Students are required to take a course in Practical Plant Breeding in both the MSc Plant Breeding and Seed Systems and the PhD in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology. These practical sessions target the acquisition of a defined set of competencies in key areas of a plant-breeding program such as hybridization, effective and efficient phenotyping to collect good quality data, principles and practices in field experimentation, genomic selection and analysis of molecular data. The Centre conducts practical on data quality assessment, data entry and conduct of analysis based on specified objectives. Students are also engaged in practical sessions using breeding management systems and a range of modern data collection tools such as tablets.
In the second category of practical experience, students conduct field and/or laboratory experiments using the field plot techniques practices undertaken during the practical plant-breeding course. In addition, the field supervisors mentor the students in research processes and actual data collection. During the conduct of dissertation research, students have a wide range of practical engagement in proposal preparation, proposal defense, midterm presentations to the Centre staff and to the supervisory committee as well as at the stations where they conduct the research. These sessions avail opportunities for presentation of scientific research.
In the third category, the Center attaches students to different institutions after completion of the M.Sc. degree. This is in addition to the attachment to centers where the students conduct their research. This attachment broadens the experience of the student, enhances the quality of training and reinforces networking for students and the Centre. Internship attachment often leads to students securing employment either at the center of attachment or at organizations connected to the center of attachment.