MSc programme

MSc programme

The European Master in Animal Breeding and Genetics – EMABG – is a two years Master degree offered by a consortium of six leading European universities in the field of animal breeding, genetics, bioinformatics and the social context of breeding in order to face the challenges of global changes such as population growth and climate change.

The objective of EMABG is to provide students ready to work for breeding organisations and research. The education is adapted to a European perspective to the demands of society. This means that students will be ready to work for European animal breeding organisations which are the world leaders with global market shares up to 90%. Furthermore, EMABG teaches students about the development of sustainable farm animal breeding.

EMABG in short

  • MSc course on Animal Breeding and Genetics
  • 2-year programme
  • Top quality teaching at six excellent universities in Europe
  • Four study tracks covering a wide range of aspects within animal breeding and genetics
  • International experience and fellow students from all over the world

Aims of the programme

  • to offer quality higher education with a distinct European added value, attractive both within the European Union and beyond its borders;
  • to encourage and enable highly qualified graduates and scholars from all over the world to obtain qualifications and/or experience in the European Union
  • to improve accessibility and enhance the profile and visibility of higher education in the European Union.

Importance of Animal Breeding

The general aim of the livestock sector is to meet the aspirations of the world’s population for increased availability of animal products in a sustainable manner, while ensuring food safety, animal welfare, and genetic diversity. To meet the challenge of the growing demands for food, livestock production needs to double in the coming thirty years, while halving its environmental impact (FAO, 2009). This implies that livestock production needs to improve efficiency of production, robustness of animals, and quality of animal products. Genetic improvement programmes can help to meet these challenges by selecting animals for increased production with less input, reduced environmental impact per unit of product, and improved animal health and welfare. In the past, typically more than 50% of improvements of livestock productivity were caused by genetic progress through breeding. This illustrates both the need and opportunity for innovations in farm animal genetic improvement. These innovations will help the industry to improve animal health, resilience and welfare, adopt lower chemical and energy inputs, reduce livestock waste and pollution, and produce safer and better quality foods, while maintaining biodiversity and economic sustainability.

High Demand for Animal Breeders and Geneticists

The common vision of the programme is to deliver graduates that are experts in animal breeding and genetics, but with different foci, depending on their chosen study track. This will make them suitable for, e.g., managing breeding programmes in low-income countries, conducting breeding value estimations as required by industry, or responding to societal needs to combat climate change or improving animal welfare through breeding. The ultimate goal is to train a new generation of graduates that are fit to respond to current and future needs of the animal breeding sector in a global context.


The already highly competitive field of animal breeding will profit from those young professionals who will be thoroughly trained for the many specialised fields that are open for breeders. By the structure of EMABG the focus and contents of its specialised education offer clear profiles to both students and possible employers. This kind of profile is new in European breeding higher education. Also, the interdisciplinary methodological contributions will produce alumni of an as yet highly uncommon combination of knowledge and skills in graduates, which will contribute to their employability and in future will help to raise synergies between animal and plant breeding. The training of master students, who are highly specialised in animal breeding and genetics, meets an existing demand for such experts in the breeding industry.