Course overview

This module is designed to give those with an interest in plant breeding a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to bring a variety from a concept to market. Featured crops include: beans, peas, oats, ryegrass, clover and energy crops. We will consider all aspects of what makes a commercial plant breeding program successful. Real datasets will demonstrate the challenges a breeder faces when making selections. Students will undertake case studies to look in depth at the process of breeding a crop of their choice.

This course is an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production, MRes Agriculture and the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

The module is delivered by Aberystwyth University, entirely online through distance learning.

Key facts file

Course Dates:

Jan to April 2018

Title: Plant Breeding

14 weeks

Entry Requirements:

Graduate level or relevant experience

Credits: 20
Cost: £750.00
Course Provider: Aberystwyth University
Course Arrangements: Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Course Logistics:

Our distance learning modules are designed to be flexible and most of our students work full time at the same time as studying for 10 to 15 per week, for each 20 credit module. Blocks of modules are delivered with start dates in January, May and September, with most modules offered once each year.


Sarah Watson Jones

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the principles of plant breeding, and the relationship between plant reproductive biology and commercial opportunity for varieties.

2. Compare and contrast the way varieties are produced in crop species that differ in reproductive biology.

3. Analyse a progeny trait dataset and explain the decision making process for progeny selection in a composite variety.

4. Appraise the plant variety commercialisation pathway in the UK.

5. Critically evaluate an existing breeding system or present a rationalized plan for commencement of a new breeding system.

My training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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