Evolutionary Biology

New specialisation as of September 2017. 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.

This research-oriented master specialization provides students with in-depth knowledge about Evolutionary Sciences. The discipline studies the key factors that drive the evolution of organismal features and examines the origin and maintenance of biological variation at all taxonomic levels. Fundamental is comparative analysis of genetic material and phenotypic characteristics of extant and/or extinct (fossil) organisms. In addition to identifying sequential evolutionary changes over time, evolutionary biology also investigates the general mechanisms by which evolution occurs. The impact of the environment on evolution is studied in the discipline of evolutionary ecology. The field has strong links with behavioral and developmental biology, as well as paleobiology and macroecology.

Reasons to Choose Biology in Leiden

  1. Central location at the Leiden Bioscience Park, easy to reach by bus or train.
  2. Unique combination of knowledge and expertise through close collaboration between four renowned research institutes, being: the Institute of Biology Leiden, the Naturalis Biodiversity Center (NBC, Leiden), the Institute for Environmental Sciences (CML, Leiden), and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO, Wageningen)
  3. Attractive set-up of the programme, starting with a fixed theoretical part, but with ample opportunity to assemble your own study path.
  4. Possibility to combine training in biological research with training in communication, education or science-based business.
  5. Many possibilities for interesting research projects (also abroad) and elective courses (see the e-Prospectus), by the embedding in the Faculty of Science and the connections with the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) and with bioscience-based companies that are also located at the Leiden Bioscience Park.
  6. International and interdisciplinary research environment.
  7. Access to state of the art facilities, among which a lab for high throughput genotyping, the Nanopore Sequencing Lab, the Metabolomics Facility, the Cell Observatory, the Netherlands Centre of Electron Nanoscopy (NECEN), the collections of the National Herbarium, Hortus and Naturalis, and an on campus “living lab” for ecotoxicology studies.

For more information on the programme, see the e-Prospectus.

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

Find your master's at Leiden University