Introduction to the course program

General information

The PhD Course Program of the AMC Graduate School is international, demand-driven, elective, modular, and tailored to AMC PhD research. The courses are small-scale, interactive, and ‘just-in-time’. They are offered as blended learning: e-learning when possible, and/or face-to-face when needed.

The course program offers training to PhD candidates to develop their scientific skills, acquire transferable skills and broaden and deepen their scientific understanding. Each AMC PhD candidate follows an individual training program. The course program can help PhD candidates in conducting independent, original and scientifically significant research, and critically evaluating their own work and that of others. Prior registration as an AMC PhD candidate is a requirement for participation in the course program.

The AMC Graduate School currently offers 47 courses. An overview of all courses can be found in the course schedule 2017 -2018. PhD candidates and their supervisors should select the most relevant courses, while considering the candidate's prior training and the content and methods of the planned PhD research. This will result in a personalized, modular training program for the entire period of doctorate studies.

Unless stated otherwise, the AMC Graduate School courses are offered free of charge for registered AMC PhD candidates.

The general introductory course “The AMC World of Science” is highly recommended for all new AMC PhD candidates. This course should preferably be taken during the first year of research. The other courses can be taken in any order.

Compulsory courses

The AMC Graduate School does not impose compulsory courses for AMC PhD candidates. Some courses are compulsory for other reasons, though:

  • Clinical researchers that conduct research that is subject to the Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act (WMO) are obliged by law to take the BROK course.
  • The course Laboratory Animals must be taken by all researchers conducting tests or experiments on animals.

To pass these courses, participants must pass the corresponding national examinations.

  • The Laboratory Safety course is obligatory for researchers who work in a laboratory within the AMC.
  • The Radiation Protection course is obligatory for researchers who work with radiation or radionuclides within the AMC.


Most of the courses are provided by the AMC Graduate School and are taught by AMC researchers; they are open only to registered AMC PhD candidates. However, several courses are provided by other institutions and organizations, such as the Dutch Heart Foundation, or by medical research schools operating under the auspices of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Other courses in the program are provided by AMC Clinical Research Unit (CRU), AMC HR department, the AMC Career Center or the University of Amsterdam Career Advice Centre (Loopbaan Advies Centrum).

ECTS Credits

The AMC Graduate School recommends that PhD candidates take 20-30 ECTS of training and teaching during their PhD project. There is no formal requirement for a minimum number of courses, hours or ECTS.

Each course description specifies the number of ECTS credits. This expresses the estimated study workload required to achieve the objectives (learning outcomes) of the corresponding course. The workload of one academic year of full-time study is 60 ECTS. Bear in mind that the PhD course program itself is not formally approved for ECTS credits nor ECTS grades.


The courses of the AMC Graduate School have grown rapidly in popularity. The AMC Graduate School now has more registered PhD candidates and offers more courses than ever before. Courses are scheduled once or several times per year. Due to limited capacity, some popular courses have a priority list.

We are working hard to increase the capacity so that all registered PhD candidates can attend courses within their preferred time schedule. These solutions take time, and, much to our disappointment, they sometimes cannot be implemented in the subsequent course program. In the meantime, we kindly request PhD candidates to notify the Graduate School as soon as possible if they must cancel their registration for a course so we can offer their place to another candidate.

Attendance and cancellation

After confirmation of your registration, attendance at all sessions is compulsory. In the event of unavoidable absence from a session, you must notify the Secretariat of the AMC Graduate School in advance. Participants must make up missed sessions through independent study; missed sessions cannot be taken in a subsequent course.

Cancellation without consequences is possible until two weeks before the start of the course. After this period, a warning will be given in case of cancellation or no-show. Participants who have received two warnings are excluded from any further courses of the AMC Graduate School.

Course Regulations and Code of Conduct

The AMC Graduate School has a set of Course Regulations. The complete document can be found on the AMC Graduate School website. Below a number of general rules are summarized.

  • Pagers have to be switched off during course sessions; cell phones must be switched to silent;
  • Participants are expected to arrive on time for all sessions;
  • Attendance is registered; participants must sign the attendance list upon arrival at each session;
  • A certificate will be issued based on sufficient attendance;
  • At the end of the course or session an evaluation form must be filled in.

Download the Course Regulations.


A few courses have compulsory examinations. In case of a failing grade, PhD candidates are allowed only one re-examination (resit).

More information

For more information about the course program, please contact the AMC Graduate School:

AMC Graduate School
AMC, room J1A-112
T: +31 (0)20 566 3108


AMC Graduate School
Tel: +31 (0)20 - 5663108