The Oncology master is a 2-year (120 ECTS) master that 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.

This master offers you a challenging program with a high degree of freedom to choose among a number of outstanding research groups for practicals and several specialized master courses. The program coordinator advises you during your career development and helps you to set-out a tailor-made program of your interests.

During this master you will gain:

  • An outstanding knowledge of Oncology within the context of the biomedical and life sciences.
  • Knowledge of state of the art techniques and methodology applied in oncology research.
  • Knowledge of the fundamental aspects of growth and progression of normal and tumor cells.
  • Experience in reading the relevant Oncology literature and an understanding of the societal and social aspects of Oncology research.


This master has no specific tracks, it does however offer specialization by picking of optional courses (you may even choose courses from other masters, if allowed by the examination board).

Study components

This study includes the development, execution, organization and evaluation of scientific research and is completely taught in English. The two years consist of the following components:  compulsory courses, optional courses, a study of literature and two practical training periods. The practical training period consists of a minor and major internships together counting for 66 EC in total. The major internship automatically will be your Master Thesis.

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 EC. The board of examiners eventually decides whether your Master Examination is finished successfully.

You have the possibility to choose one of our international partners for your major internship. The Master’s Program in Oncology consists of the following items in which Research Training and optional courses can be exchanged.

  • Compulsory courses (30 ECTS):
    • Oncogenesis (6 ECTS)
    • Tumor Immunology (6 ECTS)
    • Tumor Biology and Clinical Behaviour (6 ECTS)
    • Innovative Tumor Therapies (6 ECTS)
    • Scientific Writing in English (3 ECTS)
    • Biostatistics (3 ECTS)
  • Optional courses (15 ECTS):
    • Biobusiness (3 ECTS)
    • Clinical Oncology (6 ECTS)*
    • Viral Oncogenesis (3 ECTS)
    • Symbolic and cultural meaning of Cancer (3 ECTS)
    • Research Ethics (3 ECTS)
    • Caput Epigenetics (6 ECTS)
    • Laboratory Animals (4 ECTS)*
    • Radiation Protection Course (3 ECTS)
  • Practical training (75 ECTS):
    • Minor internship (27- 33 ECTS)
    • Major internship- Master Thesis (33- 39 ECTS)
    • Literature study (9 ECTS)

And many other master courses if accepted in your study program by the examination board. (* Accepted under certain conditions.) For more information about the content of courses go to the study guide.

A more information about the courses can be found at the study program page on the VU website and a course schedule can be found on the VUmc website.


You must have a Bachelor’s degree and basic knowledge of oncology and immunology in order to join this research Master’s program. The Examination board will assess whether you can enroll in our Master’s Program based on your previous education and experience.

To enter the program you must pass the assessment. This assessment has been developed to test your academic skills and background. The assessment will test your knowledge obtained during your bachelor and previous relevant education and will consist out of two parts (academic skills and background).

For more information or the requirements and registration see the admission and application page on the VU website.

Please note the following:

  • VU University Amsterdam requires all international applicants to pass an English language proficiency test.
  • Curious whether you can join our program? Contact the Coordinator of the Master Program in Oncology (Dr. MM. van Duist) and send in your curriculum vitae and diplomas to masteroncology@vumc.nl. For more contact information see the contact page of the master on the VU website.

Further information

  • The year schedule 2013 – 2014 can be found at the VUMC website.
  • Further information about the MSc program Oncology.
  • A more detailed description of the courses can be found in the study guide on the VU website and in the study guide on the VUmc website.
  • Information about the master can also be found on the VUMC Master Oncology website.

Disclaimer: This page contains a consolidation of information found on the VU, FALW, VUmc and master specific websites; hence no rights can be derived from the information on this page, for more up to date, detailed and accurate information please refer to aforementioned websites!