Study Tracks

The EMABG is a 2-year study programme (120 ETCS) and builds on MSc courses that already exist in the different consortium universities. It concentrates on the development of scientific expertise in the areas of quantitative, population and molecular genetics related to animal breeding. This involves four study tracks

Breeding programmes in low-income countries

WUR – BOKU

Biological and societal context of breeding

WUR – SLU / UGOE – SLU

Genomic selection and precise phenotypes

WUR – NMBU / UGOE – NMBU

Integrative biology

UGOE – APT

The two first-year universities (WUR and UGOE) both provide solid general training in basic quantitative genetics and breeding principles with some early emphasis on breeding programme design (WUR) and genomics and biotechnology (UGOE).
WUR is leading in research on breeding programme design and genomics of biodiversity. BOKU is at the forefront in research on tailor-made breeding programmes for indigenous breeds in low-income countries. SLU leads in research on animal welfare, focussing on the biological and societal context of animal breeding. NMBU and UGOE are leaders in statistical methodology for genomic selection with big data, while APT, through its association with INRA, is leading in research on functional genotype-phenotype relationships.

Joint Elements

The Welcome Course, breeding lab, internship placement, summer course, collaborative student project and thesis work provide a rich learning environment where students will work closely together with industry partners on individual or group assignments (breeding lab and internship), discussions on societal issues (summer course) and specific research questions with data sets provided by industry partners (thesis).

All Study Tracks

Year 1

Welcome Course

The Welcome Course is held at the end of August at one of the six partner universities. EMABG students are introduced to the academic system in Europe, the European and global dimension of farm-animal breeding, establish friendships and get settled in before the start of the academic year. The course includes an intensive skills training section and brings together staff from all six partner universities.

General animal breeding and genetics, with a focus on breeding program design.
Quantitative and population genetics and genomics as fundaments of animal breeding
Semester 1

30 ECTS

Semester 2

30 ECTS

Breeding Lab

The Breeding Lab is simultaneously organised by WUR and UGOE and brings together first year students to work on an assignment in close collaboration with an associated industry partner. The aim is to familiarize students with the competences and skills that are needed to work in a professional environment and to implement their knowledge of different elements of animal breeding acquired in the first year into a practical context.

Internship placement

The internship offers students the opportunity to learn about the needs of national and international organisations and companies in their field and to apply their skills and knowledge. It takes place during the summer period between semester two and three (formally belonging to semester two). The exact period depends on the course schedule of the first-year universities and industry partners.

Associated Partners: ALLICE, AquaGen, EAAP, Friedrich Loeffler-Institut, INRA, Geno, Hendrix Genetics, ILRI, Norsvin, SUISAG, Swedish Kennel Club, Viking Genetics, VIT Solutions for Animal Production

Summer course

The Summer Course takes place between the second and third semester and is organised by BOKU, partially overlapping with the graduation ceremony. The content of the summer course is focused on widening the knowledge of students in terms of the societal context of animal breeding and practical relevance, with participation of industry representatives and other associated partners. This networking opportunity outside of the academic environment will enable students to decide their final preferences on the master thesis topic, including the possibility to collaborate with industry experts in order to solve currently relevant problems. The overlap of the summer course with the graduation ceremony will allow for a meeting of two student groups at a crucial time point in their studies.

Year 2

Collaborative student project

Students participate in a transversal educational project, where they will expand their knowledge and review various aspects of animal breeding and genetics in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This transversal project will involve all students, including lecturer support from second-year partner universities, with optional involvement of students from academic associated partners (Chinese Agricultural University, University of New England and Iowa State University).

Genomic selection and precise phenotypes
Breeding programmes in low-income countries
Biological and societal context of breeding

Integrative Biology

Semester 3

30 ECTS

Optional study period:

  • China Agricultural University, China
  • University of New England, Australia
  • Iowa State University, USA
Semester 4

30 ECTS

Graduation ceremony

The EMABG student graduation is a two-day event when the students from all second-year universities reunite to present their Master theses, celebrate their success and receive their EMABG Diploma certificate. The structured meetings with the summer course students take place during the first day, consisting of a joint session presented by groups of graduates per second-year university, with follow-up personal discussions among students. During the second day the graduates will present their MSc thesis in a conference-like setting, attended by all Summer Course participants, including associated partners and industry representatives.

Breeding programmes in low-income countries

WUR-BOKU

Year 1

Welcome Course

General animal breeding and genetics, with a focus on breeding program design.
Semester 1

30 ECTS

Semester 2

30 ECTS

Breeding Lab

Internship placement

Summer course

Year 2

Collaborative student project

Breeding programmes in low-income countries
Semester 3

30 ECTS

Optional study period:

  • China Agricultural University, China
  • University of New England, Australia
  • Iowa State University, USA
Semester 4

30 ECTS

Graduation ceremony

Biological and societal context of breeding

WUR-SLU / UGOE-SLU

Year 1

Welcome Course

General animal breeding and genetics, with a focus on breeding program design.
Quantitative and population genetics and genomics as fundaments of animal breeding
Semester 1

30 ECTS

Semester 2

30 ECTS

Breeding Lab

Internship placement

Summer course

Year 2

Collaborative student project

Biological and societal context of breeding
Semester 3

30 ECTS

Optional study period:

  • China Agricultural University, China
  • University of New England, Australia
  • Iowa State University, USA
Semester 4

30 ECTS

Graduation ceremony

Genomic selection and precise phenotypes

WUR-NMBU / UGOE-NMBU

Year 1

Welcome Course

General animal breeding and genetics, with a focus on breeding program design.
Quantitative and population genetics and genomics as fundaments of animal breeding
Semester 1

30 ECTS

Semester 2

30 ECTS

Breeding Lab

Internship placement

Summer course

Year 2

Collaborative student project

Genomic selection and precise phenotypes
Semester 3

30 ECTS

Optional study period:

  • China Agricultural University, China
  • University of New England, Australia
  • Iowa State University, USA
Semester 4

30 ECTS

Graduation ceremony

Integrative Biology

UGOE-APT

Year 1

Welcome Course

Quantitative and population genetics and genomics as fundaments of animal breeding
Semester 1

30 ECTS

Semester 2

30 ECTS

Breeding Lab

Internship placement

Summer course

Year 2

Collaborative student project

Integrative Biology

Semester 3

30 ECTS

Optional study period:

  • China Agricultural University, China
  • University of New England, Australia
  • Iowa State University, USA
Semester 4

30 ECTS

Graduation ceremony