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Marine Biology


Admission requirements

Required course(s):

  • Environmental Science

Recommended course(s):

  • Conservation Biology

  • Quantitative Research Methods


Our marine ecosystems play a vital role for humanities well-being. They control our climate, provide food, and are home to an amazing variety of live. And, importantly, they cover nearly 70% of our planet. In this course we will discuss fundamental concept in marine biology and ecology in different habitats, including estuaries, mangrove forests, coral reefs, near-shore environments and the open ocean.

In addition, we will cover some of the key threats to our marine systems, from ocean acidification, climate change, pollution, overfishing and destruction of coral reefs and mangrove forests.

The course will include field trips, weather and time permitting, for example to aquaculture facilities in Zeeland and to the Ocean Clean-up at Blijdorp Zoo. This will be combined with hands-on lab work in which you will develop a method to determine the potential impacts of a contaminant on marine organisms.

Course Objectives


  • Discuss and define important concepts in the field of marine biology and ecology;

  • List and discuss human impacts on the marine systems, and describe how organisms and ecosystems can be affected by these impacts;

  • Describe and discuss different methods used in protecting marine systems, and the challenges present in conserving these systems.


  • Conduct a small study in the field or laboratory, and report on results.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2022-2023 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

This course is centered around 3 ways of learning.

  • Class based-lecture on current topics on marine biology. This will be heavily focused on content and key principles in marine biology and ecology.

  • Hands-on experience in the laboratory, thereby building a basic skill in conducting a experiment in the lab.

  • Field trips and invited speakers to further reflect on the topic of marine biology and ecology. One field trip will be to Zeeland to visit aquaculture facilities, and will be on Saturday March 18th (potentially also an overnight stay).

Assessment Method

  • Group project: 40%

  • Final exam: 40%

  • Quizzes, individual reflection and participation portfolio: 20%

Reading list

Will be made available prior to the start of the class.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Thijs Bosker,