Revised Curriculum 2021

NIHES is revising the curriculum of its three Master Programmes; the Master of Science in Health Sciences (70 EC), the Research Master in Health Sciences (120 EC) and the Research Master in Clinical Research (120 EC). The revised curriculum will offer students a well aligned course architecture, with a coherent set of courses, that will provide a sound foundation in the core concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics. 

The revised curriculum will enable NIHES to improve the constructive alignment of the programme. Furthermore, in collaboration with the Vereniging voor Epidemiologie (Dutch Society of Epidemiology; VvE) it will contribute towards having most majors cover the requirements of registration as epidemiologist. 


Core Curriculum – First part curriculum 

In the revised curriculum structure, the main focus and content of the programme will remain the same, but the core programmewhich is shared by the three Master programmes, will comprise fewer courses that will be longer and better integrated. The goal is to reduce the assessment load and offer the students more time to gain a deeper understanding of the material. We will introduce a core curriculum that will be attended by all students, to ensure that they obtain essential base knowledge during the first semester of the programmeThe courses are individually assessed through assignments, as well as one overarching core competences exam, which aims to integrate the knowledge of all core coursesAn overview of the core programme is shown below (fig. 1 and 2): 

Figure 1. MSc Health Sciences (70 EC)


Figure 2. ReMa Health Sciences & ReMa Clinical Research (120 EC)


All students start the curriculum with a predetermined programme in the Erasmus Summer Programme (ESP). Additionallystudents are free to choose other ESP courses as part of their electives in following years. 

Note that it remains possible for students in the MSc in Health Sciences 70 EC-programme to spread out their programme over multiple years, contingent on course prerequisites. These students will discuss their planning with one of the NIHES programme coordinators. 

Choosing a Major  

In the revised curriculum, students have the flexibility to decide on a major (for the Health Sciences programme only) during the first semesterThis will allow them to obtain a good insight into what the various research areas in the health sciences include. Majors include Epidemiology, Clinical Epidemiology, Genomic & Molecular Epidemiology, Public Health Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Medical Psychology and Health Decision Sciences & Technology Assessment. Depending on the students interests and needs for their research project of choice, specific elective courses may be chosen. It is possible to graduate without a major. 


Electives and Research Project – Second part curriculum 

The second part of the curriculum offers a flexible programme that students can construct  from a broad range of short and intensive elective courses (we offer >50 electives ranging from 0.3 – 3 EC) and research project options. Our Research Themes guide will give you an idea of the research project options students can choose from. 

Research Project 

Health Sciences students will most likely do their research project at one of the NIHES departments, Clinical Research students at a clinical department. The goal is to ensure that all students graduating from the programme have mastered the core concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics (core curriculum), and have delved deeper into a specific field within epidemiology or allied areas (the majors, electives) in which they perform their research. 

Students will meet with the associate programme director of the research area of their interest to discuss the research options and choice of electives. Then they will be connected to a supervisor and together decide on a project.  From that point, the research project comprises a big part of the programme.   

Online education

The first semester of the academic year 2021/2022, starting with the Erasmus Summer Programme, will be offered fully online.  This way, our international community can be guaranteed to follow the courses as planned. The online education will provide an attractive mix of education forms with international teaching staff and students. After this period, we will offer a mix of both online and in-class education, including online instruction and assignments, small scale group work with in-class and online students, and bonding & belonging events.

View the NIHES Fall Schedule here.

More details regarding the revised curriculum will be published in the Study Guide, ready to download from here by the end of June.