Programme (120 EC)
The MSc specialisation consists of:
The programme includes several compulsory components, mostly at the start of the programme, and can be expanded with a wide choice of elective elements. The mandatory components in the 1st semester aim to provide students with the theoretical and practical background needed for an efficient start of the specialisation Research Project at the end of this semester. The Research Projects are the actual core of the MSc programme. Students will be member of a research group of their choice and work full time on a specific project. Each project will be finished with an MSc thesis written in the form of a manuscript for an international scientific journal. At least one but preferably two Research Projects are part of the study programme.
The Specialisation Research Project has to be done within the Plant Sciences and Natural Products research area at the Institute Biology Leiden, the Faculty of Science, Naturalis Biodiversity Center or Institute of Environmental Sciences. All Research Projects require prior approval by the Board of Examiners through approval of the individual study plan of a student and approval of the research agreement.
The compulsory theoretical components consist of at least 30 EC, and the minimum time to be spent on research projects is 60 EC. The specialisation Research Project should be minimally 36 EC, and a second Research Project should be at least 30 EC.
The optional part of the programme can consist of either additional courses or lectures, or an extension of the duration of a research project. A list of approved elective courses is available on the e-guide. For courses outside the LU biology programme and for all research projects, prior approval of the Board of Examiners is required.
Note: maximally 12 EC of optional theoretical elements of level < 400 are permitted and max 15 EC non-biology courses.
Approval of programme
The individual study programme consisting of choices of courses and one or two research projects must have prior approval of the Board of Examiners.
Short description of the Courses
The Plant Sciences and Natural Products study programme comprises several compulsory courses. The course Orientation on Plant Sciences and Natural Products provides a state of the art overview of the scientific research and research methods used in the departments participating in this MSc specialisation taken from presentations by group leaders and PhD students. The course “Genomic Architecture” aims at training students to become “genome-enabled” biologists by giving an overview of the structure, function and evolution of genomes. Together with the Advanced Statistics course, and one of the specialisation courses Immune Systems of Plants or Metabolomics, this will prepare the students theoretically for their training in scientific research during the Research Project(s).
Another obligatory element is the Top lectures series. This course consists of 6 lectures by internationally leading scientists in MCB- or EBC-oriented research fields relevant for the Plant Sciences programme. Students prepare for the lectures by reading scientific papers, and by discussion of these papers with the speaker.
At the beginning of the second semester (in year 1 or 2) students prepare individually from an advanced text book for a specialised examination. A variety of additional courses from other MSc specialisations in Biology and from other Msc programmes at the Faculty of Science and LUMC can be chosen as electives. Available book titles are provided in the electronic study guide (e-prospectus). For details (description, literature, exam dates and further calendar events) about the different courses see the e-prospectus and Blackboard.