Plant Biotechnology (MPB) / MSc


The MSc programme Plant Biotechnology focuses on the integration of plant sciences and molecular biology to develop healthy plants for food, non-food, feed and human or animal health applications. Rapid technological development in the field of plant sciences, genomics and molecular genetics enabled the application of molecular marker technology to accelerate the selection of novel varieties with a wide variety of favourable traits. It also facilitated the design, development and management of transgenic plants. At present, plants are increasingly being used as an alternative for the production of valuable proteins and secondary metabolites for food supplements and pharmaceuticals. In addition, insight into the molecular basis of plant-insect, plant-pathogen and crop-weed relationships forms the basis for the development of disease-resistant plants and strategies for the integrated management of pests, diseases and weeds

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this MSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- explain and exemplify theories, methods and techniques that are relevant to the selected specialisation, and keep informed about recent developments in the field of specialisation as well as related fields;
- apply knowledge of:
* genomics, molecular biology, genetics and bio-information technology to analyse gene expression in order to improve understanding of fundamental processes in plants and interactions between genes and gene products (Specialization A Functional Plant genomics;
* plant molecular biology, genomics, metabolomics and biomedical science in order to analyse and design plant-based systems for the production of health improving compounds (proteins and secondary metabolites) (Specialization B Plants for Human and Animal Health);
* molecular markers genomics and genetics to explore genetic variation and to develop novel plant varieties, and apply knowledge on plant-insect, plant-pathogen, crop-weed interactions and molecular detection technologies to design strategies for integrated plant health management and disease resistant crops (Specialisation C Molecular Plant Breeding and Pathology);
- select and apply independently suitable laboratory techniques, analytical measurements, mathematical and statistical methods for the collection, processing and analysis of experimental data in plant biotechnology;
- resolve independently a scientific problem in plant sciences into verifiable research questions and develop a scientifically relevant research plan in which research question, hypothesis, experimental set-up and data analysis are described in relation to relevant literature;
- perform independently scientific experiments and analyse and interpret experimental data, in order to develop or design a novel solution, system, model or product;
- translate research data and scientific knowledge in the field of specialisation into relevant solutions to complex problems;
- critically select relevant scientific literature to analyse current concepts, theories, techniques and debates as a basis for defining research questions and testing hypotheses in order to draw conclusions and develop recommendations;
- communicate in professional English with colleagues and non-colleagues about research and solutions to problems related to the field of specialisation, both verbally (in presentations and debates) and in writing;
- co-operate in a multi-disciplinary team in different tean roles, including the role of team leader to plan, perform and manage project-based work;
- analyse and evaluate the socio-economic, ethical and environmental aspects related to the academic field of specialisation and integrate these in scientific work in an international context;
- self-reflect on personal knowledge, skills, attitudes and functioning, both individually and by giving and receiving feedback, and develop a personal learning path.


- Functional Plant Genomics
- Plants for Human and Animal Health
- Molecular Plant Breeding and Pathology

Programme Director

Dr G.J. Kuipers
Phone: 0317-(4)84767/ 82839

Study Adviser(s)

- Dr ir A.B. Bonnema
Phone: 0317-(4)84028

Programme Committee

Chair: Dr ir U. van Meeteren
Secretary: Dr G.J. Kuipers


Study Association

Semper Florens