MA Oncology

This study guide contains information on the Master Oncology programme organised by the VUmc School of Medical Sciences for the academic year 2017-2018. All information about admission, programme components, planning and student facilities are available on the faculty website.


Cancer is one of the main causes of death in the Western world. Since the incidence of the disease is highest among the elderly, the number of cancer patients continues to rise in our ageing society. 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 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, organise and perform oncological research.


The VUmc School of Medical Sciences coordinates all educational activities. The Programme Director and Master Coordinator of the Master Oncology take care of the organisation and gearing of the curriculum. The Master Oncology has a Programme Committee, an Examination Board and an Admission Board. 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 programme and the quality of execution. The Examination Board (EC ECRO) decrees norms concerning admission of students, and makes sure that Bachelors comply with the requirements for admission. EC ECRO further decrees the terms concerning examination of different disciplines and overlooks the results of examinations, internships and theses. Furthermore, the Examination Board evaluates the combinations of optional courses and internships of each individual student. The Admission Board is responsible for the execution of the Oncology entry assessment and the selection of the applicants during the admission procedure. All compulsory and optional courses are coordinated by different Course Coordinators.

Compulsory courses

All students of the Master Oncology must attend the compulsory courses of the programme.

Optional courses

Students require consent of the Examination Board EC ECRO, if they want to attend an optional course.  Courses attended without the consent of the Examination Board will not be registered. Possible financial consequences will be recovered from the student. Approval can be requested via a digital approval form, which can be found on the faculty website. 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 are motivated to look for optional courses outside VUmc or VU University.

Research projects

The Examination Board EC ECRO has to approve both the Minor Internship and Major Internship, as well as the Literature Study. Approval can be requested via a digital approval form, which can be found on the faculty website. Unapproved Internship or 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 programmes 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 CV, a motivation letter, a reference letter and a recent transcript. Without permission of the Oncology Admission Board and the Examination Board of the main study programme non-Oncology students are not accepted in class.


General information about organisation, education, research and patient care within VUmc can be found on the VUmc website.

Programme Coordinator
Telephone: 020-4446345

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

VUmc School of Medical Sciences
Ground floor (behind the cafeteria)
Van der Boechorststraat 7
1081 BT Amsterdam

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