nl en

Biology: Evolution Biodiversity and Conservation

This is a specialisation of the Biology Master.
Coordinator: Prof. dr. C.J. ten Cate, email:

Website Instituut Biologie Leiden – Onderzoeksgroepen

For a description of the full programme read the more information button!
For the timetable and registration in usis and codes, see under files (bestanden)

This MSc specialisation will start on Monday 3 September, 2012 at 9.00 in room 1.5.31, Sylvius Laboratory, with an information lecture.

Compulsory elements

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory theoretical courses:

Fundamentals of Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation 9
EBC Top Lectures 4
Statistics and Modelling 3

Two EBC 'trend' courses are compulsory:

Trends in Behaviour and Ecology 6
Trends in Biodiversity in Time and Space 6
Trends in Conservation Biology 6
Trends in Development and Evolution 6

In addition, one of the following elements is also compulsory:

Biodiversity and Conservation (seminar) 4
Colloquium ‘Spotlight Research talks’ 4
EBC Book Exam 6

Compulsory Research Project:

EBC Research Project 60 or 2x36


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Biodiversity and Conservation (seminar) 4
Colloquium ‘Spotlight Research talks’ 4
EBC Book Exam 6
Economic Botany 4
Plant Families of the Tropics 5
The Immune system of plants 6
Science Methodology 4

Meer info

Theoretical training

Compulsory theoretical courses:

  • EBC fundamentals. ‘Fundamentals’ is a broad-ranging 6-week (9 EC) ’basics’ course, consisting of 3 modules. The 3 modules ( ‘Fundamentals of evolutionary change’, Fundamentals of conservation biology’, and ‘Richness of the world)’offer a broad kaleidoscope of subjects as starting points for the later individual specialisations. This compulsory course is based on lectures and self study using primary literature.

  • Statistics and Modelling. Students are trained in advanced statistics and bioinformatics in the course Statistics and Modelling.

  • EBC ‘trends’ courses. Thematic 4 week (6 EC) courses. Each year there are four courses, two in parallel, providing students with an integrated picture on specific topics. Students have to do two of these courses during their MSc program.

  • Top lectures. The research groups participating in the MSc program will each year invite several top scientists in various fields to present their work. This will be combined with a discussion meeting with MSc students to discuss the work and papers of the scientist.

It is stronly advised to follow the Fundamentals, Statistics and Modelling and Trend courses in the first year of your master programme.

To complete the theoretical training, one of the following elements is obligatory (each element is 4-6 EC, and may be followed either in year 1 or in year 2):

  • Seminar. Seminars are discussion groups in which students present and discuss the latest research papers and views on particular specialized subjects. Each year there will be a choice of several seminars.

  • Book exam. The student will take an oral exam on a book of choice provided by the various staff members.

  • Colloquium ‘Spotlight Research Talks’. Every month scientists from various research groups in the IBL will present their findings at a ‘spotlight’ meeting.

Research projects

The research projects are the actual core of the MSc programme. Students will be member of a research group of their choice and work on a specific project in close collaboration with staff of one of the different institutes full time. Each project will be finished with an MSc thesis written in the form of a manuscript for an international scientific journal. The minimum time to be spent on research projects is 60 EC. A research project should be minimally 36 EC and compulsory is at least one research project (of min. 36 EC) within one of the participating institutes.

Optional elements

The obligatory theoretical component consists of 32 EC and the minimum time to be spend on research projects is 60 EC. This leaves 28 EC which students may use either on expanding the theoretical parts with other courses (at Leiden or elsewhere), or on their research projects. For courses outside the LU biology programme (max.10 EC) and for all external research projects, prior approval of the Board of Examiners is required.
Note: a maximum of 12 EC of optional elements at a level < 400 are permitted.

Approval of programme

All master students have to submit a master study program, consisting of choices of courses and one or two research projects, to the studyadvisor in November (start September) or in April (start February). Through the submission of this study program, the Board of Examiners determines whether the individual study program can be approved.