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Life Science & Technology - Faculty of Science - Leiden University

Life Science & Technology (MSc)

About the programme

If you are interested in Life Science and you are looking for a programme with ample opportunities to put together your own study path, our Life Science and Technology programme is the right choice. The programme focuses on societal problems at the molecular and cellular level.

Research in the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) covers a wide range of topics and expertise, ranging from physical and theoretical chemistry to organic synthesis and molecular cell biology in the research theme Chemical Biology. MSc LST and MSc Chemistry students meet each other in this Chemical Biology research theme: in different research groups in the LIC LST and Chemistry students work on the same scientific problem. However, while Chemistry students generally focus on the molecular level by synthesising new biomarkers or drugs, LST students typically work on the cellular level by testing these drugs or markers in various cell lines to investigate their toxicity or effectiveness. 

The four core courses are chosen from the list below. MSc LST students have to choose one course from each of the series (Biomedical, Molecular and Biophysical Sciences), plus one additional course from one of the three series.

  • Biomedical Sciences
    • Biomedical Informatics
    • Chemical Immunology
    • In-vivo Biomolecular Interactions underlying Diseases
  • Biophysical Sciences
    • Bionanotechnology
    • Biomaterials
    • Enzyme Dynamics: NMR Spectroscopy and Kinetics
  • Molecular Sciences
    • Chemical Biology
    • Metals and Life 
    • Molecular Chemistry

LST-specific components

Central to the MSc education is the research training project. In the research training project, the student is part of a research group for at least five months and not only learns specific practical skills, but also grows into an independent researcher by learning to plan work, analyse data, report and discuss results with different audiences, solve problems and act as a team member. For students in the research specialisation, the major research project consists of a minimum of 40 EC and a maximum of 60 EC. 

Students in the other three specialisations do a research project of at least 30 EC. Optional minor research projects are at least 20 EC. Research training can be carried out within an LIC research group, a group at the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR), or at the Institute for Biology (IBL). Our MSc LST students also have the opportunity to carry out pre-clinical MSc research training projects at renowned biomedical research institutes, namely the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), the Dutch Cancer Institute (NKI) and the Erasmus Medical Center (ErasmusMC). A minor training project must be carried out in a research group different from the major research project, and can also be carried out in another institute (within the Netherlands or abroad), or in a company. 

The mandatory theoretical component of the MSc programme includes courses on academic development (Academic Writing and an elective). Students choose at least four of the nine core courses and have up to 24 EC of electives depending on their specialisation. Electives may consist of theoretical or practical courses or an extension of the duration of a research project with a maximum of 20 EC and within the limitations set by the programme. Electives can be chosen from the core courses or electives offered by the LIC or other MSc programmes in the Leiden University Faculty of Science, or MSc courses offered in a Science Faculty of any Dutch or foreign university.

Specialisation-specific components

The specialisation-specific component for the research specialisation consists of the essay and colloquium (6 EC). With this component, students have to show that they are able to find and digest relevant literature on a topic not related to their MSc research project, write in their own words a review of the material in their own words, including their personal view and potential future prospects. The student then presents this essay for fellow students and an independent jury. More information can be found in the Prospectus.

The education part of this specialisation is organised by the Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching (ICLON). The 60 EC education component can best be started in September. For students who have taken a minor in Education (“tweedegraadsbevoegdheid”) of 30 EC in the BSc programme, only 30 EC are necessary in the MSc programme to obtain the “eerstegraadsbevoegdheid”; then 30 EC electives are added to the programme of the MSc LST. Students are required to finish all LST components before the start of their education component. Exceptions to this obligatory sequence can only be granted by the Board of Examiners. 

The specialisation-specific components encompass:

  • Teaching Practice 1 & 2
  • Pedagogy in Practice 1 & 2 
  • Teaching Methodology 1 & 2
  • Adolescent Development (ICLON)
  • Subject-specific research project 
  • Electives:
    Innovations in School
    Adolescent Development 2
    Subject-specific research project 2
    World Teachers 

More information can be found on the ICLON website and in the Prospectus.

The specialisation-specific components are offered by lecturers in Science Communication & Society (SCS) and is open to students from MSc programmes from the Faculty of Science and the MSc programme in Biomedical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine (LUMC). Preferably, the BSc programme has included some coursework in communication. The primary focus in this specialisation is on science communication in the Netherlands, and students explore various aspects of professional science communication. A minimum of 40 EC and a maximum of 60 EC of SCS components is required to complete the SCS specialisation.

The specialisation-specific components comprise:

  • Informal Science Education (4 EC)
  • Policy & Development in science and Society (4 EC)
  • Research in science communication (4EC) 
  • Science Journalism (4 EC) 
  • Science Communication product development (4 EC) 
  • Scientific Narration and Visualisation (3 EC)
  • one or more SCS internships (14-34 EC) with corresponding project proposals (3 EC). 
  • SCS electives are limited to 10 EC. 

The internship will be in the field of science communication (e.g. science journalism, museology, new media, health communication). The total internship period may consist of one internship, or can be divided into 2 smaller internships. Each internship includes a written report and an oral presentation. The total internship period includes a minimum of 10 EC of research in science communication. The choice of internships should be approved beforehand by the coordinator of the specialisation. A plan for the optional SCS Elective (e.g. book exam, product development) should be approved beforehand by the SCS coordinator. 

More information can be found on the SCS website and in the Prospectus.

The Business Studies specialisation is offered by the department of Science Based Business. The objective of the specialisation is to teach students basic analytical frameworks and skills to analyse business-related problems and to contribute to managerial decision making within the context of established knowledge-intensive organisations or new technology ventures. It is for science students who consider employment opportunities in industry, and who are looking to acquire knowledge of business principles and training in managerial skills. A minimum of 40 EC and a maximum of 60 EC of BS components is required to complete the BS specialisation.

The specialisation-specific components for this track consist of:

  • Strategy and Technology (5 EC) 
  • Strategic Financial Management (3 EC) 
  • Marketing Science (3 EC) 
  • Operations Management (4 EC) 
  • Research Methods (5 EC)
  • Business Internship (20, 30 or 40 EC)

In addition a number of electives are offered, such as ‘Accounting’, ‘Entrepreneurship’ or ‘Business Intelligence’.

More information and registration instructions for Business Studies is available on the BS website and in the Prospectus. The BS courses start twice a year in September and February.

Study guidance

At the beginning of the programme you choose a mentor. The mentor is your personal coach throughout the complete MSc programme, and is usually the supervisor of your research project if you carry it out in the LIC. An online master planner helps you put together your programme and can be used for monitoring your progress by your mentor and the study adviser. During your MSc programme you will join one of the research groups and receive the necessary guidance to become an independent researcher. Most students spend their first year on courses and their second year on their research project or projects. 

Educational methods

  • Lectures
  • Project groups
  • Working group
  • Literature study
  • Writing of essays
  • Colloquium
  • Lab work
  • Presentations

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