management
Students in this specialisation obtain extensive knowledge on water usage in agriculture. Irrigation -from the farm level to the watershed level- is the main focus. Topics include irrigation of agricultural land, design of irrigation systems, water justice, distribution issues, equity and gender discussion, improving the social and technical performance of existing farm irrigation systems and practices, and irrigation in its wider water management context.

Adaptive Water Management
Increasing human induced pressures on water cycles together with growing demands on water resources ask for careful management of water systems. Students in this specialisation acquire the knowledge, skills and capacity to analyse future- oriented issues in water management and to propose and critically assess management strategies and innovations.

Your future career

Graduates find jobs in a wide range of fields including design and implementation, policy making, project management and research and education. Many find a PhD position at universities worldwide. They are employed by international organisations such as the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN (FAO), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), or NGOs involved in international or national development. Some graduates also work for ministries, water boards and other governmental organisations in the field of international cooperation, such as the Dutch DGIS and the German GIZ, while others find jobs in private or public institutes in their home countries. For graduates interested in design and implementation, there are also job opportunities at international consultancies. In the Netherlands this includes firms such as Arcadis, Grontmij, Antea Group, Euroconsult Mott MacDonald and Royal Haskoning DHV.

Alumna Cecilia Borgia.
"After completing my degree, I worked in Mauretania for the Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (CSIC-IAS) promoting both crop diversification and evaluating the performance of irrigation systems in the Senegal Valley. This has also been the subject of my PhD at the University of Cordoba in Spain. Recently, I returned to Wageningen and joined the consultancy firm MetaMeta where I look at water-food-energy linkages and water governance in Yemen. Water access and management, as well as the interactions between local water governance and new forms of organisation, have been central aspects of my work."

Related programmes:
MSc Earth and Environment
MSc International Development Studies
MSc Development and Rural Innovation
MSc Geo-information Science
MSc Landscape Architecture and Planning
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation.

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Milk, meat, eggs and their various derivatives find their way to domestic and international markets through a complex series of people and channels. Read more

Staying in step with international developments

Milk, meat, eggs and their various derivatives find their way to domestic and international markets through a complex series of people and channels. Stakeholders in these livestock production chains have to respond to the changes brought by technology and they also have to deal with an ever increasing number of national and international laws and regulations, such as those governing international food-quality standards and sustainable labels.

As primary producers are affected by international trade agreements, local livestock production can no longer be seen in isolation from such developments, which is precisely what this programme is designed to anticipate. It therefore examines each actor in the chain (suppliers, farmers, processors, traders, retailers and consumers), particularly in the stages from input to processing. It also approaches the overall chain aspects from the perspective of economics, logistics, quality control, certification, marketing channels, and information flows.

The programme is meant for mid-career livestock professionals in the public or private sector involved in management or consultancy. Others may be involved in regional development policies or development projects or they may be lecturers at institutes of higher education. These managers have the task to facilitate the actors and supporters of the chain or to mainstream the concept of value chain development.

Competences

In line with the educational principles at Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences, this programme ensures that participants develop competences with regard to:
• facilitating the governance of sustainable value chains
• initiating innovative chain processes and projects
• supporting business service entrepreneurs
• showing a professional attitude in a changing international business environment
• conducting applied research that contributes to an efficient and sustainable value chain
• developing policies for inclusive value chains
• effectively communicate value chain developments to specialists and non-specialists

Career opportunities

Managers and advisors of programmes and companies related to livestock chains will gain specialised competences that enable them to improve the management and innovative capacity of their organisation. By integrating livestock chain subjects with management skills and by addressing entrepreneurial and institutional aspects of agriculture, the programme will train them to anticipate changes in demand and policies at local, national and international levels. It will thus enhance their ability to manage and innovate.

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Wageningen University is one of the leading centres in Food Science and Technology in Europe and the world. The history of the Food Technology programme at Wageningen University goes back more than 50 years; it is considered to be one of the best and most innovative programmes in its field in Europe. Read more

MSc Food Technology

Wageningen University is one of the leading centres in Food Science and Technology in Europe and the world. The history of the Food Technology programme at Wageningen University goes back more than 50 years; it is considered to be one of the best and most innovative programmes in its field in Europe. The programme focuses on aspects of production, composition and design of food products.

Programme summary

The Food Technology programme at Wageningen University has been in place for more than 50 years and is considered one of the best and most innovative programmes in its field in Europe. Wageningen University offers high-level courses and research in all areas of food science; ranging from advanced technical fields, such as Process Engineering or Chemistry, to fields with a more economic or sociological focus, such as Marketing and Gastronomy.

The Wageningen Food Science faculty is larger than that of any other European university. It includes professors and lecturers from a wide range of departments: Food Chemistry, Food Physics, Food Microbiology, Food Quality and Design, and Food Process Engineering. Food Technology covers nearly all aspects of food science and technology. As a result of being a very broad field, students are required to choose one of the specialisations offered.

Specialisations

Within the programme Food Technology you can choose your own specialisation that meets your personal interests.

Ingredient Functionality
This specialisation focuses on the composition of food, especially, on the role of various components, ingredients or structures in the quality and functionality of the final product. It deals with sensory, nutritive and textural aspects of foods in relation to their components. You major in Food Chemistry or Food Physics.

Product Design
While many new products are launched, not all succeed. This specialisation deals with the design and development of new or improved products. The focus is on the processes used in Food Technology, the design of new products from a consumer perspective and on modelling new product concepts/processes and predictive quality control. You major in Food Process Engineering or Food Quality and Design.

Food Innovation and Management
This specialisation combines courses in Food Technology with courses in Management Studies. It is intended for students who wish to work on product development in small businesses or who plan to start their own business. You will do a thesis in Management Studies and an internship in one of the Food Technology groups.

Food Biotechnology and Biorefining
This specialisation focuses on using micro-organisms or enzymes in food production. During this specialisation, you will learn about processes that can be used for biorefinery or agricultural raw materials. The focus is on biotechnological food production. You major in Food Microbiology, Food Chemistry, Food Process Engineering.

Dairy Science and Technology
This specialisation focuses on the dairy production chain. Its core programme consists of dairy-related courses and several additional courses, such as Food Components and Health, Advanced Fermentation Science and Predicting Food Quality. During the second year, you complete a dairy-related thesis research project and internship.

Sustainable Food Process Engineering
This specialisation focuses on the development of processes that are more efficient in their use of resources. Thesis can be carried out under the supervision of one of the following groups: Food Process Engineering; Operations Research and Logistics; Biobased Chemistry and Technology; or Food Quality and Design.

European Masters Degree in Food Studies
This international specialisation is developed in cooperation with the universities of Cork (Ireland), Lund (Sweden) and Agro-Paris Tech (Paris, France) as well as with ten large industrial partners. For more information see: http://www.eurmscfood.nl.

Gastronomy
This specialisation focuses on the molecular science behind products and dishes used in small scale settings. Scientific insights are used to develop improved food preparation techniques. The cultural aspects of food will also receive attention. You major in Food Chemistry, Food Physics or Rural Sociology.

Sensory Science
This specialisation combines Food Technology with Nutrition and Health. You will work with products and humans in different contexts and study how sensory systems function, how this relates to products and how to analyse these aspects.

Your future career

Graduates find jobs with relative ease, especially in the Netherlands and Western Europe. Recent graduates found positions in the private sector (from small- and medium-sized companies to large multinationals), at Wageningen University or other universities as PhD students, and at research institutes domestically and abroad. Graduates also work in the field of process technology at innovation centres, innovative food companies or government agencies. Most achieve management positions.

Student Harmke Klunder
“It is rich in proteins, unsaturated fats, vitamins and is available in large quantities all over the world. You may conclude, ‘The ideal food ingredient.’ However, would you still think it was ideal if you knew it was made from insects? With three other students, we added insects to a third world food product, thereby winning an international competition from the IFT (Institute of Food Technologists). Malnutrition in Africa could be fought by enriching their daily porridge, sorghumpap, with protein-enhanced termites. As food ingredients technologist, it is possible to look beyond the products found on the shelves of the local supermarkets.”

Related programmes:
MSc Food Quality Management
MSc Food Safety
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Nutrition and Health

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The Plant Biotechnology programme is the combination of different fields of the classical plant sciences (e.g. plant physiology, plant breeding, plant pathology) working with a whole new range of techniques and possibilities opened up by modern molecular biology. Read more

MSc Plant Biotechnology

The Plant Biotechnology programme is the combination of different fields of the classical plant sciences (e.g. plant physiology, plant breeding, plant pathology) working with a whole new range of techniques and possibilities opened up by modern molecular biology.

Programme summary

Due to rapid technological developments in the genomics, molecular biology and biotechnology, the use of molecular marker technology has accelerated the selection of new plant varieties with many desirable traits. It also facilitates the design, development and management of transgenic plants. At present, plants are increasingly used to produce valuable proteins and secondary metabolites for food and pharmaceutical purposes. New insights into the molecular basis of plant-insect, plant- pathogen and crop-weed relationships enable the development of disease-resistant plants and strategies for integrated pest management. A fundamental approach is combined with the development of tools and technologies to apply in plant breeding, plant pathology, post-harvest quality control, and the production of renewable resources. Besides covering the technological aspects, Plant Biotechnology also deals with the ethical issues and regulatory aspects, including intellectual property rights.

Specialisations

Functional Plant Genomics
Functional genomics aims at understanding the relationship between an organism's genome and its phenotype. The availability of a wide variety of sequenced plant genomes has revolutionised insight into plant genetics. By combining array technology, proteomics, metabolomics and phenomics with bioinformatics, gene expression can be studied to understand the dynamic properties of plants and other organisms.

Plants for Human and Animal Health
Plants are increasingly being used as a safe and inexpensive alternative for the production of valuable proteins and metabolites for food supplements and pharmaceuticals. This specialisation provides a fundamental understanding of how plants can be used for the production of foreign proteins and metabolites. In addition, biomedical aspects such as immunology and food allergy, as well as nutritional genomics and plant metabolomics, can also be studied.

Molecular Plant Breeding and Pathology
Molecular approaches to analyse and modify qualitative and quantitative traits in crops are highly effective in improving crop yield, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance. Molecular plant breeding focuses on the application of genomics and QTL-mapping to enable marker assisted selection of a trait of interest (e.g. productivity, quality). Molecular plant pathology aims to provide a greater understanding of plant-insect, plant-pathogen and crop-weed interactions in addition to developing new technologies for integrated plant health management.These technologies include improved molecular detection of pathogens and transgene methods to introduce resistance genes into crops.

Your future career

The main career focus of graduates in Plant Biotechnology is on research and development positions at universities, research institutes, and biotech- or plant breeding companies. Other job opportunities can be found in the fields of policy, consultancy and communication in agribusiness and both governmental and non-governmental organisations. Over 75% of Plant Biotechnology graduates start their (academic) career with a PhD.

Alumnus Behzad Rashidi.
“I obtained my bachelor degree in the field of agricultural engineering, agronomy and plant breeding, at Isfahan University of Technology, Iran. The curiosity and interest for studying plant biotechnology and great reputation of Wageningen University motivated me to follow the master programme Plant Biotechnology. I got a chance to do my internship at State University of New York at Buffalo, working on biofuel production from microalgae. Working with this small unicellular organism made me even more motivated to continue my research after my master. Now I am doing my PhD in the Plant Breeding department of Wageningen University, working on biorefinery of microalgae.”

Related programmes:
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Nutrition and Health
MSc Bioinformatics
MSc Biology.

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The MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management (MAM) is a two year programme, which comprises of 120 credits (ECTS). Students learn to manage living resources in all types of water bodies, natural or man-made. Read more

MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management

The MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management (MAM) is a two year programme, which comprises of 120 credits (ECTS). Students learn to manage living resources in all types of water bodies, natural or man-made. The programme provides understanding of the biology and ecology of aquatic organisms and water bodies.

Programme summary

Oceans, seas, estuaries and lakes are major providers of ecosystem goods and services such as food, tourism and coastal protection. In many cases, exploitation levels have bypassed the carrying capacity of these ecosystems, leading to devastating effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. To preserve marine biodiversity and its ecosystem functions, innovative and sustainable solutions are necessary. Therefore, there is a need for young professionals who know how to take an integrative approach to marine ecosystems management.

The MAM programme starts with courses that give a common basis on aquaculture and marine resource management. In these courses, you will learn the principles of marine ecology and the governance of marine systems, the biology and ecology of aquatic organisms and the role of science in public policy processes. Within the Aquaculture and Marine Resource master programme, you can choose one of three specialisations: Aquaculture, Marine resources and ecology, Marine Governance. Graduates are skilled in techniques and methods for analysing and solving biological environmental problems in aquatic systems by looking at the organisms and the communities including ecological, management and social aspects.

Specialisations

All students acquire a thorough understanding of processes governing life in any type of water body. In addition, students can choose to put more emphasis on any of the following aspects: ecology, natural resource management, capture fisheries or aquaculture. Depending on the specialisation the topics differ.

Aquaculture
This specialisation deals with the culture of numerous aquatic organisms (such as finfish, shrimp, shellfish, ornamental fish, corrals, sponges and algae) in a wide range of culture environments (from sea enclosures to semiextensive ponds and high-tech recirculation systems). Production methods should be sustainable, guarantee the health and wellbeing of the culture organisms, be economically viable, socially accepted, and result in safe and healthy products. This can only be achieved through knowledge and skills in aquatic production ecology based on knowledge of biological, physical and chemical integrity of water bodies and insight in economic and social driving factors.

Marine Resources and Ecology
This specialisation focuses on the sensitivity of marine communities in relation to human interventions, including climate change, fisheries and habitat destruction. You will learn to address limiting factors in order to be able to contribute to an improved biodiversity, environmental quality and sustainability of marine ecosystems. To do so, it requires insight into the ecological processes that form the basis for marine food chains, the interaction between species and the functioning of the different ecosystems.

Marine Governance
The main focus of this specialisation lies on the sustainable governance and economics of marine and coastal systems. The goals and strategies of commercial enterprises, non-governmental and governmental organisations and international institutions are analysed, and their effects are evaluated in relation to both organisations and ecosystems involved.

Your future career

The interest in sustainable management of the seas and coasts is booming, while there are only few professionals available with an integrated and specialised training in this field. Numerous types of specialists are needed, including technical specialists, researchers, consultants and project leaders in commercial, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Alumna Pascalle Jacobs.
"I had already graduated as a terrestrial ecologist before I started the Master Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management. I started the MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management mainly because I saw a lot of potential in marine research. I did my thesis at IMARES and after my graduation they gave me the opportunity to work there as a PhD on a research project. In my research, I look at if and to what extent big amounts of young mussels attached to ropes or nets (mussel seed collectors) change the environment. These young mussels eat a lot so one of my research questions is if this grazing affects the amount of food available for other animals."

Related programmes:
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Biology
MSc Environmental Sciences
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation.

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During the two-year MSc programme in Forest and Nature conservation you will learn about forest management, deforestation, forestry, ecosystem conservation, wildlife management, social aspects of nature and more. Read more

MSc Forest and Nature Conservation

During the two-year MSc programme in Forest and Nature conservation you will learn about forest management, deforestation, forestry, ecosystem conservation, wildlife management, social aspects of nature and more.

Programme summary

This programme focuses on policy, sustainable management and conservation of forest and nature; i.e. understanding and predicting the effect of phenomena such as global climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, ecotourism, timber production, hunting and animal reintroduction. Insights into all aspects of forest and nature conservation are required to address these issues with emphasis on both ecological and social aspects. The MSc Forest and Nature Conservation programme represents an integrated approach to natural resource management that can be applied at different scales, to diverse ecosystems and in varying political and social contexts. A tailor-made structure, an outstanding research environment and three comprehensive specialisations contribute to making the programme challenging for undergraduates from both the natural and social sciences.

Specialisations

Policy and society
The central study object is the dynamics between people, organisations and institutions within policymaking and policy innovation processes, referred to as `governance'; relative to forest and nature conservation issues, including spatio-temporal aspects. Issues in the field of economics, public administration, communication and strategic planning are addressed in order to conserve and manage forests and natural areas in a sustainable way. Examples are: recreation, communities and natural resources, deforestation, forest governance, sustainable forestry and certification schemes.

Management
This specialisation aims to design and assess realistic and feasible management options for forests and natural areas. The approach is based on specific knowledge and understanding of wildlife management, management of forests and other terrestrial vegetation. Special attention is given to the following questions: What is the best option for wildlife conservation? Do populations need to be managed or not? How does one determine an optimal population level? How should the effects of various management activities, at different spatial and temporal scales, be evaluated? How should the perceptions of different people be dealt with? What are the best options in forest management for a specific area? How to manage nature? How to deal with abiotic, biotic and social bottlenecks in restoration ecology? What is the role of N and P pollution? How to restore shallow lakes? How to restore tropical forests? It is also possible to focus on specific aspects of natural resource management.

Ecology
The emphasis is on understanding the ecological processes that form the basis for the structure, composition and functioning of forests and natural areas. You can specialise in tropical forestry, landscape ecology, animal ecology, forest resource management, plant ecology, biodiversity conservation or tropical nature conservation.

Your future career

The programme provides excellent preparation for Dutch as well as European and non-European jobs. Career possibilities include positions at research institutes and universities, government ministries and local authorities. Positions are also available at state and private forestry, nature conservation services, and environmental assessment agencies. Examples include the European Forest Institute, Birdlife International, and landscape and animal protection organisations such as RAVON or WWF. In the private sector, graduates find jobs at engineering and consultancy bodies, such as Royal Haskoning, the National Fund for Rural Areas or forestry companies. Graduates often begin their career by carrying out research, computer analysis and modelling of ecological systems, working in knowledge transfer or preparing policy documents. Eventually, their careers usually shift towards advisory work, consultancies, research coordination and project management.

Alumnus Wouter Wubben.
Wouter Wubben works for the municipality Westland and is responsible for matters concerning ecology, landscape and water quality. “When I just started working I could directly apply the ecological knowledge from my master, and I was able to pick up missing knowledge very quickly”. Wouter went to the USA to work on forestry for his internship. “During my internship I worked in the field with a lot of different teams, this experience now helps me to communicate with people involved with the implementation of municipality plans. I have a constantly changing job, I started with executive work but I am now responsible for the development of issues in ecology, landscape and water.”

Related programmes:
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Biology
MSc Development and Rural Innovation
MSc Landscape Architecture and Planning
MSc Geoinformation Science
MSc International Development Studies.

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Like other products in the horticultural production chain, fruit, vegetables and flowers reach domestic and international markets through many channels. Read more

Keeping pace with developments

Like other products in the horticultural production chain, fruit, vegetables and flowers reach domestic and international markets through many channels. Stakeholders in the chain have to respond not only to the changes brought by technology, they also have to deal with an ever-greater number of national and international laws and regulations, such as those governing international food quality standards. Designed to increase your ability to anticipate and exploit these developments, this programme examines each stakeholder in the chain (suppliers, farmers, processors, traders, retailers and consumers), particularly in the stages from input to processing. It also approaches the overall chain from the perspective of logistics, economics, quality control, marketing channels, and information flows.

The programme is primarily aimed for mid-career horticulture professionals involved in management or co-ordination. Typically, they will currently be working in a commercial role or in a ministerial section or department. Others may be involved in regional development policies or development projects. Yet others may be lecturers at institutes of higher education.

Competences

In line with the educational principles at Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences, this programme ensures that participants develop competences with regard to:
• facilitating the governance of sustainable value chains
• initiating innovative chain processes and projects
• supporting business service entrepreneurs
• demonstrating a professional attitude in a changing international business environment
• conducting applied research that contributes to an efficient and sustainable value chain
• developing policies for inclusive value chains
• effectively communicate value chain developments to specialists and non-specialists

Career benefits

Managers and advisors of programmes and companies related to horticulture chains will gain specialised competences that enable them to improve the management and innovative capacity of the organisation. One would be able to function effectively in the areas of logistic efficiency, provision of information, quality control, reducing production cost and improved profitability, managing chain innovation or chain differentiations. The graduate will be able to identify and connect the relevant stakeholders in the value
chain to meet the goals of the organisation.

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Specialists in Rural Development, Communication and Innovation are greatly needed in organizations and projects around the world, especially those offering capacity building, training, information and e-learning while addressing rural poverty, social equity, sustainability, resource scarcity and food security. Read more

Responding to changes in rural environments

Specialists in Rural Development, Communication and Innovation are greatly needed in organizations and projects around the world, especially those offering capacity building, training, information and e-learning while addressing rural poverty, social equity, sustainability, resource scarcity and food security. Communication is the key in bringing about social change and innovation. However, adapting development projects and processes to social, political, economic and environmental changes poses challenges to many organisations, which has resulted in a pressing need to facilitate innovation and communication processes. Organizations and professionals providing such services require knowledge on facilitation, public participation and innovative praxis.

To ensure appropriate responses to contemporary conditions and local circumstances, such organisations need to adapt their approaches, as well as design new operational structures, to increase the relevance of their performance and the sustainability of their actions. This programme equips mid-career professionals and their organisations with competences that will strengthen their ability to work in a range of complex multi-actor settings in his increasingly digitized world.

Competences

At graduation, you will have developed the ability to:
• analyse stakeholders’ interests and needs and outline policies that lead to social change and participation
• design processes and strategies that facilitate communication and knowledge sharing
• transform traditional extension policy and practice and develop new approaches to communication and innovation
• design and facilitate effective, appropriate and exciting learning environments

Career opportunities

When an organisation reorganises its service provision and information management, there is often a considerable need for new management styles and thus for capacity building. Various sources and activities – such as policy reforms, customer surveys and the formulation of funding conditions – suggest this applies at all organisational levels. In some cases, complex organisational problems need to be addressed; in others, staff needs to improve their ability to design and implement new strategies and activities for information and communication.

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Food security exists when everybody has access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food at all times. However, various predictable and unpredictable challenges around the globe, including changes in climate (i.e. Read more

Local food security in a globalising world

Food security exists when everybody has access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food at all times. However, various predictable and unpredictable challenges around the globe, including changes in climate (i.e. rising/falling temperatures, droughts and floods, diseases and pests), market tendencies, insufficient access to food for households, unequal distribution of resources and opportunities and inadequate food distribution channels, prevent the realisation of this idealistic and often oversimplified term.

Despite a growing number of large-scale, high-external input farms and enough food production to feed the world, post-harvest losses result in less optimal yields and (locally) produced foods are often used for other purposes, such as animal feed or biofuel. Consequentially, 795 million1 undernourished people around the globe do not have access to this lost and wasted food.

Ensuring access to food for everyone is the key to ending hunger, which will require improved collaboration between various stakeholders - producer (organisations), the private sector, governments, traders and development organisations. Structures, policies and programmes must be continuously adapted to a variety of external factors, such as the economy, environment and current social structures. Rethinking of informal rules and habits is another essential step in attaining food security, considering even members of the same household are not guaranteed equal access to food. In light of these external factors and challenges, this specialisation presents various interventions needed to combat hunger and ensure food security for everyone.

Competences

At graduation, you will have the ability to:
• define the economic, commercial and marketing needs, constraints and opportunities of those in rural communities who produce for local and regional markets
• analyse food security at a local and global level
• apply tools for diagnosing food security
• analyse the livelihoods of farmers who produce for local and regional markets and understand farmers' coping strategies
• select, explain and design an appropriate development intervention leading to food security
• develop support programmes for farmers, producers and other groups
• mainstream food security within Agricultural and rural development programmes
• define the economic, commercoal and marketing needs, constraints and oppertunities for small-scale producers in rural communities
• formulate and recommend any organisational adjustments that are needed within service-delivery organisations.

Career opportunities

Rural Development and Food Security specialists explore effective responses to mal- and undernourishment, by defining needs, constraints, coping strategies and opportunities for small-scale producers in rural communities. In selecting appropriate context-specific interventions, which reflect understanding of the local context in its wider context, they consider stakeholder relationships and how collaboration could be organised to each stakeholder’s benefit while helping farmers to safeguard their ability to ensure local food security. In the face of globalisation, slow economic growth and political instability, specialists may design and implement responses for (non-)governmental organisations or partners in the private sector, in the form of projects, programmes, market structures or policies.

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The real estate markets have become global. That urges for real estate professionals who are trained in integrating financial and economic-geographic skills with knowledge of local institutions. Read more
The real estate markets have become global. That urges for real estate professionals who are trained in integrating financial and economic-geographic skills with knowledge of local institutions.

The real estate markets have become global, making the real estate profession an international enterprise. At the same time global, commercial brokers report huge differences among local real estate markets. That urges for real estate professionals who are trained in integrating financial and economic-geographic skills with knowledge of local institutions.

The Department of Economic Geography at the University of Groningen is one of the leading centres in Continental Europe in real estate. It offers a Master of Real Estate Studies that integrates financial engineering, location theory and planning.

Why in Groningen?

The master in Real Estate Studies is based on economic geography and planning, rather than financial or business studies and technical sciences. This gives the course in Groningen a unique profile compared to other master programs in real estate. The program has a multidisciplinary character.

Job perspectives

Many graduates find jobs as market researchers or real estate consultants in a company, consultancy or government agency, or become a concept or property developer at a real estate investor. Graduate students find work as a research manager or portfolio manager at a real estate investor. Several people opt for an academic career at the university. In practice, graduates mostly do policy work, both in the private sector as well as at the local, regional and national government.

Research

The program of the master in Real Estate Studies is related to the major research sub-disciplines in spatial sciences. Interim results of the research projects are integrated in to the course.

Research in geography & planning focuses on the interrelationship between property and spatial environment. Geographical and planning literature provides insight into how location decisions are made and the role of institutions. These aspects are reflected in courses like 'property and land markets' or 'real estate development'. The research in economic geography focuses on a deeper understanding of choice of locations. This choice is based on economic and financial motives. In the research in real estate development, the interests of various economic actors are important; the landowner, the developer, the builder, the investor and owner / user. The spatial economic and financial-economic research provides insight into the considerations. The business and management-oriented studies contribute to understanding the value chain and processes in real estate development. These aspects are reflected in subjects like 'finance', 'property investment' and 'property development'.

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Commodities produced in forested landscapes such as timber, palm-oil, shea-butter, cocoa, and coffee go through a complex series of stakeholders and channels before making their way to domestic and international markets. Read more

Keeping up with international developments

Commodities produced in forested landscapes such as timber, palm-oil, shea-butter, cocoa, and coffee go through a complex series of stakeholders and channels before making their way to domestic and international markets. Stakeholders within these forest commodity chains have to work with ever changing consumer demands, market and certification regulations, technological advancements, and an increasing number of national and international laws and regulations.

Forest Chain Management specialists are equipped with the competences needed to examine each actor in the chain (including producers, smallholders, suppliers, processors, traders, retailers and consumers) and analyse the different stages from harvest to processing and consumption [from forest to floor] from various perspectives, including sustainability. They will thus enhance their ability to manage, facilitate and innovate these forest value chains.

Competences

Upon graduating, you will be able to:
• analyse rural livelihoods and food and nutrition security
• analyse the livelihoods of farmers who produce for local and regional markets and understand their coping strategies
• define the economic, commercial and marketing needs, constraints and opportunities for small-scale producers in rural communities
• develop appropriate strategies and interventions for local food security
• develop support programmes for farmers, producers and other stakeholders

Career opportunities

Rural Development and Food Security specialists explore effective responses to mal- and undernourishment, by defining needs, constraints, coping strategies and opportunities for small-scale producers in rural communities. In selecting appropriate context-specific interventions, which reflect understanding of the local context in its wider context, they consider stakeholder relationships and how collaboration could be organised to each stakeholder’s benefit while helping farmers to safeguard their ability to ensure local food security. In the face of globalisation, slow economic growth and political instability, specialists may design and implement responses for (non-)governmental organisations or partners in the private sector, in the form of projects, programmes, market structures or policies.

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