Molecular Biotechnology, 2017-2018

The global biotechnology industry enjoys more success and influence than ever before. Their innovations continue to improve the lives of people worldwide. Biotechnology uses biological systems to produce, among others, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, anti-tumor agents, anti-clotting factors, antibodies, but also food additives and biofuels. In addition, improvements are made to crops for the sustainable production of foods. This minor provides a comprehensive overview of the fascinating field of modern biotechnology. The discovery, exploitation and commercialization of some of our best natural products will be discussed including legal aspects of patenting. The students will familiarize themselves with the biotechnology-oriented research that is carried out at our University and in the Leiden Bioscience Park. In the last part of the minor, students will bring their theoretical background into practice in a course aiming to solve a biotechnology-oriented problem with modern genetic engineering approaches. This minor provides a sound basis for students aiming for a future in biotechnology.

General information

  • Size: 15 or 30 EC
    It is possible to follow the complete minor for an accreditation of 30 EC or to follow only the first half of the minor for an accreditation of 15 EC.
  • Period:
    15 EC: fulltime from 4 September 2017 – 10 November 2017
    30 EC: fulltime from 4 September 2017 – 2 February 2018.
  • Language: English
  • Number of participants: minimum 15, maximum 50 for the first 15 EC and maximum 32 for the second 15 EC
  • General information: Education Office Biology
    Coordinator: Dr. D. Claessen
  • The minor is provided by the Bachelor Biology


Admission criteria apply to this Minor (see Appendix 3 of the Education and Exam regulation BSc Programmes (OER)).
The minor is open to students with a keen interest and preferably a sound background in molecular biology and genetics, e.g. students from Biology, Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine, Life Sciences & Technology, Molecular Science and Technology and Biomedical Sciences. Students from other disciplines interested in the Minor can be admitted after an interview to evaluate their motivation. In case of a lack of background in molecular biology students can be asked to study selected parts of textbooks before the start of the minor.


Students of Leiden University
Registration possible from May 1 until June 15 in uSis.
You have to register in uSis by entering one of the class numbers (‘studieactiviteit nummer’):

  • For the whole minor (30 EC): 1464
  • For the first half of the minor (15 EC): 1465

NB: Registration in usis does not directly mean that you can participate in the minor. You will receive and email that confirms your registration and placement

Students of TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam
Registration possible from May 1 until May 31 via an online form. This online form will be available from 1 to 31 May on the website: Registration minors

Other students
Students from other universities can register until May 31 by sending an e-mail to Education Office Biology


The programme of the 30 EC Minor consists of five full-time courses:

  • Exploitation of Natural Products (6 EC)
  • Biotechnology: from Gene to Biobased Product (6 EC)
  • Medical Biotechnology 1 (3 EC)
  • Medical Biotechnology 2 (3 EC)
  • Molecular Design: Biotechnology-oriented Engineering of Life (12 EC)

Students can choose to follow Exploitation of Natural Products, Biotechnology: from Gene to Biobased Product and the first half of the Medical Biotechnology course, in total 15 EC. These courses will give a broad theoretical insight in the field of biotechnology.
It is not possible to only follow the second half of the Minor program, as the information provided in the first half of the Minor is critical for the practical course (Molecular Design: Biotechnology-oriented Engineering of Life).