European Master in Animal Breeding and Genetics

MSc programme

The common vision of the programme is to deliver graduates that are experts in animal breeding and genetics, but with different foci, depending on their chosen study track. This will make them suitable for, e.g., managing breeding programmes in low-income countries, conducting breeding value estimations as required by industry, or responding to societal needs to combat climate change or improving animal welfare through breeding. The ultimate goal is to train a new generation of graduates that are fit to respond to current and future needs of the animal breeding sector in the global context.


The EMABG is a joint master programme that fills a real need for the industry sector and the whole society. It is designed to answer the scientific, practical and societal challenges of animal breeding and genetics. These challenges can be summarised for both developed and low-income countries as follows:

  • meet the increased demand for animal and fish products, while preserving or improving the quality of the products, the welfare of animals and minimizing the environmental impact;
  • preserve natural resources, with special attention to biodiversity;
  • make efficient use of novel tools and technologies to reach these goals while maintaining societal acceptance of animal breeding;
  • develop sustainable animal breeding programmes that contribute to improved livelihood of farmers and efficient food chains;
  • develop sustainable breeding programmes that contribute to improved health and welfare of companion animals, including populations in zoos and nature reserves.


It is a common vision of EMABG partners to meet these challenges by intensive cooperation in the education and training of students, further enhanced by the complementarity among participating universities. Thus, the EMABG was set up to:

  • offer quality higher education with a European perspective in the field of animal breeding and genetics, which is attractive to programme and partner country nationals;
  • enhance the quality of training in animal breeding and genetics and to strengthen attractiveness of the European Higher Education Area;
  • contribute to needs of societies by developing the qualifications of women and men so they possess the appropriate skills, are open-minded and internationally experienced.


After completion of the EMABG curriculum (4 semesters), you will be able to:

  1. Describe the current world context of animal breeding, and reflect on its social and ethical aspects.
  2. Show knowledge of biostatistics, quantitative and molecular genetics, and use correct scientific vocabulary.
  3. Identify and critically analyse key factors and forces behind animal breeding problems and relate the discipline to a multidisciplinary framework.
  4. Create a solution for a given problem by applying appropriate research methods, instruments and tools, and organise, monitor, and evaluate results within their specialisation, while

    • collecting relevant information and literature,
    • understanding and applying required methods to conduct research,
    • reflecting critically on own and literature research work, and adjusting and suggesting improvement of the analysis.
    • concluding and pointing out practical recommendations based on analysis of results.

  5. Present an oral and written report of study and research activities, considering the nature of the audience.
  6. Adapt and apply their knowledge to different working and cultural environments.
  7. Demonstrate the learning and organisational skills to continue to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous.
  8. Operate in an international context in both content and social-cultural aspects, both independently and in a team.


While there are no comparable academic offers of other consortia which are similar to the EMABG concept, the novel and innovative aspects of our programme are:

  • well-designed targeted study tracks that reflect the needs of the industry and the society with respect to the competence profile of the next generation of animal breeding scientists;
  • integrating awareness of and sensitivity towards societal concerns regarding collateral effects of genetic improvement into the study programme;
  • a wide scope of qualifications, making EMABG graduates fit for a high diversity of potential fields of applications, from participatory breeding work in low-income countries to high-tech breeding technologies in an industry context;
  • creating a link to the neighbouring field of plant breeding by including UGOE with its course programme at the intersection of animal and plant breeding as a full partner, and by this further improving the employability of EMABG graduates;
  • elements that enable EMABG students to get in contact with the industry and to face the challenges of real-world problems in animal breeding;
  • including novel features, like the breeding lab and the teachers’ lab, to ensure the collaboration among students and to apply and spread innovative teaching concepts among the EMABG lecturers;
  • making use of an extensive network of European industry partners, including many of the world-leading companies in animal breeding, and leading global academic partners as associate partners;


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Employability

EMABG offers a well-structured study programme that is unique in the possibilities of specialisation. The specialisations correspond with the strengths of the respective universities both in teaching and research. Those specialisations focus on the main areas of modern breeding research and will provide students with excellent knowledge and relevant skills for successfully targeting the cutting edge questions of breeding research as young scientists. Those young scientists will graduate as specialised experts with a broad, interdisciplinary and international background. Graduates with those properties will become the elite breeding experts and scientists of tomorrow who will make good use of their network with their EMABG universities. Thus, the already strong excellence network between the EMABG universities will be sustained, advanced and improved by the next generation.

The already highly competitive field of animal breeding will profit from those young professionals who will be thoroughly trained for the many specialised fields that are open for breeders. By the structure of EMABG the focus and contents of its specialised education offer clear profiles to both students and possible employers. This kind of profile is new in European breeding higher education. Also, the interdisciplinary methodological contributions will produce alumni of an as yet highly uncommon combination of knowledge and skills in graduates, which will contribute to their employability and in future will help to raise synergies between animal and plant breeding. The training of master's students, who are highly specialised in animal breeding and genetics, meets an existing demand for such experts in the breeding industry.

The EMABG provides students ready to work for breeding organisations and research. The education is adapted to a European perspective to the demands of society. This means that students will be ready to work for European animal breeding organisations which are the world leaders with global market shares up to 90%. Furthermore, EMABG teaches students about the development of sustainable farm animal breeding. Graduates generally find positions in and outside Europe, in training, research or development in a wide range of organisations related to animal breeding and genetics.

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Check out the EMABG graduates or current students telling their stories!