Cardiovascular Research

The study guide can be found at the general VU-website (pdf).

The VU University Medical Center (VUmc) has been established on January 1st 2001. This date marks the formal integration of the VU academic hospital and the Faculty of Medicine of VU University Amsterdam. The VUmc has identified Cardiovascular Research as one of the core research areas. the Institute for Cardiovascular Research (ICaR-VU) has taken the initiative to develop the Cardiovascular Research Master, an ideal environment to start a career in Cardiovascular Research at the highest level. The Master’s Programme was approved by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OC&W) and started in 2009.

The VUmc is responsible for the organization and coordination of the Cardiovascular Research Master. This includes quality assurance, programme development and student guidance. The prospectus of the Cardiovascular Research Master provides information on organization of the educational programme and descriptions of courses and other components that can be examined.

Members of the programme committee are highly dedicated to the Master’s Programme. Students, VU/VUmc-staff members and other interested persons are welcome to contact us for any questions and suggestions in regard of the Master’s Programme. Names and addresses of the programme coordinator, programme committee, professors and student-representatives can be found at the end of this prospectus.

Aim of the study programme
Cardiovascular complications such as heart failure and stroke are the main causes of death in the Western world. Their incidences are still rising due to the aging of the population, obesity and, paradoxically, the successful treatment of acute myocardial infarction and cardiac arrhythmia. The acute occurrence/incidence of cardiac infarction, arrhythmia and stroke requires the restoration of vital functions in the human body with unduly delay. Research in order to prevent, diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases is therefore of vital importance.

This research master is focused on research questions aimed at the improvement of cardiac function in heart failure and the improvement of vascular function in metabolic diseases. Cardiovascular research is interdisciplinary by nature and flourishes by a close collaboration between clinical researchers and basic scientists. The clinical applications require background knowledge of physiology, anatomy, pathology, pharmacology and anaesthesiology as well as knowledge of the design of clinical trials and epidemiology. The interdisciplinary approach requires out of the box thinking and basic laboratory skills, combined with good communication with other scientists. During the courses and placements the intellectual attitude will be developed required to unravel mechanisms, their biological relevance and to find new therapeutics, in vitro, in animals and patients (from bench to bedside).

Structure of organisation
The Cardiovascular Research Master operate under the responsibility of the executive board of the VUmc (RvB). Within the VUmc, all educational activities are coordinated by the Institute of Education and Training (IET). The programme leader, and master coordinator of the Cardiovascular Research Master take care of the organisation and gearing of the curriculum. The Cardiovascular Research Master has his own programme committee and examination board.

The programme committee advises the executive board of the VUmc, the director of the IET and the programme leader about the contents of the Master’s Programme and the quality of execution. The examination board decrees norms concerning admission of students, it makes sure that bachelors comply with the commencing norms, it decrees norms concerning examination of different subjects and it verifies the results of examinations, internships and the Master Thesis. 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 composition of both the examination board and the programme committee is pointed out in Chapter 6 of the prospectus. General information about organisation, education, research and patient's care within VUmc can be found on the website of the VUmc.

Dr. E. Kanters
Coordinator Cardiovascular Research Master
Telephone: +31 (0)20 444 58 95

Structure and contents Cardiovascular Research Master

The Cardiovascular Research Master aims to train (bio)medically-oriented bachelors and related bachelors in life sciences to become masters with in-depth knowledge, attitudes and skills in the field of cardiovascular research. This includes development, execution, organization and evaluation of cardiovascular scientific research. Duration of the programme is two years (120 credit points ECTS). One ECTS is equivalent to 28 hours of study load. Each item of examination that is finished successfully is equal to a given number of credit points. All credit points per study component are listed in this prospectus and in the Education and Examination Norms. In order to receive the degree of MSc in Cardiovascular research a student has to collect at least 120 ECTS credit-points. Tuition is in English. For more information, see the website of the Master’s Programme.

Structure of the Master Cardiovascular Research
The items that have to be assessed are compulsory courses, optional courses, a study of literature and two practical training periods (minor and major internships, 63 ECTS in total). These items all have their own code of administration. Each item will be assessed separately and students will receive final marks after completion. This final mark can be the result of an examination, report, or an oral presentation at the end of a course or it can be the result of partial marks, derived from more than one examination and/or practical assessments. It can also occur that attendance during lessons is one of the obligated conditions to successfully finish the course to be assessed. Only if the student meets all conditions, he/she will receive a final mark.

The complete programme consists of all assessed items, which in practice means that all examinations will be added up to a total of 120 ECTS. The board of examiners will eventually decide whether the Master programme is completed successfully

The Cardiovascular Research Master programme consists of the following items:

Compulsory courses30
Optional courses18
- Minor ≥21 ECTS
- Major ≥36 ECTS
Study of literature9
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