Master Of Science In Plant Breeding


Rationale
Development of crop cultivars in agricultural sector is rapidly changing with emerging use of both classical and molecular breeding technologies. This shift necessitates the transformation of education sector and development of breeders ready to transform breeding practices using new techniques that are more efficient and precise to provide quality cultivars for the growing population. The MSc training in Plant Breeding integrates applied genetics and molecular breeding aspects with plant sciences. The course will play a key role in improving agricultural productivity and food security. The program presents an integrated view of the subject, which emphasizes on scientific principles and techniques. In addition, it includes an overview of crop improvement with aspects of agricultural biotechnology. The graduates will get the opportunity to broaden their scientific knowledge in crop improvement and will promote professional development of different crop cultivars by providing the student with well-founded knowledge and hands-on practical skills.
The ever increasing demand for crop production requires that crop scientists keep pace with appropriate technological packages so as to meet the demand. It has been documented that plant breeding alone contributes to a very significant increase in crop production. However, this has not been attained in Kenya and other developing countries, because of a shortage of well trained plant breeders. The MSc. degree in Plant Breeding has been designed to train competent plant breeders using the new technologies. The graduates will be well versed theoretically and practically with all fundamental aspects, research and emerging issues/technologies in crop improvement through plant breeding.
Programme Objectives
The programme aims at providing an in-depth theoretical and practical understanding of the subject matter and also imparts research skills in Crop Production. Upon successful completion of the training, the graduates would be expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to enhance agricultural production in Kenya and elsewhere, through self-employment, research, formal teaching, extension and management, and advanced training.

Admission Requirements
i) The common university rules and regulations for the Master's degree programmes specified in the Egerton University Statutes will be applicable.
ii) Admission shall be offered to holders of a first degree in Agriculture or related disciplines, with an upper second class honours and above or equivalent qualification from recognized institutions. In exceptional cases, the senate may also admit to the master‘s programme, non-holders of upper second class honours degrees, provided such candidates may on the basis of research and academic work show that they are well qualified to undertake post graduate work or by passing qualifying examinations.
Course Structure Duration
Candidates may qualify for the award of the M.Sc. degree by fulfilling the following requirements: The program shall consist of course work, examinations and thesis. Candidates are required to successfully complete at least 30 credit factors of their course work and in addition successfully complete 15 credit factors of a thesis to qualify for the award of the Master‘s degree. Normal load for a fulltime student should be 15 to 18 Credit Factors (CFs) per semester while part-time candidates must register for a minimum of six credit factors per semester. Permission to take a loading outside these ranges should be sought from Chairman of the Department. Candidates shall be registered as full time students for a minimum of 18 months and a maximum of thirty six (36) months. Part time students shall be registered for a maximum of 48 months, out of which 12 months they must be in residence. In the coding, the acronym ―AGRO‖ refers to the Section Agronomy as a core discipline. The first digit represents level of training, which is 7 for the Master‘s programme. The second digit refers to sub-disciplines within agronomy or crop science as follows:
0: General or Basic Principles
1: Crop Physiology and Environment
2: Crop Improvement and Biotechnology
3: Crop Protection
4: Seed Science and Technology
5: Annual Crops
6: Perennial Crops
7: Pastures and Fodder Crops
8: Interdisciplinary Courses
9: Biometry and Experimentation, Projects, Seminars, Field Visits, Field Attachment.
The third digit is a serial number for the various courses within the sub-disciplines.
Examination Requirements
All examination for this programme shall be conducted in accordance with the examination regulation as stipulated in the Egerton University statute XXIX.
Grading System
The grading of examination for this programme shall be conducted in accordance with Egerton University statute XXIX.
Graduation requirement
To graduate, a student shall be required to take and pass ALL scheduled courses within the stipulated period.
Degree classification
The Master of Science (Plant Breeding) degree programme is not classified.