Attend a course

Last changed: 31 March 2021

All courses listed on this webpage are classified as NOVA courses by the hosting institution. That implies that all PhD- and post-graduate veterinarian specialisation students registered at NOVA and BOVA member institutions may attend these courses free of charge. Registration procedures may vary between courses, but are always outlined in the course descriptions.


Dynamic Modelling of Cropping Systems, 4 ECTS

This course focus on the operation of the crop model. Participants will learn the principles of modelling cropping systems, inputs, and basic simulations. Aspects such as model calibration, validation, and results interpretation are discussed.

Course participants are expected to be able to run APSIM using their own data and for specific purposes that will contribute to their PhD project/Thesis. Participants will acquire the most advanced theory and latest concepts related to crop modelling and how to use them to support agricultural decision systems. After completing the course participants are expected to be able to perform specific modelling tasks connected to problem-solving and decision-making processes. Participants develop competences to tackle real-life problems related to crop production, agronomic management and environmental questions, developing new knowledge and being able to communicate it.

Phenotyping Technologies in Plant-environment Interactions – Common Data Standards and Omics Technologies in Phenotyping, 3 ECTS

The changing climate demands the development of faster breeding methods to provide effective solutions for the future agriculture. Plant phenotyping is used for plant-environment interactions in a number of settings, from highly controlled environments to field conditions. This course series aims to introduce the emerging research fields of high throughput plant phenotyping and omics technologies (including bioinformatics). This core focus of the course is on computational solutions for handling and analyzing plant phenotyping data.

The course is part of a NOVA course series of four courses. This course introduces the emerging technologies related to i) automated and image based plant phenotyping technologies that are intended to remove bottlenecks between genotype and phenotype screens, ii) high throughput field phenotyping technologies and iii) use of analysis tools including R to analyze plant phenotype and -omics data iv) use of common standards for data handling, metadata generation using ontologies and data storage.

The objective of the course series is to provide the participating students with the basic knowledge and understanding of the emerging fields of plant phenomics and data processing that can serve breeding efforts as well as precision agriculture for current and future climate conditions.

Researching (urban) Landscape Governance & Management, 5 ECTS

The objective of this PhD course is to discuss how to apply landscape governance and management, based on a case study approach into the students own research projects, and to give students further insights and inspiration to contemporary theories and methodologies coupled with examples from international research projects and practice.

The course will give an introduction to the context in which studies of landscape governance and management are relevant today. It will provide an orientation on theories related to public administration and public governance approaches related to landscape management and citizen engagement. Further, the course will present and discuss case study research methodological approaches. The course will engage students in contemporary research approaches to studying landscape governance and management, including connections to their own projects.

This four day PhD course will build on a combination of own readings of literature, lectures from leading academics, discussions with lecturers and students, as well as essays reflecting the students own work to the course.

  • Syllabus
  • Time: 2021-04-22 - 2021-04-29
  • Location: SLU Alnarp
  • Application: To apply, candidates should please submit the following to Thomas B. Randrup ( by 7 April 2021:
    - Name and contact information,
    - A statement of interest with motivation for participating in this course,
    - PhD start date, title of the research project, name of supervisor(s), and home institution.

Equitation Science, 4 ECTS

The course will provide participants with scientific and practical tools with which they can validate human‐horse interactions to identify training methods that are ethical  and effective and highlight those that represent problems for horse welfare and human safety. To achieve this, lectures and seminars will cover topics such as equine ethology, perception and communication, applied ethology, equine cognition and learning, learning theory, research methods and communication of scientific findings to promote evidence based practice. The course consists of lectures, discussions and seminars, a home assignment and a workshop where theoretical knowledge is put into action to bridge science with practice. Real case scenarios will be implemented throughout.  After course completion, students shall be able to:

- describe the horses’ biological needs

- discuss and integrate an ethological approach to training and welfare assessment

- define and explain learning theory and apply it to training, accounting for the horses’ cognitive and sensory abilities

- define abnormal behaviour, reflect upon the development of unwanted behaviour and provide evidence‐based solutions to real life problems

- critically evaluate and explain the effects of management and human/rider on horse welfare

- objectively discuss, communicate, and implement an evidence‐based approach to human-horse interactions

Secondary Metabolites in Plant Resistance and Pathogen Virulence, 5 ECTS

[online on Zoom due to the Covid19 situation]

This course is the latest in the NOVA PhD course series "Plant Pathology with a Nordic Dimension" and course no 33 in the ongoing series of Nordic PhD courses in Plant Pathology. It deals with secondary metabolites produced by the plants and microbes during their interactions. Plants produce many secondary metabolites as part of their constitutive and induced defence, which protect them against pathogens and pests, whereas microbes produce secondary metabolites that are important virulence determinants causing symptoms and plant cell death. Also, the secondary metabolites produced by biocontrol organisms and fungal mycotoxins harmful for humans will be part of this course. Understanding plant pathogen interactions and biocontrol at the molecular level will be prioritized embracing genomics, transcriptome and gene expression studies.

The course has two international teachers, Professor Carole Beaulieu, University of Sherbrooke, Canada, and Professor Wilhelm Schäfer, University of Hamburg, Germany. Many Nordic teachers participate in the teaching as well.

This course is organized as an online course on Zoom. The course will start with a pre-course journal club that will be running online weekly starting March 2021. During the sessions, articles suggested by teachers will be discussed. The main course includes lectures, scientific presentations, discussions and student presentations.

  • Time: Journal club February-April weekly, main course May 3-7, 2021
  • Location: Online
  • Application: Email course coordinator Minna Pirhonen: for signing up

Quantitative genetics, 6 ECTS

The course is aimed for the post-graduate students with an interest in quantitative genetics, animal or plant breeding or other related discipline. This course is primarily for the PhD students but some motivated MSc can be accepted as well.

This course is given on-line through ZOOM in spring 2021. The course is based on the book “Quantitative Genetics” by Caballero, 2020 Cambridge University Press. The course mainly uses self- studying with weekly seminars, tutoring sessions and on-line exams. Each week one chapter of the book is covered. There will be also visiting seminars related to current topics in quantitative genetics. Responsible teachers are professors Pekka Uimari (UH, Finland), Peer Berg (NMBU, Norway), and Dirk-Jan de Koning (SLU, Sweden).

One chapter of the book will be covered per week starting from chapter 1 on April 7th. Each Wednesday a seminar + tutoring session with ZOOM from 1-3 pm (Finnish time) and every Thursday a short Moodle exam related to studied chapter. Visiting lectures will be announced later.

After the course the student will have deep understanding on quantitative genetics that she/he can apply in her/his own research. An example of topics covered is: Continuous Variation, Forces of Change in the Allele Frequencies, Components of Phenotypic Values and Variances, Inbreeding and Coancestry, Effective Population Size, Estimation of Genetic Values, Variances and Covariances, Mutation, Consequences of Inbreeding, Artificial Selection, Natural Selection.

In case of more applications than 15 (or 20) we will keep the right not to accept all applicants.

There is no course fee for PhD or MSc student enrolled at any of the NOVA or BOVA universities. For non-NOVA and non-BOVA students, course fee is EUR 200.

  • Time: 2021-04-07 - 2021-06-18
  • Location: Online via Zoom

Past courses

A list of past NOVA courses can be found on the old website.

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