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Molecular Biotechnology

The global biotechnology industry enjoys more success and influence than ever before. Their innovations continue to improve the lives of people worldwide. Industrial biotechnology uses biological systems for the production of, among others, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, anti-tumor agents, anti-clotting factors, antibodies, but also food additives and biofuels. This minor provides a comprehensive overview of the fascinating field of modern biotechnology. The discovery, exploitation and commercialization of some of our best natural products will be discussed including legal aspects of patenting. The students will familiarize themselves with the biotechnology-oriented research that is carried out at our University and in the Leiden Bioscience Park. In the last part of the minor, students will bring their theoretical background into practice in a course aiming to solve a biotechnology-oriented problem with modern genetic engineering approaches. This minor provides a sound basis for students aiming for a future in biotechnology.

General information

  • Size: 15 or 30 EC
    It is possible to follow the complete minor for an accreditation of 30 EC or to follow only the first half of the minor for an accreditation of 15 EC.

  • Period: 15 EC: September – October, 30 EC: September – January

  • Language: English

  • Number of participants: minimum 15, maximum 50 for the first 15 EC and maximum 32 for the second 15 EC

  • General information: T. Egberts, MSc
    Coordinator: Dr. D. Claessen

  • The minor is provided by the Bachelor Biology


The minor is open to students with a keen interest and preferably a sound background in molecular biology and genetics, e.g. students from Biology, Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine, Life Sciences & Technology, Molecular Science and Technology and Biomedical Sciences. Students from other disciplines interested in the Minor can be admitted after an interview to evaluate their motivation. In case of a lack of background in molecular biology students can be asked to study selected parts of textbooks before the start of the minor.


Students of Leiden University
Registration possible from May 1 until August 15 in uSis.
You have to register for the minor in uSis by entering the class number (‘studieactiviteit nummer’): 1329

Students of TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam
Registration possible from May 1 until May 31 via an online form. This online form will be available from 1 to 31 May on the website: Registration minors

Other students
Students from other universities can register by sending an e-mail to T. Egberts, MSc

NB: Registration in usis does not directly mean that you can participate in the minor. You will receive and email that confirms your registration and placement.


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Exploitation of Natural Products 6
Biotechnology: from Gene to Bio-based Product 6
Medical Biotechnology 6
Molecular Design: Biotechnology-oriented Engineering of Life 12


The programme of the 30 EC Minor consists of four full-time courses:

  • Exploitation of Natural Products (6 EC)

  • Biotechnology: from Gene to Biobased Product (6 EC)

  • Medical Biotechnology (6 EC)

  • Molecular Design: Biotechnology-oriented Engineering of Life (12 EC)

Students can choose to follow Exploitation of Natural Products, Biotechnology: from Gene to Biobased Product and the first half of the Medical Biotechnology course, in total 15 EC. These courses will give a broad theoretical insight in the field of biotechnology.
It is not possible to only follow the second half of the Minor program, as the information provided in the first half of the Minor is critical for the practical course (Molecular Design: Biotechnology-oriented Engineering of Life).