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Biology: Animal Biology and Disease Models

This is a specialisation of the Biology Master.
Coordinator: Dr. A.H. Meijer, 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 1 September, 2014 at the Sylvius Laboratory, with an information lecture.

Compulsory elements

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory elements:

Orientation on Animal Biology and Disease Models 3
Genomic Architecture 6
Advanced Statistics 3
Book exam 3
Research Project Min. 60

At least one of the following specialisation courses is compulsory:

Development and Evolution 6
Mechanisms of Disease 6

One of the following Toplectures courses is compulsory:

Top Lectures in EBC 3
Top Lectures in MCB 3

At least 6 EC by following an additional specialisation course or approved electives, see Tab 'Electives'

Biology Electives

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Specialisation courses of the other Biology Master Specialisations:

Conservation Biology 6
Global Regulatory Networks in Bacteria (GRNB) 6
Methods in Biodiversity Analysis 6
Metabolomics 6
The Immune system of plants 6

Approved Electives:

Advanced Academic Skills Elite Course 6
Behavioral Biology 3
Biodiversity and Conservation (seminar) 4
Economic Botany 4
Plant Families of the Tropics 5
Tropical Biology in Borneo 6
Practical Assistance 2-10

Other Electives

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Laboratory Animal Science 4
Other approved electives 1-6

Electives Faculty of Science

Science Methodology 4
Science and the public: contemporary and historical perspectives 6

More info

Programme (120 EC)
The MSc specialisation consists of:

  • a theoretical part (30-60 EC)

  • one or more research projects (60-90 EC).

The programme includes several compulsory components, mostly at the start and the end of the programme, and can be expanded with a wide choice of elective elements. The mandatory components in the 1st semester aim to provide students with the theoretical and practical background needed for an efficient start of the Research Project at the end of this semester. The Research Projects are the actual core of the MSc programme. Students will be member of a research group of their choice and work full time on a specific project. Each project will be finished with an MSc thesis written in the form of a manuscript for an international scientific journal. At least one but preferably two Research Projects are part of the study programme.
The Specialisation Research Project has to be done within the theme of the specialisation at the Institute Biology Leiden, at other departments of the Faculty of Science or at the Leiden University Medical Center. All Research Projects require prior approval by the Board of Examiners through approval of the individual study plan of a student and approval of the research agreement.

Compulsory components:
The compulsory theoretical components consist of at least 30 EC, and the minimum time to be spent on research projects is 60 EC. The specialisation Research Project should be minimally 36 EC, and a second Research Project should be at least 30 EC.

Electives/Optional elements
The optional part of the programme can consist of either additional courses or lectures, or an extension of the duration of a research project. A list of approved elective courses is available on the e-guide. For courses outside the Leiden University biology programme and for all research projects, prior approval of the Board of Examiners is required.
Note: maximally 12 EC of optional theoretical elements of level < 400 are permitted and max 15 EC non-biology courses.

Approval of programme
The individual study programme consisting of choices of courses and one or two research projects must have prior approval of the Board of Examiners.

Short description of the Courses
The Animal Biology and Disease Models study programme comprises several compulsory courses. The course Orientation on Animal Biology provides a state of the art overview of the scientific research and research methods used in the departments participating in this MSc specialisation. The course “Genomic Architecture” aims at training students to become “genome-enabled” biologists by giving an overview of the structure, function and evolution of genomes. Together with the Advanced Statistics course, and one of the two specialisation courses Mechanisms of Disease or Development and Evolution, this will prepare the students theoretically for their training in scientific research during the Research Project(s). The mandatory courses should preferably be successfully completed before starting with the rest of the program.
Another obligatory element in the AB specialisation is the Top lectures series. This course consists of 6 lectures by internationally leading scientists in fields relevant for the Animal Biology programme. Students prepare for the lectures by reading scientific papers, and by discussion of these papers with the speaker.
At the beginning of the second semester (in year 1 or 2) students prepare individually from an advanced text book for a specialised examination. Available book titles are provided in the electronic study guide (e-prospectus). A variety of additional courses from other MSc specialisations in Biology and from other Msc programmes at the Faculty of Science and LUMC can be chosen as electives. For details (description, literature, exam dates and further calendar events) about the different courses see the e-prospectus and Blackboard.