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Studying at QGG

Studying breeding and genetics at QGG

The Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics (QGG) at Aarhus University offers various opportunities to study animal and plant breeding as well as quantitative and statistical genetics more broadly at the MSc and the PhD level. We offer courses and supervision in most of our areas of research. The focus of a study in QGG is quantitative and statistical genetics. This means that we apply a quantitative approach to solving problems. Some prerequisites in mathematics and statistics are therefore required.


PhD students in QGG are enrolled in the “Quantitative Genetics and Genomics” PhD programme at the Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics.  

Most of the students admitted into the PhD programme are admitted after completing an MSc or equivalent. To apply, your MSc should be in a field such as agricultural science, animal breeding, plant breeding, animal science, biology, bioinformatics or statistics. An MSc degree in molecular biology, physiology or biochemistry does not prepare you to study quantitative and statistical genetics.  The PhD study takes three years for students starting with an MSc degree. PhD student candidates can also be admitted directly after completing a BSc degree, or during the first year of their MSc studies.

Admission to the PhD programme requires funding for salary and expenses. No PhD students are accepted without funding. Most of the time, a substantial part of the funding comes from QGG. It is therefore critical that you contact potential supervisors at QGG well in advance of applying for admission into the PhD programme.

It is also possible to be admitted as industrial PhD student, which is a cooperation between an external company and the university.

PhD students at QGG are located at Aarhus University, Faculty af Technical Sciences.

QGG welcomes visiting PhD students for shorter or longer visits. Please contact potential supervisors if you are a PhD student and would like to visit QGG.


It is possible to study breeding and genetics at Aarhus University by enrolling  in a suitable MSc program (e.g. agrobiology or biology). QGG offers a number of courses at MSc level and it is also possible to do an MSc thesis research under the supervision of one or more scientists at QGG.

Students who are interested in doing an MSc degree with the objective of studying at QGG should select suitable courses from the list below and supplement with additional elective courses in statistics, mathematics, population genetics, bioinformatics and animal/plant science. It is a very good idea to contact prospective supervisors early to discuss your choice of thesis subject and elective courses.

Courses taught by QGG are open to students from outside Aarhus University, provided they meet the course prerequisites; this page presents conditions and registration procedures.

Rules of admission into Danish MSc programs depend on your place of residence and citizenship.


Researchers from QGG teach the course in Genetics and Evolution (BA-level) in the Agrobiology program and Genetics (BA-level) in the Molecular Biology program. 


QGG offers several basic and advanced courses in breeding and genetics. Course offerings are conditional on a sufficient numbers of students registering for the course. All MSc and PhD courses are taught in English. QGG also offers bachelor courses; these are taught in Danish.

  • “Quantitative Genetics” (5 ECTS) is open to PhD and MSc students. It covers the mechanisms of inheritance of quantitative traits and the response to selection on quantitative traits. The course is taught in Aarhus in November and December of each year.
  • “Linear Models in Animal Breeding” (5 ECTS) is open to PhD and MSc students with suitable prerequisites in quantitative genetics. The course covers linear model basics and methods for breeding value prediction. The course is taught in Aarhus in February and March of each year.
  • “Gene Mapping” (5 ECTS) is open to PhD and MSc students with suitable prerequisites in quantitative genetics. It covers methods for identifying genome regions affecting quantitative traits. It is taught as a summer course under AU Summer University.
  • “Design of Genetic Improvement Programs” (3 ECTS) is a course for PhD students as well as MSc students with a special interest in the topic. It covers the design of efficient plans for the genetic improvement of plant and livestock populations. It is taught as a summer course. This course is usually only taught every other year under AU Summer University.
  • “Statistical Models for Genomic Prediction” (5 ECTS MSc, 3 ECTS PhD) is a course for PhD students as well as MSc students with a special interest in the topic. It covers methods for prediction of breeding values based on genomic marker data sets. It is taught as a summer course under AU Summer University.
  • "Analysis of GWAS data with a focus on prediction of complex traits” (5 ECTS) is open to MSC and PhD Students. It provides a comprehensive introduction to genome-wide association studies, including teaching how to use popular software packages. It is taught as a summer course under AU Summer University.

Additional courses may be offered on an ad hoc basis. QGG also offers courses through the NOVA university network.