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Master Personalized Medicine

Last updated on 1 December 2023
The Master Personalized Medicine trains students to become a bridge builder between the clinic, scientific research and technological development.

The Master Personalized Medicine educates you to become a research scientist. The programme aims to train (bio)-medically oriented bachelors and related bachelors in Life Sciences to become independent researchers with in-depth knowledge on different aspects of clinical and translational research, imaging and personalized medicine. You are particularly trained to build bridges between clinicians, experimental researchers and technology. The Master Personalized Medicine is a two-year international programme of 120 ECTS and is taught completely in English. The Master is embedded in the Faculty of Medicine VU Amsterdam, which facilitates interaction with health care providers and investigators in the field of Oncology and Epidemiology.

The two-year programme consists of the following components: click here

The final Master Examination consists of all assessed items, which in practice means that all examinations will be add up to a total of 120 EC. The Examination Board eventually decides whether your Master Examination is finished successfully.

More information on a master's degree in Personalized Medicine

  • Courses


    The master Personalized Medicine educates you to become a research scientist with in depth knowledge, attitudes and skills regarding clinical research, imaging and personalized medicine. You are particularly trained to build bridges between clinicians and experimental researchers.
    Master programme is a two-year international programme of 120 ECTS and tuition is completely in English.
    The Master is embedded in the Faculty of Medicine VU Amsterdam, which facilitates interaction with health care providers and investigators in the field of Oncology and Epidemiology.

    The programme consists of 36 EC compulsory courses and 12 EC optional courses. The programme includes lectures, workshops, demonstrations and literature sessions. You can make an individual choice regarding the optional courses, and it is encouraged to follow courses at other faculties or even other universities. If you want to register for a course or exam, the standard VU Amsterdam rules for registration apply. Attendance of at least 80% is obligatory for both the compulsory courses and the optional courses. If you are for some reason unable to attend, you need to inform the course coordinator on forehand.

    Overview courses

    Exams and retakes

    All compulsory and optional courses will be finished with an exam or assignment. This exam or assignment usually takes place on the last day of the course. The learning objectives for every exam are indicated in the description of the course. Retakes of the compulsory courses will take place after the Christmas holidays. You have to inform the course coordinator and master coordinator in case of unforeseen absence on the day of the exam (e.g. illness). Each semester, you are required to register for the compulsory courses during the official registration period.

    You can register for courses via the registration module.

    • You will be automatically registered for the re-sit if you did not pass the exam for a course at the VU.
    • If you have not registered for a course (part) during the registration period, you can no longer register for the exam or re-exam outside the registration period.
    • You can withdraw from a course up until the first week of classes. 
    • You will receive updates on your VU email about signing in and signing out to avoid a No Show (NS) result.

    All the rules and regulations concerning exams and retakes of the compulsory courses and optional courses are described in the Teaching and Examination Regulations (TER).

    Register/deregister for courses and exams: Register/deregister for courses and exams - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( Problems with registering click link 

    Compulsory courses

    Which compulsory courses apply within your Master programme, currently the compulsory courses are the following:

    Personalized Medicine6September
    Data Science & Bioinformatics6October
    Basics of Clinical Research & Regulations6November
    Imaging Principles6December
    Specialization Medical Imaging*
    Medical Imaging I
    Medical Imaging II
    12January - February
    Specialization Technological Developent*
    Technical Developement I
    Technical Developement II
    12January - February
    Specialization Biomarkers & Medicines*
    Biomarkers & Medicines I
    Biomarkers & Medicines II

    January - February
    Academic Core
    Throughout the programme

    * Students follow one specialization of their own choice (12 EC). A maximum of 20 students can be placed in each specialization. 

    More information can be found in the Teaching and Examination Regulations (TER).

    Optional courses

    The master Personalized Medicine has reserved 12 EC for optional courses. You can make a choice of the optional courses listed for the Master programme or follow a course at another faculty or university. A limited number of optional courses can be found in the study guide, but we encourage you to find optional courses outside the Faculty of Medicine VU. You always need to ask permission from the Examination Board using the digital approval form and check the information about the course in the study guide.

    Optional courses in 2024-2025:

    Name courseDateOrganizer
    Biomedical Proteomics
    Prof. dr. Connie Jimenez
    Prof. dr. Arjan Griffioen 
    Cardiac Development September R.J. Oostra
    Entrepreneurship in Human Movement Sciences
    TBAProf. dr. E. Masurel

    Here you find a list of all optional courses followed by students in previous years.

    After completion of an optional course outside VU Amsterdam, fill in the credit registration form and send it to the Personalized 

  • Internships

    In total, a student has to spend 60 EC for two internships: a minor internship (24 EC) and a major internship (36 EC). Both internships have to be performed at a research laboratory or orther research department acknowledged by the Examination board Science Masters. At least one of the internships should be performed at a university medical center. The minor internship may be any (bio)medical topic and has to be performed in The Netherlands. The major internship must have a character that is related to the content of the programme and can be performed outside the VU or abroad. Each internship needs to be approved in advance by the examiner internships.

    Make sure you carefully read the Internship Regulations!


    Students are encouraged to look for an internship at least 3 months before the start of their internship. For clinical internships or internships abroad a period of 6 months in advance is advised. Finding an appropriate internship is part of your networking skills and competencies.

    Duration and content

    One week full-time (40 hr. / week) is an equivalent of 1.5 EC. Therefore, the minor internship will be 16 weeks and the major internship will be 24 weeks. Interruptions need to be taken into account when calculating the total number of EC.

    All internships have to include the following elements:

    • Theoretical deepening related to the programme
    • Elaboration, execution and analysis of the research question
    • Formulation of conclusions and recommendations
    • Written report in English
    • Oral presentation in English

    Amsterdam UMC Assessor

    The written report needs to be verified by a second assessor from Amsterdam UMC (VU/VUMC or AMC). This Amsterdam UMC assessor needs to be invited by the student but has to be approved by the Examiner ILS and has to work at least at the level of assistant professor (UD). He/she will critically review the report and give a mark based on the report without considering the writing process or practical skills. For external internships the Amsterdam UMC assessor is also asked to serve as backup for questions of the student and/or the assessor.

    Approval and paperwork in advance

    Before starting an internship, a student always has to request approval of the Examination Board of the Master progamme. Only students who obtained a 5.50 or higher for 4 out of the compulsory courses of the programme can request to start their minor internship. For approval you need to completely fill out the digital approval form to allow the Examination Board to make a sound decision based on the provided information. When your internship has been approved, you and your supervisor will receive an email stating the decision of the Examination Board.

    Approval of the major internship is no longer valid when the travel code announced by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the relevant country is orange or red. In that case, conducting the scientific internship in the country previously approved is not permitted. Students who nevertheless want to go abroad for their research internship under code yellow, are obliged to take this up with their study coordinator and/or internship examiner.
    Any costs in the event of cancellation or early return as a result of a change to code orange or red will not be reimbursed by any fund or funds.

    Internship portfolio

    During your internship, you should provide us with several documents. The Internship Portfolio contains all required forms mentioned below and information needed during your internship. Only a complete portfolio handed in via emai l will result in registration of your grades and credits!

    During your internship

    List of Agreements (A) needs to be filled out and send via email within 2 weeks after starting your internship. This list describes the agreements made by the student and the supervisor about the start and ending of the internship, interruptions like optional courses, vacations/holidays or other obligations. Within 6 weeks after starting your Internship, a Research Proposal (B) should be written and send to the internship assessor and programme coordination. In addition, it is compulsory to have an Interim Assessment (C) with your supervisor. This assessment is used to evaluate your work at the department and assess whether the internship can be finished successfully. Halfway, you should give an oral presentation to the department to present the findings you obtained so far. 

    Finishing the internship

    At the end of the internship, an assessment form has to be filled out. The Criteria Guidelines in the internship Regulations should be used during the assessment to ensure uniform grading. The total mark is based on the quality of the practical work (40%), the written report (40%) and the oral presentation (20%).
    After sending a PDF of your report and your Internship Portfolio via e-mail your report will be reviewed and graded by an independent examiner. The final mark of the written report will be the average of the individual marks for the report given by the supervisor and the independent assessor.

    Please also send your report and the link of the second assessor assessment form to your second assessor.
    In addition, you should fill in the online evaluation form.

    Master thesis

    The Master thesis includes the results of the major internship, integrated with and from the perspective of the knowledge acquired in the compulsory education. The Master thesis will get a uniform cover front and cover provided and designed by the Master programme.

    All forms for approval and assessment, front and cover for the master thesis and other information can be found here.

    Internship abroad

    Are you planning an internship outside the Netherlands?

    The International Office can assist you in finding a suitable scholarship and make sure you leave fully prepared for your internship. When you tick the box 'This internship will be conducted outside of the Netherlands' in the approval form, the International Office will automatically be notified that you will perform your internship abroad. After you have received approval from the Examination Board, you can make an appoint with the International Office, send them an e-mail.

    The portfolio Science Masters Internship Abroad contains information on scholarships, visa etc. The portfolio can be downloaded from Canvas.

  • Literature study


    Your Literature Study will be carried out under supervision, but in this stage of your education it is expected that you act highly independent. It is also possible that you propose your own subject and present your own question. The study may be focused on a scientific (bio)medical question, but a more applied or social question is also allowed. The literature objective may be related to your major internship. The aim of the Literature Study is that you will be able to select, evaluate and critically discuss relevant literature. Based on the literature analysis, you have to clearly explain not only the state-of-the-art, but also the limitations and problems in the literature. Depending on the context of the study, the student has to formulate recommendations and strategies for further research to solve remaining problems. The Literature Study is written in the format of a review paper.

    Make sure you carefully read the Literature Study Regulations!

    Literature study figure 


    For your Literature Study you need to find a subject related to the content of the master programme that interests you.  You can either find a suitable supervisor with knowledge on the particular subject you are interested in or find a supervisor from the lecturers that have been presenting during the courses. If you are not able to find a suitable subject or supervisor, your programme coordinator can assist you.

    Amsterdam UMC Assessor

    The Literature Study report needs to be verified by a second assessor from Amsterdam UMC (VU/VUMC or AMC). This Amsterdam UMC assessor needs to be invited by the student but has to be approved by the Examiner ILS and has to work at least at the level of assistant professor (UD). He/she will critically review the report and give a mark.

    Approval and literature study portfolio

    Your Literature Study needs to be approved by the Examination Board. For approval you need to fill out the approval form for a Literature Study. Finish the form as completely as possible to allow the Examination Board to make a proper assessment of your request.
    The Literature Study also has a portfolio. The Literature Study Portfolio contains a summary of the assignment and the Survey Outline which needs to be written and send to within 2 weeks after the start of the Literature Study.

    After writing your Literature Study, you need to give an oral presentation at the department of your supervisor/assessor to present your findings.
    When your Literature Study is finished, your assessor fills out the assessment form. As guidance, your assessor can use the Criteria Guidelines in the Literature Study Regulations which contain an overview of the assessment criteria. The total mark consists of 10% research outline, 70% report and 20% oral presentation.

    You have to send your report and the second assessor assessment form to the Amsterdam UMC assessor who will review and grade the written report. The final mark of the written report will be the average of the individual marks for the report given by the supervisor and the Amsterdam UMC assessor.
    Furthermore, you have to send a PDF of your report and Internship Portfolio to
    In addition, you should fill in the online evaluation form.

    All forms for approval and assessment and other information can be found here.

  • Academic Core

    The Academic Core is a component of the master programme which is designed to prepare students for the transition from student to scientist. During this course, students will learn academic elements such as writing a CV, skills required for a job application and participating in a conference. The academic skills are all related to a future career in scientific research.

    In the Academic Core the student learns several academic and transferable skills like career development (including a resume assignment), legal and ethical judgment, presenting skills, conference participation and networking. Most of the academic and transferable skills are integrated in the programme components and tested in the assessments. Others are explicitly separated in special meetings. A mentor someone in the field is assigned to each student. The student has to contact the mentor at least twice during the master to discuss aspects of a career in science. The students complete an Academic Core portfolio to demonstrate their development, and this is evaluated by the examiner of the Academic Core.

    The course lasts throughout the entire programme. During the course, students should make an Academic Core Portfolio. At the end of the first year, the student has to send the assignments of the first year before the first of September to the programme coordinator via e-mail. Upon completion of the whole portfolio, the student must send this portfolio to the programme coordinator and it will be assessed during a meeting with the Academic Core examiner. Afterwards, the Academic Core will be completed.

    Academic Core overview 

  • Graduation

    Are you in the process of completing your Master's programme? VU Amsterdam will automatically start your graduation.
    Once you have completed the final part of your studies, you will receive an email from VU Amsterdam, containing an overview of your results and the date of your graduation. Would you rather not graduate on the date given?

    In certain circumstances, you can submit a request to your Examination Board to postpone your graduation. However, you must submit a postponement request within two weeks of receiving the email, otherwise you will graduate automatically. 

    More information on the new graduation process and submitting a request for postponement can be found on

    More information

    All information about graduation, awarding degree certificates and related topics can be found on VUweb. 
    Student must have: 

    • All of their assessments/marks registered on VUweb, but at least 4 weeks before the exam date;
    • You have fulfilled the requirements for the Master programme as stated in the Academic and Examination Regulations (OER);
    • On the requested graduation date, you will still be enrolled in the degree programme for which you are requesting your diploma;
    • You have met all your payment obligations (tuition fees);
    • If you stop your studies without successfully completing the final examination, you can obtain an attendance certificate from the Examination Board, provided that you have successfully completed at least two course components. The attendance certificate lists those examinations.

    What is the graduation date?

    • Your graduation date will be in the month in which you officially completed your degree programme. This is always the last working day of the month. This date will also be stated on your degree certificate. Please note: it is not the date on which the degree awards ceremony is held.
    • The graduation ceremonies take place only in the months January, June and September.
    • The official graduation date is important for your deregistration from Studielink, your tuition fees, and your public transport pass.
    • Please consult the Graduation Schedule below to see which deadlines apply to you.
    Graduation date
    Graduation ceremony

    10 May 2024

    10 June 2024

    12 July 2024 

    16 August 2024 

    31 May 2024

    30 June 2024***

    31 July 2024***

    31 August 2024***

    4 October 2024

    16 September 2024

    18 October 2024 

    18 November 2024**

    13 December 2024**

    30 September 2024

    31 October 2024

    30 November 2024

    31 December 2024

    31 January 2025

    13 January 2024

    10 February 2024

    10 March 2024

    14 April 2024

    31 January 2025

    28 February 2025

    31 March 2025

    30 April 2025

    27 June 2025

    *Deadline for submitting all final products (Minor, Major, Literature study, Academic Core Portfolio) and the
     **In July and November and December, the deadline is one week earlier.
    ***If you graduate in the summer (June, July, August), you can let your registration expire on 31 August.

    Degree awards ceremony   

    Degree awards ceremony

    • Will you attend your graduation ceremony? 
      Keep in mind the following:
      • You will receive your invitation to the ceremony no later than two weeks beforehand
      • Each graduate is permitted to bring max 5 guests 
      • Bring with you a valid form of identification (passport, IDcard or driver's license)
      • If there are less than 6 graduates, the ceremony might be cancelled. If you are already registered for the graduation ceremony, you will automatically be moved to the next graduation ceremony. 

    The graduation ceremony is an official part of the Master Personalized Medicine and not a formality. Therefore, your presence is mandatory. If, by any chance, you are unable to come to the ceremony, you need to send an official statement to the progamme management with a valid reason for not attending. If the management approves your request, you could get the option to obtain your diploma at the nearest Exam Committee meeting. 

    Note: being abroad for vacation or work is not a valid reason. In addition, it is not possible for your diploma to be sent via post due to strict academic regulations of the Faculty of Medicine VU Amsterdam.

    What to do after graduation?

    Stay in touch and connect with us on our LinkedIn page
    We will post interesting updates and information relating to the programme, upcoming events etc.!

  • FAQ


    • How do I request approval for an optional course? 
      You must fill in the digital approval form for optional courses. 
    • How do I register credits for an optional course? 
      You must fill in the credit registration form for optional courses.
    • I want to do a course at a different university, is that possible? 
      Yes, you can follow courses at universities other than VU Amsterdam. However, you always need to request this at the Examination Board by using the approval form for an optional course.


    • How do I request approval for an internship? 
      For every internship you must request approval for an internship by filling out the internship approval form
    •  Who do I fill in as first/second supervisor? 
      Your first supervisor is usually your day-to-day supervisor (PhD student or post-doc), your second supervisor is a principal investigator (post-doc or professor).
    • Do I have to hand in hard copies at the Student Desk? 
      No, you only need to submit the PDF version of your report and portfolio via email 

    Literature study

    • How do I request approval for a Literature Study? 
      For every Literature Study, you must request approval by filling in the Literature Study approval form
    • How many ECTS/week does the Literature Study take? 
      The Literature Study grants 9 EC and officially lasts 6 weeks (full time).
  • Contact

    Programme management master Personalized Medicine


    Postal address
    Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc
    Faculty of Medicine VU Amsterdam, Master Personalized Medicine
    Room G-010
    PO BOX 7075
    1007 MB Amsterdam - The Netherlands


Do you have any questions? Please contact the Student Service Centre of the Faculty of Medicine.

Call +31 (0)20 44 48010 (Mon – Fri: 10:00 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 16:30)

Programme related questions

Send an email for question related to:
- Bachelor/Minors:
- Master:
- Oncology:
- Personalized Medicine:
- International Office (BIS):