International Postgraduate Course Plant Breeding, Short Course

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 42 days
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Full programme)
    Tuition (Full programme)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #65 ,
This course covers all theoretical and some practical subjects that are necessary for managing a professional breeding programme. It includes both basic and more complex breeding and selection methods. Also, new technological developments and their application in breeding programmes are part of the curriculum.


The next international postgraduat course Plant Breeding starts in January 2012.

The international plant breeding sector is facing the challenge to guarantee sufficient supply of academically trained plant breeders for the coming decennia. The number of graduates with a specialization in plant breeding has decreased in the last decennia. High potentials with a degree in (other) life sciences have been welcomed in the breeding industry. Consequently, there is a high demand for additional academic training. The International Postgraduate Course Plant Breeding now enables professional plant breeders and researchers to upgrade their knowledge in parallel with their current career. It is aimed to add academic knowledge to the professional experience of plant breeders worldwide.

Outline of the course

The course consists of 6 sessions of 1 week in the period January 2010 until October 2011. In between sessions, participants are expected to perform self-study and work on specific assignments. After completing the course, participants will receive a certificate.

Additional Master programme

Following on the International Postgraduate Course Plant Breeding it is possible to continue with the MSc Plant Sciences, specialization Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources. Based on successful completion of the postgraduate course, exemptions for parts of the MSc-curriculum can be granted on an individual basis.

The development of this course was made possible by the Technological Top Institute Green Genetics. The mission of TTI GG is strengthening the knowledge base of the Dutch plant breeding and propagation industry. Through closer cooperation with research and education institutions, the sector seeks to improve the knowledge infrastructure and promote capacity building.

The expertise group Wageningen UR Plant Breeding is a cooperation between the Laboratory of Plant Breeding and the group Biodiversity and Breeding of Plant Research International. Wageningen UR Plant Breeding is involved in education, research and consultation in the field of plant breeding in the broadest sense.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 42 days
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

  • Breeding objectives
  • Genetic diversity and domestication
  • Applied genetics
  • Breeding of autogamous and allogamous crops
  • Breeding of asexually propagated crops
  • Breeding of hybrid cultivars
  • Various selection methods (including recurrent selection)
  • Mutation breeding and ploidy manipulation
  • Assessment of variation: data collection
  • More complex selection methods
  • Molecular markers:. Linkage analysis
  • Marker assisted breeding
  • Quantitative inheritance
  • QTL analysis
  • Resistance to biotic factors:
  • Qualitative and quantitative aspects of resistance
  • Mechanisms of resistance
  • The way towards resistant cultivars
  • Resistance to abiotic factors:
  • Salt and drought tolerance
  • Breeding for quality aspects


Leading instructor is Prof.dr. Richard Visser of Wageningen UR Plant Breeding. Specific subjects will be taught by staff of Wageningen UR Plant Breeding and other chair groups of Wageningen University and Research Center

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score: 550

    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score: 79

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

  • People with a Master degree in life science (e.g. biology, agriculture, horticulture), working in plant breeding or related research.
  • People with a Bachelor degree of Applied Science (e.g. HBO, polytechnics) and at least three to five years experience in practical plant breeding, who need more theoretical background for further professional development.
  • People with long-term experience and a professional education in plant breeding, who want to refresh and update their knowledge on plant breeding and new technological developments.
Participants are expected to have basic knowledge on genetics, plant physiology and statistics at BSc. level.

Tuition Fee Per Full Programme

  • EUR 17500 International
  • EUR 17500 EU/EEA


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