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Biology: Biology and Business Studies

The specialisation Biology and Business Studies offers students the possibility to combine biology with knowledge, insights and skills in the area of Management, Business and Entrepreneurship.

Students are encouraged to broaden their horizon, to form an opinion on and prepare for a career in industry and to enhance competences for pursuing entrepreneurial business opportunities created in science and research.

Students who complete the specialisation Biology and Business Studies are admissible to a PhD programme.

Coordinator: Dr. Remko Offringa


Year 1: Biology programme

Year 2: Business Studies programme

For a description of the full programme please see the 'more information' tab.

Year 1: Biology

The Biology component consists of the following:

  • Research Project Biology of 36 EC

  • Advanced theory (courses and lectures) of 24 EC

The Biology component can be extended with an additional 20 EC (courses or extension of the research project to 80 EC in total). The research project has to take place in one of the research groups of the IBL, CML or Naturalis, other Institutes of the Faculty of Sciences or LUMC. Theoretical components should be minimally at level 400. The individual study programme consisting of choices of courses and the research project must have prior approval by the Board of Examiners through approval of the individual study plan of a student and approval of the research agreement.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory courses:

Genomic Architecture 6
Research Project Biology 36

Compulsory Statistics courses (choose one)

Basic Statistics for Master students 4
Advanced Statistics 4

Compulsory Orientation course (choose one)

Orientation on Biodiversity and Sustainability 2
Orientation on Evolutionary Biology 2
Orientation on Molecular, Cellular and Organismal Biology 2
Orientation on Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology 2

In case of a research project that involves experiments with fish or birds the corresponding course is compulsory:

Bird species in animal experimentation 3
Fish species in animal experimentation 3

Electives (choose at least 12EC from this list or from 'biology electives or 'other electives'):

Development and Evolution 6
Human Impacts on Biodiversity 6
Mechanisms of Disease 6
Advanced Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology 3
Systematics and Biodiversity 6
Advanced Cell Biology 4
Innate Immune systems 6
Paleobiology 6
Ecotoxicology (2023-2024) 6
Ecosystem Services (2024-2025) 6
Animal Cognition (2024-2025) 6

Year 2: Business Studies

The coordinator of the Business Studies component of the programme is:
Prof.dr. S. Jong Kon Chin, email:
For questions please contact:

For information about the Business Studies programme and registration for the courses see: E-prospectus Business Studies.

Biology electives

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Plant Families of the Tropics 5
Bird species in animal experimentation 3
Fish species in animal experimentation 3
Metabolomics 6
Advanced Academic Skills Elite Course 6
Top Lectures in Biology 3
Literature Review 6
Book exam 6
Urban Ecology and Evolution 6
Tropical Biodiversity and Field Methods 6

Other Electives

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Faculty of Science and LUMC electives (always check with the coordinator of the course whether you can join):

Advances in Data Mining 6
Multiscale Mathematical Biology (BM) 6
Science Methodology (SCM) 4
Image Analysis with Applications in Microscopy 6
Model organisms in cancer drug discovery and development 4
Science and the public: contemporary and historical perspectives 6
Introduction to Machine Learning 6
Bio-Modeling 6
Biological and Biomedical Informatics 6
Multicriteria Optimization and Decision Analysis 6
Evolutionary Algorithms 6
Other approved electives 4-6

TU Delft elective

Joint Interdisciplinary Project (JIP) 15

More info


The specialisation Business Studies is for MSc students in the sciences and biomedicine who are interested in industry. The objective of the specialisation is to teach students basic analytical frameworks and skills to analyse business-related problems and to contribute to managerial decision making, either within the context of established knowledge-intensive organisations or within the context of new technology ventures.


The MSc programme in combination with the Business Studies specialisation consists of two components:

  • a component within the chosen MSc programme.

  • a Business Studies component.

The Biology component consist of a research project of 36 EC and 24 EC of advanced theory (courses and lectures). The Biology component can be extended with an additional 20 EC (courses or extension of the research project).
A “Fish specific animal experimentation course (2 EC) or a “Bird specific animal experimentation course (2 EC) is obligatory in case of a research project that involves handling or experimental use of fish species or birds species.

The Specialisation Research Project has to be done within the theme of the specialization.

Theoretical components should be minimally at level 400. The individual study programme consisting of choices of courses and the research project must have prior approval by the Board of Examiners through approval of the individual study plan of a student and approval of the research agreement.

Business Studies
The Business component comprises at least 40 EC. An additional maximum of 20 EC can be chosen from the Business electives, or from the MSc programme of choice. The choice of courses and electives should be made in consultation with a study adviser, or specialisation coordinator.

Approval of program

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


Students with prior education in management, business and entrepreneurship may – depending on the contents and extent of said education – be exempted from following (parts of) one or more of the courses. These courses need to be substituted such that their master programme contains at least 40 EC of Business courses fitting in the context of business. Decisions on exemptions and substitutions are taken by the Board of Examiners.

Career Orientation

During study program MSc Biology we want to provide you with the best possible preparation for the job market. In addition to knowledge, it is important that you develop skills, gain practical experience, orientate on positions & careers, and reflect on your own profile and development. In addition to substantive knowledge, it is also important to be aware of the so-called transferable skills that you develop outside and during your education. These are, for example, your cognitive skills such as critical thinking and communication. Altogether, this contributes to your development as a professional and offers good preparation for the labour market.

At various times during your studies, questions about this subject may arise, such as: How can you use the knowledge and skills you gain within and outside your study program in the labor market? Which direction do you choose within your study and why? What are you already able to do, and what skills do you still want to learn? How do you translate the courses you choose into something you would like to do later?

You may have already discussed this with the study advisor, mentor, tutor, the Science Career Service, fellow students or made use of the Leiden University Career Zone. All kinds of activities are organized where you get the chance to orientate yourself on the job market and gives opportunities to reflect on your own development, possibilities and (study) career profile as well. Central to this are the questions: "What are my capabilities?", "What do I want?" and "How do I achieve my goals?".

In the prospectus, learning objectives have been formulated for each subject, the purpose of which is to inform you which components are covered in the development of your (study) career profile and preparation for the labour market. Various activities are also organized that help you in making all kinds of career choices and to develop skills. An overview of activities is shown below.


  • (Study) career meetings

  • Alumni lectures

  • Company visits and company dinners

  • Lunch & Learn lectures by companies

  • IBL Symposia

  • Introductory meeting with the study advisor

  • Information meeting student counsellor

  • (International) Leiden Leadership Programme

  • Mentorship and tutoring

  • Workshops en Career Colleges (Science Career Service)

  • Science Career Event

  • Regular information sessions with the study advisor

  • Research Project Market

  • Research skills as part of the master research project

Science Career Service

Science Career Service, one of the utilities of the Science faculty, offers information and advice on study (re)orientation, career planning and personal professional profile as well as preparation for the job market, such as job applications. Facilities provided to students include online information, walk-in consultations, workshops and individual counselling sessions. In addition, Science Career Service offers expertise and support to programmes that want to strengthen the connection between their curriculum and the job market. This can vary from providing specific guest lectures/workshops to advising on integrating career orientation programmes into the curriculum.

LU Career Zone

The Leiden University Career Zone is the website for students and alumni of Leiden University to support their (study) career planning. You will find advice, information, video recordings of webinars and tools such as professional tests to get an idea of your personal profile. You can also explore positions and sectors, you will find tips about CV, job application, LinkedIn and there is a vacancy platform that you can make use of.


Leiden University likes to prepare students and young alumni well for the job market. For this we use the knowledge and experience of Leiden alumni. To bring students and young alumni with questions about their careers into contact with experienced alumni, Leiden University has established the Mentor Network. Students and young alumni can register for free.


Do you have questions about your (study) career choices and has the above information not been able to help you further? Your Study Adviser is available to discuss your plans and .