Master in Oncology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Program Description

Master in Oncology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Master in Oncology

Could the common cold virus give us a vaccine for cancer? Dendritic cells are specialized cells that alert the immune system to danger. Tumours interfere with this function, thereby managing to escape detection by the immune system. Dr Tanja de Gruijl at the VUmc immunotherapy research group is trying to develop new cancer vaccines by using the common cold virus. This is just one example of the innovations being carried out in addition to traditional treatment methods.

Training a new generation of specialists to meet future challenges

Cancer is one of the main causes of death in the Western world. In our ageing society the number of cancer patients will continue to rise in the coming decades, since the incidence of the disease is higher among the elderly. Research into preventing, detecting and treating this disease will therefore become even more important in the future. Research into how cancer develops and the long-term effects of cancer treatment is also essential, especially now that more people are living longer after being successfully treated.

Cancer research is multidisciplinary and takes place within a global network. Researchers must be well equipped to function effectively in such a demanding environment. The Master’s programme in Oncology will provide you with the training you need to carry out this vital interdisciplinary work.

Career prospects

A Master’s degree in Oncology will enable you to work in the field of biomedical/oncological research at universities (including Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/VUmc) or other research institutes such as the Netherlands Cancer Institute and pharmaceutical or biotech companies in the Netherlands or abroad. These organizations are in dire need of Master’s students in Oncology. Most oncology students (75%) continue their career by working for a doctorate (PhD). Other career prospects include further specialization in medical or clinical programmes.

Why study Oncology?

Cancer research within a global network:VUmc Amsterdam – frontrunners in cancer research and therapy

At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and VU Medical Center, we have identified cancer research as one of our key research areas and have combined our resources in a single institute at the forefront of national and international research. The Cancer Center Amsterdam (CCA) is internationally oriented, but has close links with prominent Dutch research centres, such as the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI)

Wide range of perspectives

The Master’s programme in Oncology attracts a wide range of ambitious students with an interest in biomedical/cancer research – students who are looking for a new challenge and who are intrigued by new possibilities. We provide them with the excellent multidisciplinary programme they need to prepare them for a successful career in cancer research. Good communication skills and teamwork are essential.


Do you have a biomedical background and an interest in applying your knowledge of the basic principles of cellular processes to relevant clinical questions? If so, the Master’s programme in Oncology is for you. Perhaps you have more of a background in biochemistry or biophysics, or you are convinced of the importance of imaging techniques or genomics and proteomics technology? If so, this Master’s programme will challenge you to develop new techniques for modern cancer research and diagnostics. If you have a medical background and an interest in translational oncology research, VUmc can offer you a highly stimulating environment in which to expand your knowledge and advance your skills.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 1, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
1,984 EUR
Apr. 1, 2017
deadline for international students
Start date Sept. 2017
Netherlands Amsterdam
Application deadline Apr. 1, 2017
deadline for international students
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price 1,984 EUR
for EEA students; €12.000 for Non-EEA