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Biology - Leiden University

Biology (MSc)

About the programme

The Biology programme offers 4 research-oriented specialisations corresponding with the research themes within the three institutes involved. You can choose a more practical-oriented specialisation if you would like to combine Biology with education, management business, or science communication.


  • Biodiversity and Sustainability: you are focused on creating a sustainable society, and to get a better understanding of the biological processes.
  • Evolutionary Biology: You follow a programme to get a better understanding on the impact of the environment on evolution and how the evolutionary process works.
  • From Cells to Organisms: You obtain in-depth knowledge on how organisms function and respond to the changing environment at the molecular, cellular and organismal level.
  • Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology: This programme prepares you for a career in tackling important issues in sectors as agriculture and healthcare.
  • Biology and Business Studies: This programme prepares you for a career in business. It gives you a unique combination of skills in both Biology and management and entrepreneurship.
  • Biology and Science Communication and Society (SCS): combine research with training in different aspects of science communication, such as journalism.
  • Biology and Education (taught partly in Dutch): prepare yourself for a career in teaching.

The research-oriented master’s specialisations consist of two components: courses and research. Depending on your specialisation, the programme consists of:

  • Theory (min. 30 EC)
    • Specialisation Orientation Course (2 EC)
    • Advanced Statistics (4 EC)
    • Genomic Architecture (6 EC)
    • Compulsory courses (9 - 18 EC)
    • Elective courses
  • Research project(s) (60 – 90)

Find out more about the research-oriented specialisations:

Within the three practical-oriented specialisations you combine at least one year of the Biology research curriculum (60 EC) with training to prepare you for specific science-related careers (60 EC).  

Find out more about the practical-oriented specialisations:

Educational methods

  • Book exam
  • Colloquium
  • Individual paper
  • Lectures
  • Literature study
  • MSc thesis
  • Presentations
  • Research project
  • Working group

Study guidance

Leiden University offers, if necessary, accompaniment and consultancy on both substantive areas as personal development. Our experienced team of Biology study advisors is available to help you with problems such as study delay, planning, and exam arrangements.

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