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Environmental Science


Admission requirements



This is an introduction to the field of Environmental Science, with a focus on Ecosystems and Biodiversity. We will focus on how human disturbances affect individuals, populations, communities and even entire ecosystems. We will also learn which mechanisms organisms have developed to deal with these stressors.

In addition, we will discuss the key methods which are available to study environmental impacts (e.g. field, modelling and lab studies), to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of these tools when assessing environmental impacts.

Students will develop a population model, and use the model to assess impacts of anthropogenic stressors in the population. Students will also conduct a group research project, which includes basic study design and data collection (hopefully in the field, but this depends on the current situation and rules with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic). This way students gain theoretical insights in the classroom, and can also apply this knowledge during a research project.

Course Objectives


  • Develop a basic population model, and discuss strengths and shortcomings of the model;

  • Conduct a group project, write a report and present the outcomes of a real world case study.


  • Discuss and define important concepts in the field of environmental science;

  • Briefly describe major environmental processes related to ecosystems and biodiversity, and how these processes can be affected by human activity;

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

  • Describe and discuss different methods used in environmental science to determine impacts.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The main mode of instruction will centre around lectures and discussions on current topics on environmental sciences. In addition, students are required to complete individual and group assignments. To facilitate completion of these assignments, there will be some time set aside during lectures to discuss and work on assignments (the remainder of the work is conducted outside class hours). Attendance is compulsory for students.

Assessment Method

Individual assignment: Population Model 40%
Group project: field work (corona permitting) 25%
Individual assignment: Final exam: 17.5%
Class participation: 17.5%

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,
Dr. Alexander van Oudenhoven,