EUR 19,600 / per year *
Earliest start date
* non-EU/EEA students | dutch, EU/EEA, swiss and surinamese students: €2,314 per year | second dutch master’s programme: €15,400 per year
The MSc Biology program is a collaboration between the Institute of Biology Leiden, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, and the Institute of Environmental Sciences, giving the program a broad and diverse scope.
What does this master's program entail?
The knowledge that you acquire during this program will provide an overall understanding of life and how this can be of great value to society. For example, with your knowledge of DNA, you will be able to work on important topics such as enhancing sustainability in agri and horticulture or developing new antibiotics by using fungi or bacteria. The program offers four research specializations, which optionally can be combined with a more practical-oriented specialization in communication, education, or business. The master’s program also involves training in general skills that will be important for your future career, be it in academia, industry, or government.
The Biology program offers 4 research-oriented specializations corresponding with the research themes within the three institutes involved. You can choose a more practical-oriented specialization 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 getting a better understanding of the biological processes.
- Evolutionary Biology: You follow a program to get a better understanding of the impact of the environment on evolution and how the evolutionary process works.
- Molecular, Cellular, and Organismal Biology: You obtain in-depth knowledge on how organisms function and respond to the changing environment at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels.
- Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology: This program prepares you for a career in tackling important issues in sectors such as agriculture and healthcare.
- Biology and Business Studies: This program prepares you for a career in business. It gives you a unique combination of skills in Biology 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.
Overview curriculum research specializations
The research-oriented master’s specializations consist of two components: courses and research. Depending on your specialization, the program 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)
Overview curriculum Education, Business Studies, and SCS
Within the three practical-oriented specializations 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).
- Book exam
- Individual paper
- Literature study
- MSc thesis
- Research project
- Working group
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 delays, planning, and exam arrangements.
Scholarships and Funding
Leiden University offers a wide range of scholarships for students from specific regions of the world, or for specific programmes. Leiden University also offers the Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS), a program specifically designed for non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a master’s program.
Program Tuition Fee
Biology: the right master’s program for you?
Biology is the right master’s program for you if you are interested in molecular biology, biotechnology, cell biology, evolutionary biology, biodiversity, and/or environment. In one of the research specializations, you will be trained for a career in research within or outside academia. You can also choose a more practical-oriented specialization where you combine one year of biology research with one year of training in business, communication, or education.
The research specializations prepare you for a Ph.D. program and/or research positions at universities or research institutes, or for positions at governmental organizations and industry, such as consultancy agencies and bioscience-based companies. Some students start their own company.
Approximately half of our graduates choose a career in scientific research, many as a PhD student. Universities, research institutes, and medical centers are the major employers. Other alumni work at consultancy agencies or in the public domain as policy-makers, science communicators, or teachers. Graduates also occupy management positions or have project responsibilities in a wide variety of commercial and non-commercial sectors, from bioscience-based companies to environmental management agencies. Some students even start their own company.