This study guide contains information about the Master’s Programme in Oncology organized by VUmc School of Medical Sciences for the academic year 2019 - 2020. All information about the structure of the course components, admission, planning, student facilities etc. are available on the faculty website VUmc School of Medical Sciences

Aim of the study program
Cancer is one of the main causes of death in the Western world. In our ageing society the number of cancer patients continues to rise, since the incidence of the disease is highest among the elderly. Research in order to prevent, diagnose and treat this disease is therefore of vital importance. The same applies to research into the causes of cancer and the long-term effects of treatment. Cancer research is multidisciplinary and takes place within a global network. A researcher in such a demanding environment needs to be well equipped. 

The Master's Program in Oncology aims to transfer the unique combination of fundamental and translational oncology research at the VUmc to the next generation of students. The program is research-oriented and has a multidisciplinary character. Students are trained in state-of-the-art techniques in cancer research and therapy. The program also aims for education of skills for being able to develop, organize and perform oncological research.  

Structure of organization
Within the VUmc, all educational activities are coordinated by the VUmc School of Medical Sciences. The program director and master coordinator of the Master’s Program in Oncology take care of the organization and gearing of the curriculum. The master in Oncology has its own examination board and a program committee. The program committee advises the executive board of the VUmc, the director of the VUmc School of Medical Sciences and the program director about the content of the Master’s Program and the quality of execution. The examination board (EC ECRO) decrees requirements concerning admission of students, it ensures that bachelors comply with the requirements for admission, it decrees the terms concerning examination of different disciplines and it overlooks the results of examinations, internships and theses. Furthermore, the examination board evaluates the combinations of optional courses and internships of each individual student. All compulsory and optional courses are coordinated by different course coordinators. The Master’s Program in Oncology has an Admission Board, which is responsible for the execution of the oncology entry assessment and the selection of the applicants during the admission procedure.  

General information about organization, education, research and patient's care within VUmc can be found on the VUmc website. A complete description of this course can be found in the Education and Examination Regulations (OER).  

For more information please contact the program coordinator:
Telephone: 020-44 46345

Student Service Centre (SSC):
Students can turn to the Student Service Centre with general questions about the graduation, registration for courses and examinations, registration of grades and schedules.

VUmc School of Medical Sciences:
Ground floor G010
Van der Boechorststraat 7- 1081 BT Amsterdam

Compulsory courses
All students of the Master’s Program in Oncology have to attend the compulsory courses of the program. 

Optional courses
Students have to have a consent from the board of examiners EC ECRO, if they want to attend an optional course.  An approval can be asked via a digital approval form, which can be found on the faculty website of the VUmc  School of Medical Sciences. Courses attended without the consent of the board of examiners will not be registered. For registration of optional courses students can use VUnet. If registration is not possible by using VUnet (e.g. external courses), the mode of inscription and corresponding e-mail addresses are indicated in each course description. Courses attended without the written consent of the board of examiners will not be registered. Possible financial consequences will be recovered from the student. 

Minor, major internship and study of literature
The board of examiners has to give its approval for all internships and the literature study. An approval can be applied for via a digital approval form, which can be found on the faculty website Unapproved practical training/ literature study periods will not be registered by the educational secretarial office. Possible financial consequences will be recovered from the student. 

External students
If a particular compulsory course can have more participants, students of other master programs from the VU can attend the course, providing that they meet the entry requirements. A written request for participation needs to be done in advance with the Oncology Admission Board including a C.V., a motivation letter, a reference letter and a recent transcript. This has to be send to the program coordinator via email. Without permission of the Oncology Admission Board and the board of examiners of the main study program non-Oncology students are not accepted.


Level Master
Language English
Duration 2 years
Type Fulltime
Credits 120 EC
Faculty VUmc School of Medical Sciences
Master Oncology - Optional Courses
The optional courses in oncology are intended to deepen the knowledge
acquired in the compulsory courses. These options cover both theoretical
and practical aspects of oncology. Your choice of courses will depend on
your own interests and the focus of your practical training. In
principle you will be given the greatest possible freedom to choose,
however the board of examiners has to approve your choice.
Course Name Period Credits Code
Caput Structural Biology Ac. Year (sept) 6EC AM_470607
Externe Module 4 Ac. Year (sept) 17EC M_OEXTMO05
Externe Module 4 Ac. Year (sept) 17EC M_OEXTMO06
Advanced Molecular Immunology and Cell Biology P1 6EC AM_470656
Genomes and Gene Expression P1 6EC AM_470614
Protein Science P1 6EC AM_470145
Science and Communication P1 6EC AM_470587
Clinical Immunology P2 6EC AM_470655
Science Journalism P2 6EC AM_471014
Caput Epigenetics P2+3+4+5+6 6EC AM_470606
Biobusiness Course P3+4 3EC M_OBIOBUS10
Proteomics in Biomedical Research P3+4+5 3EC M_CPROTBI09
Macroscopic, microscopic and pathological anatomy of the mouse P5 3EC M_OMAMIPAT18
Master Oncology - Internships
In total, you have to spend 66 EC credit points for two internships: a
minor (30 EC) and a major (36EC). Both internships have to be performed
at a research laboratory, acknowledged by the examination board of the
Master in Oncology: The minor internship has to be performed at one of
the of the OOA Oncology Graduate School laboratories (including VU/Vumc,
NKI, AMC, Sanquin) the major internship can also be done outside this
area. We strongly stimulate students to do an internship abroad, but in
all cases the internship needs to be approved by the examination board.
All regulations regarding internship and needed online forms can be
found on the faculty website These regulations apply to
all students which started their Master’s Programme in Oncology in 2016
or later.

The Master's thesis includes the results of the Major internship,
integrated with and from the perspective of the knowledge acquired in
the compulsory education. The Master's thesis will get a uniform cover
provided and designed by the Master.

All regulations regarding Internships and required forms can be found on
the faculty website . These regulations apply to all students, which
started the Master Oncology in 2016 or later.
Course Name Period Credits Code
Major Internship Ac. Year (sept) 36EC M_OMAJORI16
Minor Internship Ac. Year (sept) 30EC M_OMINORI16
Master Oncology - Literature Study
The Literature Study will be carried out under supervision, but in this
stage of the education it is expected that the student acts highly
independent. It is also possible that the student proposes his/her own
subject and presents an own question. The study may be focused on a
scientific (bio)medical question, but a more applied or social question
is also allowed. The literature objective may be related to the Major
Internship. The aim of the Literature Study is that the student will be
able to select, evaluate and critically discuss relevant literature.
Based on the literature analysis, the student has to clearly explain not
only the state-of-the-art, but also the limitations and problems in the
literature. Depending on the context of the study, the student has to
formulate recommendations and strategies for further research to solve
remaining problems. The Literature Study is written in the format of a
review paper. It might be advised to use the concept of a systematic

All regulations regarding the Literature Study and required forms can be
found on the faculty website . These regulations apply to all students,
which started the Master Oncology in 2016 or later.
Course Name Period Credits Code
Study of Literature Ac. Year (sept) 9EC M_OLITSTU03