Plant Sciences and Natural Products

Leiden University
Plant Sciences and Natural Products

General information about the master’s program:

• Plant Sciences and Natural Products
• 120-150 ECTS
• English
• The Master specialization Plant Sciences and Natural Products offers a research-oriented education in plant sciences with a strong focus on the generation of fundamental scientific knowledge that can lead to the improvement of crop quality and yield. Important aspects of plant development and the interaction of plants with the environment can be studied at different often integrated levels ranging from the molecular, genetic and cellular levels to organismal and population levels. It is also possible to study the production of plant natural products that are important for the food or pharmaceutical industries.
• An important part of the master education is a research project, which can be chosen from a large variety of topics. Research approaches exploit recent genomic and technological advances. Research questions are tackled from a multidisciplinary approach, combining disciplines. Different plant species can be studied including several crops, the model Arabidopsis thaliana and the medicinal plant Catharanthus roseus, producing anti-cancer alkaloids.


• There are some compulsory elements, but also elective elements. These include specializations from other Biology Masters, but also other elements can be chosen, such as for instance a PhD Orientation course. The choice of courses and internships is further increased by the embedding in the Faculty of Science and the connections with the Leiden University Medical Centre and Bioscience-based companies that are also located in the Bioscience Park.

Study components

• For a description of the full programme, please click here.
• The master consists of a theoretical part (30-60 ECTS) and one or more research projects (60-90 ECTS).


Entry requirements
• A BSc degree in Biology from Leiden University. Students holding such degree will be admitted to the programme.
For all other candidates, such as:
• BSc graduates from other universities
• graduates with a Bachelor of Science in other natural sciences, life sciences, mathematics or biomedical sciences
• applicants with a higher professional education (HBO) degree in a related field of science, or with a diploma in Higher Laboratory Education (HLO)

The Board of Admissions will assess the equivalence of the previous training to the Dutch Bachelor of Science in Biology, which may result in additional coursework. The range of optional courses in the MSc programme may be limited by the requirement to adapt the programme to the current knowledge of the candidate. For more information, please contact the study adviser.
• Proof of sufficient proficiency in English: IELTS test level of at least 6.5 or TOEFL score of at least 570/230, evidenced by appropriate test.
This requirement does not apply if you have:
• completed your education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or
• an International Baccalaureate, or
• a Dutch bachelor’s diploma

Registration deadlines are:
• 31 August for start in September
• 31 January for start in February

For more information, please click here.

Further information

For more information about the master click here.

Coordinator of the master: Dr. R. Offringa, email: r.offringa [at]