MA Oncology

This study guide contains information on the Master’s Programme in Oncology provided by the VU University medical center (VUmc) for the academic year 2012/2013. Please note, that all forms and recent announcements are also available on the faculty website from the 1st of September of the academic year 2012/2013.

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

Structure of organisation
Within the VUmc, all educational activities are coordinated by the School of Medical Sciences. The programme director and master coordinator of the Master’s Programme in Oncology take care of the organisation and gearing of the curriculum. The master in Oncology has its own examination board and a programme committee. The coordinator of the Master's Programme in Oncology is the official secretary of both boards.  The programme committee advises the executive board of the VUmc, the director of the VUmc School of Medical Sciences and the programme director about the content 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 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 Programme 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 organisation, education, research and patient's care within VUmc can be found on the VUmc website:

For more information please contact:

  • Dr. Marjan M. van Duist, PhD
  • Coordinator Master's Programme in Oncology
  • Telephone: 020-4446345
  • Email:

Visiting address:

  • Van der Boechorststraat 7
  • Room: MF/D-239

Summary of requirements and guidelines for participation in items to be examined

Compulsory courses
All students of the Master’s Programme in Oncology have to attend the compulsory courses of the programme. If a particular course can have more participants, students of other Master’s programmes can attend the course, providing that they meet the entry requirements.

Optional courses
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.

Students have to have a written consent of the board of examiners, if they want to attend an optional course other than those announced by the Master's Programme in Oncology. A form for this written consent can be downloaded from the faculty website.  Courses attended without the written consent of the board of examiners will not be registered. Possible financial consequences will be recovered from the student.

Practical training periods and study of literature
The board of examiners has to give its approval of all practical training periods and the literature study.
Forms and guidelines for practical training periods can be downloaded from the faculty website.  Unapproved practical training periods will not be registered by the educational secretarial office. Possible financial consequences will be recovered from the student.

Similar guidelines are present for the literature study.

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