Programme outline (Theoretical Courses)

The Cancer, Stem Cells & Developmental Biology programme organizes theoretical courses on specific subjects relevant to the main research topics of the participating groups. The courses have a modular structure and may be taken in any combination by master students of this and other Biomedical Science programmes.

The duration of a theoretical course is 1-3 weeks. The courses are thematically grouped in 3 broad subject fields:


  • Cancer and Stem Cells
  • Development and Genetics
  • Bioinformatics and Technology


It is strongly suggested that the Master students of the programme take at least one course from each of these themes. In total, 10 weeks of theoretical courses have to be taken by each student. The compulsory 2-weeks course 'Introducing Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology' at the beginning of your Master is included in these 10 weeks.

The course programme usually consists of seminars by leading scientists in the field of the course subject. Papers by these scientists are studied prior to their lectures, and ample time is reserved for discussions of their results afterwards. In this way, each theoretical course aims to provide the students with an overview of a well-defined field of research. The courses offer insight into the current state-of-the-art in a particular field, including the latest results, the biggest challenges, recent technical advances, and ultimate goals. In addition, the relevance of the research in that area for society as a whole, and its clinical implications in particular are emphasised.


The assessment can be in the form of an exam, but many other formats can be used as well, such as writing an essay, giving a presentation or creating a research proposal. In principle, the courses require a full-time commitment. This means that you will have to put your internship on hold, and thus plan your course schedule carefully and discuss it with your internship supervisor(s). Some practical work may be able to continue at a background level, e.g. maintenance of cell lines or finishing (preparing) of previous (future) experiments.


Click here to view the Course Calendar and here for a complete overview including links to Osiris.