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Wageningen University

Animal Breeding and Genetics

Wageningen University via edX Professional Certificate


In this Professional Certificate Program, the focus is on the design, the set-up, execution and optimization of animal breeding programs, genetic improvement and conservation of genetic diversity.

Follow this program and learn what the key factors are for improving and increasing productivity and learn what it takes to create and maintain a healthy and strong population.

You will learn about the basic principles of population, quantitative and molecular genetics. Biological aspects are integrated in the courses by the many hands-on assignments as well. Professionals working with animals will be able to use the knowledge from these courses to understand the impact of breeding on animal populations and to use genetic principles to make their decisions. Furthermore, following this program will give you an advanced starting point for further studies, such as MSc. level courses in animal breeding.

For who

Although this course is open to everyone, it is particular useful for breeders of:

  • Cows
  • Poultry/Chicken
  • Horses
  • Pigs/Swine
  • Dogs
  • Sheep
  • Fish
  • Shrimp

This program is a great step towards understanding the principles of animal breeding and the sector. Depending upon the animal industry of interest, animal scientists can work in jobs such as cattle breed association representative, dairy industry breeding consultant and/or company representative for Artificial Insemination (AI) companies. Or you can be working for a private breeding company in the case of the swine, poultry and aquaculture industries. In fact, some scientists with experience in animal breeding and genetics go on to work for plant breeding companies.

Join this Professional Certificate Program made by top-experts from Wageningen University & Research, ranked #1 for agricultural sciences in the NTU ranking. By joining the program, you become part of the growing community of students that are trained at the Animal Breeding and Genomics Group, which is the centre of excellence for all national and international animal breeding and genomics activities of Wageningen University & Research. The centre is a preferred knowledge and business partner for many national and international clients from both the public and private sector. This includes breeding organisations in commercial and non-commercial livestock, pet animals and horses, the EU and national and foreign governments.


Courses under this program:
Course 1: Genetic Models for Animal Breeding

Understand the genetic and statistic principles that enable responsible animal breeding. Learn how to set up a breeding programme and apply genetic models and tools to predict the breeding value. Subscribe to this online course now.

Course 2: Evaluating Animal Breeding Programmes

Learn how to evaluate an ongoing breeding programme in terms of both genetic progress and genetic diversity, and how to translate that genetic progress from the breeding programme to the farmer’s work.


Taught by

Hans Komen, Han Mulder, Piter Bijma, John Bastiaansen and Mario Calus

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