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COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

The Biodiversity and Sustainability master specialisation aims to discuss and answer societal relevant biological questions.

What does this master’s programme entail?

The critical importance of biodiversity and the services provided by nature for our society is increasingly endorsed by national and international conventions. However, to implement the right policy measures for creating a sustainable society, a much better understanding of the biological processes involved is essential. By using ‘sustainability’ as a guiding principle, the programme provides you with an academic attitude by stimulating reflective, independent and creative thinking to support, conserve and manage biodiversity and sustainable ecosystem services.

Why study Biodiversity and Sustainability at Leiden University?

  • The Biodiversity and Sustainability specialisation provides you with research training with a particular focus on biodiversity and sustainability where you discuss and answer societal relevant biological questions.
  • You are taken up as a member of our institute thus providing you with an ideal environment where you can learn science by doing with both junior and senior scientists.
  • Many possibilities for interesting research projects such as optimizing ecosystem functioning and biodiversity for a sustainable society or determine the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability.

Biodiversity and Sustainability: the right master’s programme for you?

The master’s specialisation Biodiversity and Sustainability is a good match if you are a student with a BSc background in Biology or equivalent, and when you’re interested in subjects such as the biological processes in relation with the environment and ecology.

Career prospects

With an MSc in Biology you are well prepared for future jobs in research or industry. After your graduation you can pursue a PhD career or a career as a researcher, focusing on groundbreaking research on sustainability, at universities and research institutes.


The research specialisations prepare you for a PhD programme and/or research positions at universities or research institutes, or for positions at governmental organisations and industry, such as consultancy agencies and bioscience-based companies. Some students start their own company.

Approximately half of our graduates choose a career in scientific research, many as a PhD student. Universities, research institutes, and medical centres are the major employers. Other alumni work at consultancy agencies or in the public domain as policy-makers, science communicators or teachers. Graduates also occupy management positions or have project responsibilities in a wide variety of commercial and non-commercial sectors, from bioscience-based companies to environmental management agencies. Some students even start their own company.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Science

Study options

Full Time (2 Years)

Tuition fees
€18,016.00 (14,55,250) per year
Application deadline

Expected October 2022

More details

Start date

Expected September 2022


Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,



2311, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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