Master's course Plant Breeding - Principles of Plant Breeding

A comprehensive understanding of plant breeding principles and practices is crucial for professionals working in this field. This course offers valuable learning opportunities that can help enhance your expertise and professional development. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and learn about basic concepts and principles in plant breeding, evaluate selection programs, choose appropriate selection methods, select effective breeding strategies and understand the production of F1 hybrid cultivars. Furthermore, you will analyse observations to differentiate genetic and non-genetic factors, estimate heritability, and delve into the consequences of chimerism and ploidy differences in breeding material.

Organised by Wageningen Academy

Mon 2 September 2024 until Thu 3 October 2024

Duration 5 weeks, 20 hours per week (3 ECTS)
Price EUR 1,230.00

Please note that the dates for the academic year of 2024-2025 are yet to be confirmed, so they might still change.

Why follow this online course?

By following this course, you will learn to explain basic concepts and principles, evaluate plant breeding programs, choose appropriate selection methods, select breeding strategies, understand key features and challenges in F1 hybrid cultivar production, analyse observations to separate genetic and non-genetic components of variation, estimate heritability, discuss consequences of chimerism in mutants, and understand the implications of ploidy differences in breeding material. These learning outcomes equip professionals with the knowledge and skills to advance their careers and make informed decisions in the field of plant breeding. 

Is this online course for you?

If you are a working professional in the plant breeding sector, this course is the perfect opportunity for you to expand your knowledge and sharpen your skills. This comprehensive course will provide you with the tools you need to succeed and advance in your career, especially in combination with other advanced Online Master's Courses Plant Breeding.

What you'll learn

After successful completion of this online course, you will be able to:

  • explain basic concepts and principles in plant breeding;
  • evaluate plant breeding selection online courses in terms of their advantages and limitations
  • choose the appropriate selection method to breed for (certain combinations of) traits
  • select the appropriate breeding strategy, considering the mode of reproduction of the crop of interest;
  • indicate the key features, advantages and challenges in the production of F1 hybrid cultivars;
  • analyse observations to separate genetic and non-genetic components of variation, including estimation of heritability.
  • discuss the consequences of chimerism in mutants, and the implications of ploidy differences in breeding material

Learning methods

The course consists of several e-learning modules that explain and illustrate the principles and give numerous exercises to the student to test his understanding. Feedback on correct and wrong answers is given. Group assignments, self-tests and discussions are other activities in this course.

Practical information


Recommended for background reference (not specifically used in the course): G. Acquaah, 2012. Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding, 2nd Edition Wiley-Blackwell (not included in the course fee).

Time investment

This course is quite time-intensive and requires approximately 20 hours per week for the average participant. There are assignments with deadlines. 

It's important to realise that, if you do not comply with these recommendations, you cannot claim extra support from the instructor and cannot claim a refund of the registration fee if you decide to discontinue the course. 

Prerequisite knowledge

You should have sufficient knowledge on concepts and methodologies related to plant biology, such as Mendelian genetics, plant breeding, plant physiology and molecular biology.


Participation in the remotely proctored exam is optional. If you decide not to participate in the exam, you do not qualify for a Micro-credential.

The date of examination is 03-10-2024 (3 October 2024) from 08:30 - 22:00
(Amsterdam Time Zone). The duration of an exam is 3 hours.

Micro-credentials and Edubadge

Upon successful completion - passing the exam -, a digital Micro-credentials certificate (EduBadge) with 3 study credits (ECTS) is issued. The EduBadge certifies the learning outcomes of short-term learning experiences, marking the quality of a course. More information can be found here.

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More information & Registration

You can register for this course. Have any questions? Contact Wageningen Academy.