Horticulture student from Aeres University of Applied Sciences in field with tree

Would you like to contribute to future worldwide food security? Would you like to develop new crop cultivars, and learn how to direct their evolution? Then stop searching. This 1-year degree in “Plant Breeding” is tailor-made for your interests. You will work with real seed companies, analyse their breeding programs, and present advisory reports in final presentations. You will study genetic variation and breeding methods, seed production, resistance breeding, and experimental design. You will also follow courses on advanced plant breeding methods, such as transgenesis, mutagenesis, marker-assisted selection and in-vitro propagation. Several day excursions and an international excursion will introduce you to the fields and facilities of top-notch seed companies. All courses are taught in English.

Why this programme?

  • Gain international knowledge about the worldwide supply of food
  • Learn about advanced methods used in plant breeding
  • Work on your personal development 
  • After successfully completing this program, you will be able to design, organize and implement a breeding program
  • Choose your own topic of interest for your individual internship and thesis
  • Location: Almere
  • Short degree (Bachelor)
  • Duration: 1 year, full-time
  • Language: English
  • Number of credits: 60 ECTS
  • Start date: 1 September
  • Application deadline EU-students: 1 May
  • Application deadline non-EU students: 1 April
  • Tuition fee EU 2022-2023: €2209
  • Tuition fee non-EU 2022-2023: €7676

As an international student from Canada, it was a great opportunity to do my internship (and thesis) within a Dutch plant breeding company. Since the Netherlands is viewed as a world leader in agricultural and plant science, this gave me the opportunity to work amongst an influential network and develop connections with a group of professionals as my colleagues during my internship

Elise Gariepy, plant breeding student 2019-2020

More information

  • Together with breeders from seed companies across the Netherlands, we have developed a programme that provides you with actual skills and first-hand knowledge from the plant breeding sector.

    This English-taught programme spans two semesters. The first semester has two parallel minors with lectures, training sessions and field visits. In each minor you will have ample opportunity to put what you have learned into practice when you work on a professional project as an assistant breeder.

    The first minor focuses on more conventional plant breeding. Here you will design a breeding programme and execute the different steps in developing new cultivars. In the second minor, you will search for genetic markers to select for different traits and identify the possibilities for genetic modification in the different stages of breeding programmes.

    In the second semester, you will carry out an individual internship and write a thesis on a topic of your own choice.

    Click here for specific content information.
    Click here for course catalogue

    • Completion of at least three years of a bachelor’s degree programme (180 ECTS or equivalent) in a related subject relevant to the study programme, in such a way that the resulting combined study pathway is plausible in its entirety.
    • This study programme should include the topics: plant taxonomy, plant growth and reproduction, plant physiology, Mendelian genetics, biology of pests and diseases, cell biology, basis statistics.
    • If one or a few of the above mentioned topics are not part of the previous Bachelor study a special entrance exam could be organized.
    • In particular situations where you can prove that you have gained knowledge of these topics through working experience, you may be exempted from fulfilling one of the previous criteria.
    • A minimum score of 550 in the TOEFL English test or a formally recognized equivalent, such as the IELTS (level 6.0) or IBT (79).
    • The ability to formulate coherently in written English, and to have a vision of plant breeding. Essay writing may be part of the admission procedure.
    • Strong motivation for success in the sector.
    • Team spirit and a flexible attitude in an international working environment.
    • If you are not from the EU, you must have sufficient financial means, for example in the form of a grant or stipend.
  • On successful completion of the programme Plant Breeding, you will be awarded a bachelor’s degree in Applied Biology. Click here for degree comparability information.

    This programme will enable you to:

    • Design and execute biological applied research and report research results from the perspective of organism and population level.
    • Communicate the results of biological research in a manner that is appropriate for the target audience.
    • Appreciate knowledge of biological specialization, apply the latest developments and obtain new knowledge.
    • Work on solutions to biological problems with a project-based approach.
    • Have insight into how you function in the biological field, show sustainable behaviour and be able to justify your actions in this field.

    This programme will prepare you for a career as:

    • An assistant breeder
    • A research assistant at a seed company
    • A seed production specialist

Is this the programme you are looking for?

  • Get to know us; here you can read all about our locations, our mission and our values.

    About Aeres UAS
  • If you want to enroll in this programme, start your application procedure here.

    Apply now
  • Do you have a question or do you want more information? Our International Office can help.

    Contact us
  • When you are going to study abroad, it's good to know what to expect financially.

    Fees and funding