Introduction on MSc specialisation EBC 2015-2016

Introduction on the Master specialisation 'Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation' (EBC): an internationally oriented, high profile master's specialisation in the biological sciences at Leiden University.


The world harbours the most wonderful and weird organisms, ranging from obscure invertebrates to huge rain forest trees and, indeed, our own species. In addition to the known diversity, modern genomics are turning up unsuspected diversities of unicellular organisms in all imaginable and unimaginable habitats.

What are the processes that give rise to this enormous variety? How can we explain how new life forms emerge? What affects their distribution in space and time? How can we conserve biodiversity in the face of global and local environmental changes? How can we benefit from our natural resources to develop new medicines and other products? How can we manage our resources in a sustainable way?

These types of questions are addressed in this internationally oriented MSc specialisation. It capitalises on the unique combination of biological institutes at Leiden, who join their forces:

The programme is taught in English and is provided on a yearly basis.

Entry requirements

Read the entry requirements for admitting to this track


This specialisation provides students with the theoretical knowledge and skills to embark on a career in a wide variety of settings. Some will become researchers in various disciplines: ecology, evolutionary biology, animal behaviour, developmental biology, environmental sciences, systematics, conservation biology, tropical forest management, etc..

Others will become policy makers or advisors on issues of conservation, sustainable use of resources, land use planning and management, global development, and environmental change.

Some will find a job in industry or medical research environments, or become curators at biodiversity institutes and museums. Universities, industry, government agencies, NGO’s, museums, and conservation societies provide contexts suited for those with this MSc degree.

Outline of the programme

An outline of the programme is available.

The courses by CML

The courses in this Master specialisation given by CML are:

Student research projects

Research-projects are the core of the MSc program. Students will be member of a research group of their choice and work on a specific project, usually in close collaboration with a staff member or PhD student for a period of 4-10 months full time. Each project will be finished with writing a MSc-thesis in the form of a manuscript for publication in an international journal. Students have to do at least one project and at least 60 EC should be used for one or more projects.  

More information can be found at:


General academic information on course contents:

Contact:            Dr. T.J. de Jong (coordinator) 

Information about the CML-content of the master track Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation:
CML-contact:    Dr. W.L.M. Tamis
Telephone 071 - 527 7479

Last Modified: 21-07-2015