Plant Sciences and Natural Products

As of September 2017, the current Biology specialisations will be reorganised into the following four (more discipline-oriented) specialisations:

  • Biodiversity and Sustainability
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • From Cells to Organisms
  • Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology

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 Master specialisation Plant Sciences and Natural Products offers a research-oriented education in plant sciences with a strong focus on the generation of fundamental scientific knowledge that can lead to the improvement of crop quality and yield.

Important aspects of plant development and the interaction of plants with the environment can be studied at different often integrated levels ranging from the molecular, genetic and cellular levels to organismal and population levels. It is also possible to study the production of plant natural products that are important for the food or pharmaceutical industries.

An important part of the master education is a research project, which can be chosen from a large variety of topics, including plant transformation by Agrobacterium, plant development, defense against pests and pathogens, natural product analysis and metabolic engineering. Research questions are tackled from a multidisciplinary approach, combining disciplines such as molecular genetics, genomics, cell biology, developmental biology, biochemistry, metabolomics, microscopy and cell physiology. Research approaches exploit recent genomic and technological advances, for example expanding genomic sequence information, genomics and proteomics technology and confocal laser scanning microscopy which enables the study of molecules in living cells and multicellular organisms in unprecedented detail. Different plant species can be studied including several crops, the model Arabidopsis thaliana and the medicinal plant Catharanthus roseus, producing anti-cancer alkaloids.

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 60200

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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