Master of Science in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology


The programme aims at training highly skilled plant breeders and biotechnologists who will help optimise the country’s ability to attain food security and better nutrition while improving agriculture-based incomes from improved products and maintaining the natural resource base.

  1. Expected Learning Outcomes of the programme
  1. Identify and address research imperatives in plant breeding and biotechnology
  2. Design and execute research projects aimed at solving problems within a changing agricultural environment
  3. Apply skills and knowledge acquired to solve plant physiological associated problems to increase yield
  4. Critique conventional and biotechnological methods in plant improvement and apply suitable combinations for their research study
  5. Apply effective communication in dissemination of research findings
  1. A holder of a degree with at least Upper Second Class Honours in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Botany and Zoology, Environmental Sciences, Forestry, Horticulture or related plant science degree or Bachelor of Education in Science with botany and Zoology option and any other relevant science disciplines from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by senate.
  2. A holder of a degree with at least Lower Second Class Honours in any of the degrees specified in (ii) above with two years of relevant experience or a postgraduate diploma in (ii) above or equivalent from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by senate.
  3. A holder of a pass degree with a postgraduate diploma in the above relevant disciplines or its equivalent from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by the senate and 2 years relevant experience .
  4. A holder of pass degree in any of the degree categories specified in (ii) above with at least five years relevant work experience.

Application for admission to Master programmes


Mode of delivery for Masters Degree programmes

The programmesare offered through face-to-face, blended learning and Open, Distance and Electronic Learning (ODeL) modes of delivery.

Lectures – mainly delivered via online learning platforms

Practical – delivered via on-campus hands-on sessions as per schedule

Researcher in plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology
Plant breeder for crop varieties and landraces
Molecular characterization and DNA mapping
Non-Governmental Organizations
Entrepreneurial self-employment in agricultural production
National and international research organizations
Lecturers in tertiary technical and academic institutions

   Year 1     Year 2     
   Semester - 1   Semester - 2   Semester - 3   Semester - 4   Totals 
TUITION        192,000.00      192,000.00   192,000.00     192,000.00    768,000.00
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)            3,000.00          2,000.00       3,000.00         2,000.00      10,000.00
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)            7,000.00                     -         7,000.00                    -        14,000.00
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)            5,000.00                     -         5,000.00                    -        10,000.00
THESIS EXAMINATION                       -                       -                    -         30,000.00      30,000.00
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)            2,250.00          2,250.00       2,250.00         2,250.00        9,000.00
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)            1,000.00                     -         1,000.00                    -          2,000.00
CAUTION - (ONCE)            5,000.00                     -                    -                      -          5,000.00
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)            6,500.00                     -         6,500.00                    -        13,000.00
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)            2,000.00                     -         2,000.00                    -          4,000.00
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)            1,000.00                     -         1,000.00                    -    
Grand totals        224,750.00      196,250.00   219,750.00     226,250.00    865,000.00
Philosophy, Rationale

Philosophy of the Programme

The programme is set to contribute to the sustainable development goals by reducing poverty levels, hunger and quality education by providing plant improvement solutions through education and leadership skills as well as link the program to the industry. It is also set to address economic and social pillars of Kenya Vision 2030, anchored on foundations of plant breeding and biotechnology by educating and providing stewardship to stakeholders in research and development to improve livelihoods and take moral responsibility for Kenya and its neighbours.

Rationale of the Programme

Needs assessment/market survey/situation analysis

Agriculture is the backbone of developing countries contributing above 25% of the national gross domestic product but there is still high malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, effects of climate change, biotic/ abiotic stresses and others affecting production. Although many new varieties have been developed over time in Kenya and region, new challenges arise that need development of new cultivars/ varieties. In addition, newer, faster and higher precision methods are being developed and applied to reduce time taken to develop superior lines. There is therefore a need to improve on content for the current programme to respond to emerging national and global issues in plant breeding that will contribute to addressing food security, poverty, effects of climate change and other sustainable development goals.    


Application Information
Mode of Delivery

The programme shall be offered through face-to-face and Open, Distance and Electronic Learning (ODeL) modes of delivery.

Face-to-Face Mode

The face-to-face method of delivery will be through class room lectures, seminars, discussions, tutorials, guided practical experiments and demonstrations.

  1. A candidate shall take a minimum of 2 academic years and a maximum of 3 academic years.
    1. Each academic year shall be divided into two semesters and each semester shall consist of 15 weeks inclusive of teaching and examinations.
    2. A candidate shall be required to undertake training and complete all course work and practical assignments that are prescribed for the Master of Science in Horticulture.
      1. During the second year of study, a candidate will be required to develop a research project proposal relevant to any field of horticulture. The project proposal shall be executed and a thesis submitted for examination to the graduate school. A candidate shall be expected to consult their supervisors while developing and executing the project proposal and preparing thesis for examination.

The open, distance and electronic learning (ODeL) modes of delivery will be through:

  1. Use of various media and largely home based.
  2. Written self-instructional study modules issued at registration time
    1. Study course materials like booklets
    2. Relevant literature
    3. Online interactive devices and self-tests
  3. Mediated technical learning materials for example:-
    1. Audio visual
    2. e-learning materials
  4. The University of Nairobi study support centres and libraries at the University of Nairobi and other institutions.
  • Blended learning

The blended learning mode of delivery will combine face-to-face and online learning approaches.

  1. Use online tools and resources such as Google Classroom, YouTube, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Moodle and Blackboard.
  2. Hands-on practical exercises in the laboratory or field, face-to-face group work in a classroom and face-to-face tutorials between online lessons.

Use of cloud-based content and learning course management system application to connect with students online. The online platforms will allow students to access videos of lectures, track assignments, interact with the lecturers and classmates, and review supporting materials such as PowerPoint presentations and scholarly articles.

Contacts of Support Persons

Prof Eliud Ngugi

Tell 254-20-631956 / 632121

Cell phone: 


Prof Muthomi

Cell phone +254 722984179