Cardiovascular Research

This study guide contains information on the Cardiovascular Research Master Programme provided by the VUmc school of medical sciences. In this chapter you can find general information on cardiovascular research at the VUmc and the aim of the study programme. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 provide information regarding admission, planning, course registration, interim examinations, student facilities etc. Course information for compulsory and optional courses can be found Chapter 5. In chapter 6 you find the regulations for internships and literature study.

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 the VU University. Next to its leading role in the Dutch health service, principal tasks of the VUmc are scientific research, academic programmes and training. The VUmc has identified cardiovascular research as one of the core research areas. The VUmc has taken the initiative to develop the Cardiovascular Research Master in association with the Institute for Cardiovascular Research (ICaR-VU), creating 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 school of medical sciences is responsible for the organization and coordination of the Cardiovascular Research Master. This includes quality assurance, programme development and student guidance. Students, VU/VUmc-staff members and other interested persons are welcome to contact us for any questions and suggestions regarding the Master’s Programme. Names and addresses of the master coordinator, programme committee, professors and student-representatives can be found. emptyempty

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 (form bench to bedside).

Structure of organisation

Within the VUmc, all educational activities are coordinated by the School of medical sciences. 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 its own examination board and a programme committee.

The programme committee advises the executive board of the VUmc, the director of the VUmc School of Medical Sciences 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 disciplines and it looks over 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 composition of both the examination board and the programme committee is pointed out in appendix 1. General information about organisation, education, research and patient's care within VUmc can be found on the website of the VUmc.

Dr. E. Kanters Master
coordinator of the Cardiovascular Research Master
Telephone: 020-4445895
Email: cvrmaster@vumc.nlemptyempty

Structure and contentCardiovascular 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 European Credits (EC)). One credit is equivalent to 28 hours of study load. Each item of examination that is finished successfully is equal to a given number of credits as 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 120 credits. Tuition is in English. For more information: see website of the VUmc School of medical sciences.

emptyStructure of the Master Cardiovascular Research

The master programme is composed of compulsory courses, optional courses, a study of literature and two practical training periods (minor and major internships, 63 credits in total). 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 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 final Master Examination consists of all assessed items, which in practice means that all examinations will be added up to a total of 120 credits. The board of examiners will eventually decide whether the Master Examination is finished successfully

The Cardiovascular Research Master programme consists of the following items:

Compulsory courses30
Optional courses18
Internships:       Minor ≥21 and ≤27 EC       Major ≥36 and ≤42 EC63    
Study of literature9
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