IBERS Distance Learning Logo

Genetics and Genomics in Agriculture

Apply to Be a Student

Release Date: Each September

Professional Accreditation: Dairy Pro

Lead Organisation: IBERS, Aberystwyth University

Gain a working knowledge of the principles and technologies that underpin modern breeding programmes.

This module is designed to give those with little understanding of genetics a practical knowledge of the principles and technologies that underpin modern breeding programmes. It will focus on the challenges facing land-based production in the 21st century, such as the transition to zero-carbon, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and delivering global food security. After initially detailing the broad objectives and methods involved in breeding programmes, the module structure allows you to focus on a specific crop or animal breeding pathway. It will give you an understanding of the methodologies applied in molecular and population genetics, and the role emerging technologies have in meeting the grand challenges sustainably will be explored.

Module content:

  • Domestication of agricultural species – the process of domestication of the dominant agricultural plant and animal species will be introduced
  • Basic concepts of genetics – the fundamental genetic principles underpinning traditional and modern breeding.
  • Modern breeding methodologies – common strategies for breeding agricultural animal and plant species detailed.
  • Trait evaluation and reporting – measurement and recording of physiological and biochemical traits discussed with reference to estimated breeding values and recommended listing.
  • Marker-assisted selection and next generation sequencing – the role of sequencing technology and its use in marker assisted selection will be explored.
  • Genetic technology – genetic modification; production of cloned animals and reproductive technology will be explained and their current application evaluated.
  • Agricultural genetics and society – the application of any genetic technology must first be accepted by the wider population. This unit will examine current public opinions and explore how this could change.
  • Future prospects – predictions about how genetic technology may be utilised with its currently limited use and its future potential applications discussed.

Assessments and Learning Outcomes for this module can be found HERE


This module is eligible for Dairy Pro points

Apply to Be a Student

Qualifications which this Module may be Used Towards

PGCert Nuffield Farming Scholarship Option
MSc Sustainable Agriculture Option
MSc Agrifood Innovation Option
MRes Agriculture Option
MRes Agrifood Innovation Option
Professional Doctorate in Agriculture Option


Tutors Name
Dr Dylan Philips


Sian Spear

“Great learning experience with knowledgeable lecturers.“

Sian Spear Farmer -
Seke Kazuru

For his MRes research project, Seke is using high tech methods to dissect the genetics and morphological characteristics of some of Malawi’s local maize landraces. His aim is to reduce the growth of aflatoxin-producing fungi in the crop. Aflatoxins are particularly harmful to children causing stunted growth, delayed development, liver damage, and liver cancer. Seke says: This research is important as it will inform maize breeders and researchers what to consider in breeding maize varieties to enhance the future health of the population.

Seke Kazuru Bioinformatics Scientist - Malawi
Apply to Be a Student

Downloadable Resources

Research Proposal Form Brochure