What are the basic mechanisms that underlie health and disease? And how can we best study their occurrence and determinants in the divergent contexts of biomedical research, clinical practice, risk estimation and healthcare policy? In this programme, you study epidemiology in all its different facets, with examples ranging from cancer epidemiology and nutritional, molecular, clinical and occupational health epidemiology to the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders. It is also highly international, not just in content but also in composition; around 40% of students come from abroad. A key draw card is your chance to play an active role in faculty research, thanks to the programme’s close ties with Maastricht’s School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI), but also with the research schools in Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism (NUTRIM), Cardiovascular Diseases (CARIM) and Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW). The programme culminates in a thesis, which you complete under close supervision from senior scientists. Past topics have included the relationship between traffic-related air pollution and bladder cancer, the development of visual field regression in patients with glaucoma, and wheezing among children due to indoor allergens.

Please visit the Maastricht University website for more information.

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Paul Ernest, master in Epidemiology
After I studied Medicine in Nijmegen and worked some time as an assistant physician at the surgery department of a general hospital, I started as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University. I chose to follow the master’s programme in Epidemiology during my research because it helped me to understand the concepts of clinical epidemiology. In fact, epidemiology is a basic research discipline that is useful for every medical researcher. For physicians like me, the master’s adds a lot of extra scientific knowledge that has become increasingly important for evidence-based medicine used in clinical practice. A great advantage of studying epidemiology at Maastricht University is the English teaching language which attracts a high number of students from abroad. I studied with students from Indonesia, Ghana, Suriname, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and the USA. Problem-Based Learning worked well in the tutorial groups of this master’s because of the many potential discussions between students of different professional backgrounds. Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, physicians, veterinarians, and students are only a few examples of people who participated in the master’s. My final internship fitted well with my PhD project. I proceeded to the whole process of epidemiological research, from the research proposal to the final oral presentation and writing a ready-to-submit article. Finally, I graduated with distinction in January 2011 and I will now start with my internship in ophthalmology at the University Eye Clinic in Maastricht.