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Free Online Course on Animal Breeding and Genetics

Wageningen University & Research is offering free online course on Animal Breeding and Genetics. Students will learn how an animal breeder balances the need for improving the desirable qualities of the animals with the need for genetic diversity and long-term sustainability of the breeding program.

In this seven-week course, applicants will understand the genetic and statistic principles that enable responsible animal breeding. This course will start on September 19, 2017.

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Course At A Glance 

Length: 7 weeks
Effort: 4 hours pw
Subject: Biology & Life Sciences
Institution: Wageningen University & Research and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $49
Session: Course Starts on September 19, 2017

Providers’ Details

Wageningen University and Research centre is dedicated to exploring the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Learn more about WUR. WageningenX courses train (future) professionals in sustainable food systems and help consumers making informed choices about what they eat, how it is produced and the impact of their choices on the environment and society.

About This Course

Animal breeding involves the selective breeding of domestic animals with the intention to improve desirable (and heritable) qualities in the next generation. This course introduces the steps required to design a program for breeding animals and teaches the genetic and statistical concepts that are needed to build a solid breeding program.

Why Take This Course?

Students will learn about the scientific concepts in genetics that are applied in animal breeding, as well as how to apply the models and computational methods that are used in animal breeding.

Professionals working with animals will be able to use the knowledge from this course to understand the impact of breeding on animal populations and use genetic principles to make their decisions. This course will allow you an advanced starting point for further studies, such as M.Sc. level courses in breeding.

Learning Outcomes

  • The steps required in setting up a breeding program.
  • Understanding of the main concepts in animal breeding.
  • Applying genetic models and tools to predict the breeding value of animals.
  • Tools to predict genetic change and/or inbreeding in populations.
  • Introduction to dissemination of genetic progress in different animals.


Hans Komen
Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Wageningen University & Research

Han Mulder
Assistant Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Wageningen University & Research

Henk Bovenhuis
Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Wageningen University & Research

Piter Bijma
Assistant Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Wageningen University & Research

John Bastiaansen
Research associate Animal Breeding and Genomics
Wageningen University & Research

Mario Calus
Senior researcher at Wageningen Livestock Research
Wageningen University & Research


  • High school level mathematics and genetics
  • University level Basic Statistics

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
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