Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation

Students starting per February 2017 should enroll still in the current specialisations and will follow the full two year program as presented on this website and in the e prospectus.

The world is a breeding ground for the most unusual and special organisms, varying from invertebrates to enormous trees in the rain forest, and, of course, our own species, man. Each of them has its own unique characteristics. This master specialisation deals with understanding, describing and maintaining this variation. Its broad scope offers many opportunities to pursue your own scientific interests, whether it is research on understanding the defense mechanisms of plants, examining marine biodiversity in the tropics, or revealing the consequences of introducing exotic animals and plants – to mention just a few of the options.

What are the processes that give rise to the enormous diversity in plant and animal forms? How do they function in their environment? How can we explain how new life-forms emerge? What affects their distribution in space and time? How can we conserve biodiversity in the face of global and local environmental changes? How can we manage our resources in a sustainable way?

This internationally oriented MSc specialisation addresses these types of questions, empowered by the unique combination of biological institutes in Leiden: the Institute of Biology (Leiden University); the Institute of Environmental Sciences (Leiden University) and the Naturalis Biodiversity (incorporating the National Herbarium and the National Museum for Natural History Naturalis). Theoretical training and hands-on research projects offered by all institutes provide you with the knowledge and skills for a successful career in a broad range of areas.

Reasons to Choose Biology in Leiden

  1. The MSc programme is a collaboration of the Institute of Biology Leiden, the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre and the Institute of Environmental Sciences giving the programme a very broad and diverse scope.
  2. The choice of courses and internships is further increased by the embedding in the Faculty of Science and the connections with the Leiden University Medical Centre and Bioscience-based companies that are also located in the Bioscience Park.
  3. All MSc specialisations combine a solid educational programme with the focus on hands-on research, providing a balanced training.
  4. Biology in Leiden offers an international academic environment and world-class research.
  5. In Leiden, you can combine training in biological research with training in communication, education or science-based business.

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: Biology
  • Degree Master of Science in Biology
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 2 years
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 66860

Blog: Follow Sanne during her Master's in Leiden!

MSc student Biology Sanne writes about her life as a student and everything else that interests her. Read her stories! Blog


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