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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology - Research
Header image Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology

Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology

Are you inspired to conduct high-quality innovative research with a strong focus on mental and physical health? And do you aspire to work alongside world-renowned researchers who are absolute leaders in their field? Join our research master!

Mental and physical health and the reciprocal relationship between these two form the basis of the programme. The central idea is that psychological, biological and social aspects all play a role in any physical or mental condition. The CPE programme trains students to solve current health issues by applying innovative research designs and statistical techniques while making use of state-of-the-art facilities in a truly multidisciplinary setting. There is a strong focus on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of physical and mental health conditions, taking clinical, public health, and psychosocial factors into consideration. Our students work with existing large databases or collect their own data among people with or without a chronic disease, across the whole age range.

There are four research departments involved within CPE: epidemiology, public health, health psychology and psychiatry. Top researchers from these four departments teach the courses, giving students the opportunity to fully acquaint themselves with different fields of research. In the second semester, students will get to choose in which department they would like to conduct their research for their master thesis project, becoming part of the department’s research group. Students will learn to design their own PhD project as part of the programme, which makes them well-qualified to attain a PhD position anywhere in the world. The best students will be offered the opportunity to continue with a PhD at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG).

We pride ourselves on the fact that there is a lot of personal attention for our students. The programme is built in a way that strongly encourages students to focus on their individual development as a researcher, in a unique and multidisciplinary setting. Because CPE is a small-scale selective programme, every student is known by their name and has ample opportunity for interactions and discussions with the teaching staff.

The programme also offers a track called Health Systems and Prevention. This track bridges the research focus of CPE with that of health systems, health policy and prevention. HSP Track students follow the basic CPE programme, but with a focus on health systems and prevention. This focus is mainly incorporated in the Master Thesis project, which for HSP students also includes an internship at a non-academic (Health) organization, the elective courses and the research meetings.

So, do you imagine yourself becoming part of our research community? Apply now!

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology (research)
Course type
Research master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
60399
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Medical Sciences
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Pioneering in research side by side top-researchers of the UMCG
  • Unique programme that connects clinical, public health and psychosocial theory with methodological knowledge
  • Learn to use innovative techniques to resolve contemporary health issues
  • Small-scale programme, focused on your individual development
  • The opportunity to fully immerse yourself in a research topic of your own choice
  • Possibility to obtain a PhD position
  • Possibility of a scholarship (see 'Entry requirements')
Programme

The first year starts with solidifying your basis in psychology, medicine, and epidemiology. Strong attention is also given to epidemiological research methods and statistics.

To get an impression of the courses offered, go to https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/umcg/vak/showpos?opleiding=5140.

CoursesCourse Catalog >
Basics Courses (8 EC)

Basics in Psychology / Basics in Medicine. A minimum knowledge of 4 ECTS is required for both Basics in Medicine and Basics in Psychology. Depending on the background of the student the Faculty Board decides how the Basics course programme is set up for each individual student, guided by the advice of the Admission Board.

Clinical Epidemiology (10 EC)

Study Designs, Medical Statistics, Measuring Concepts in Quantitative Research

Master Thesis project proposal (13 EC)

The Master Thesis project is devoted to conducting a research project that will result in a Master Thesis. The research project must be embedded within the research institute of Health Research (SHARE) of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (in specific in one of the four research lines 'Life course Epidemiology', 'Public Health Research', 'Health Psychology Research' or 'Interdisciplinary Center Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation') or a closely associated institute.

Psychosocial Epidemiology (12 EC)

Health Psychology Research, Psychiatric Epidemiology, Public Health Epidemiology

The second year mainly consists of the master thesis project: data collection, data analyses and writing of the thesis. During the master thesis project, students choose some elective courses based on their area of interest, background knowledge, and the topic of their project within the departments of Public Health, Health Psychology, Epidemiology, or Psychiatry.

Have a look at the online course catalog to get an impression of the courses offered: https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/umcg/vak/showpos?opleiding=5140

CoursesCourse Catalog >
Coaching Groups (5 EC)
Master Thesis Project (39 EC)

The Master Thesis project is devoted to conducting a research project that will result in a Master Thesis. The research project must be embedded within the research institute of Health Research (SHARE) of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (in specific in one of the four research lines 'Life course Epidemiology', 'Public Health Research', 'Health Psychology Research' or 'Interdisciplinary Center Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation') or a closely associated institute.

Research Tools (7 EC)

Project Management, Scientific Integrity, Scientific Literature, Introduction into R

Seminar and Research Meeting (2 EC)
Specialisation Courses (11 EC)
Writing a successful research proposal (8 EC)

Writing a tender, writing a research proposal

Study load

40 hours of class and self-study per week on average

Curriculum

Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology consists of both mandatory and elective courses.

Depending on your knowledge, you will learn about the basics of medicine or the basics in psychology and psychosocial factors. Apart from broadening your knowledge in the field of health and the determinants of health, you will explore the fields of Public Health, Health Psychology, Community and Occupational Medicine, and Psychiatric Epidemiology. Strong attention is given to epidemiological research methods and statistics. You will be able to choose additional courses to suit your particular interests. Your individual development as a researcher is central to the programme and therefore you will be conducting research side by side with scientists who are leading experts in their field. Moreover, CPE is situated in the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), which means that you can benefit from a unique and interesting clinical setting and a unique availability of large data cohorts.

During the second year you will write your master thesis, which can function as the basis of your own PhD proposal. High-ranking students will be offered a full scholarship to continue with a fully funded three-year PhD programme!

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

An internship (abroad) is among the possibilities. Our international network stretches across Europe, and from Latin America to Asia!

Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Academic training primary school teacherAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Psychology (EN)All Research universitiesAdditional requirements
BiologyAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
GezondheidswetenschappenAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
Economics and GovernanceAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Human Movement SciencesAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Econometrics and Data ScienceAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Pharmaceutical SciencesAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
MedicineAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
Biomedische WetenschappenAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
Life Science and TechnologyAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Econometrics and Operations ResearchAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
SociologyAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Human Geography and Urban and Regional PlanningAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
EconomicsAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Geography, Spatial Planning and EnvironmentAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Life Science and TechnologyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Econometrics and Operations ResearchUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
MedicineUniversity of GroningenAdditional requirements
PsychologyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
PsychologyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Human Movement SciencesUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
BiologyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
MedicineUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
PharmacyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
SociologyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
SociologyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Pedagogical SciencesUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Spatial Planning and DesignUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Economics and Business EconomicsUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Bio(medical) sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences, Psychology, Social Sciences, Human Movement Sciences, Life Sciences, Biology, Sociology, Econometrics, Pedagogy, Economics, Demographical Sciences

language test

Please make sure to consult https://www.rug.nl/research/gradschool-medical-sciences/master-programmes/how-to-apply/language-requirements for more information about the accepted language tests and the required minimum scores.

reference letter

Students need to submit one letter of recommendation by an academic or previous supervisor

Registration procedure

For enrollment, please note that you have to apply for the programme via Studielink. Students with a Dutch degree should, after applying via Studielink, send an email to cpe umcg.nl for further instructions.

Students with a Dutch degree should, after applying via Studielink, send an email to cpe umcg.nl for further instructions.

After you complete your application, the selection committee will assess whether your educational/academic background and motivation meet the specific programme requirements. Students that do not meet the Admission requirements will be informed and rejected by the Admissions Office. he selection committee will evaluate the documents of the applicants and judges the past performance and motivation of the applicant. Applicants that are not selected for an interview will be informed by the Admissions Office with an explanation for the reason for rejection. Selected applicants will be invited to take part in an interview during which they can present their research (Bachelor thesis) and elaborate on their motivation to become a researcher. In addition, admissible students should complete and pass an online statistics test in which basic statistical knowledge is tested.

There are 3 submission deadlines: January 16th, March 1st and May 1st (only EU). Please consult our detailed description of the application and selection procedure.

Scholarships

Non-EU applicants may apply for a scholarship of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (GSMS). The GSMS offers scholarships to excellent non-EU/EEA applicants under the Abel Tasman Talent Program. You can read more about the scholarships here. The process of obtaining a scholarship is highly selective and non-EU applicants will need to indicate within their letter of motivation whether they depend on a scholarship in order to be able to enroll in CPE or not. Furthermore, we ask the applicant to motivate why he/she is the person the selection committee should select for a scholarship.

Selection procedure

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202301 September 2023
01 May 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
01 May 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 March 202301 September 2023
01 March 202401 September 2024

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

You are admissible with a bachelors degree in bio(medical) sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences, Psychology, Social Sciences, Human Movement Sciences, Life Sciences, Biology, Sociology, Econometrics, Pedagogy, Economics, Demographical Sciences. If you have another degree background the selection committee will determine whether the applicants background meets the admission requirements.

language test

Please make sure to consult https://www.rug.nl/research/gradschool-medical-sciences/master-programmes/how-to-apply/language-requirements for more information about the accepted language tests and the required minimum scores.

reference letter

Students need to submit one letter of recommendation by an academic or previous supervisor

other admission requirements

Non-EU students may apply for a scholarship for CPE. The process of obtaining a scholarship is highly selective and non-EU students will need to indicate within their letter of motivation whether they depend on a scholarship in order to be able to enrol in CPE or not. Make sure to motivate why we should select you for a scholarship.

Registration procedure

For enrollment, please note that you have to apply for the programme via Studielink. Students with a Dutch degree should, after applying via Studielink, send an email to cpe umcg.nl for further instructions.

Students with a Dutch degree should, after applying via Studielink, send an email to cpe umcg.nl for further instructions.

If you are applying with a foreign (non-Dutch) degree, please finalize your application in our Online Application System. More information about which steps to take as an international student can be found here After you complete your application, the selection committee will assess whether your educational/academic background and motivation meet the specific programme requirements. Students that do not meet the Admission requirements will be informed and rejected by the Admissions Office.

The selection committee will evaluate the documents of the applicants and judges the past performance and motivation of the applicant. Applicants that are not selected for an interview will be informed by the Admissions Office with an explanation for the reason for rejection. Selected applicants will be invited to take part in an interview during which they can present their research (Bachelor thesis) and elaborate on their motivation to become a researcher. In addition, admissible students should complete and pass an online statistics test in which basic statistical knowledge is tested.

There are 3 submission deadlines: January 16th, March 1st and May 1st (only EU). Please consult our detailed description of the application and selection procedure.

Scholarships

Non-EU applicants may apply for a scholarship of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (GSMS). The GSMS offers scholarships to excellent non-EU/EEA applicants under the Abel Tasman Talent Program. You can read more about the scholarships here. The process of obtaining a scholarship is highly selective and non-EU applicants will need to indicate within their letter of motivation whether they depend on a scholarship in order to be able to enroll in CPE or not. Furthermore, we ask the applicant to motivate why he/she is the person the selection committee should select for a scholarship.

Selection procedure

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202301 September 2023
01 May 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
01 May 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 March 202301 September 2023
01 March 202401 September 2024
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2022-2023€ 2209full-time
non-EU/EEA2022-2023€ 18850full-time
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 20700full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Your master thesis can function as the basis of your own PhD proposal. High-ranking students will be offered a full scholarship to continue with a three-year PhD programme at the UMCG!

If you do not wish to continue as a researcher, there are plenty of other opportunities. Alumni currently work as consultants for the World Health Organization (WHO), policy officers in the government, consultants for pharmaceutical or biotechnological companies or as university teachers.

For those students interested, you can choose to take courses to become a registered Epidemiologist A. You can find specific information about the epidemiologist training programme here.

Research

Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology is characterized by its problem-based research; our research groups focus on the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and prevention of mental health problems. As a student, you will study and work side by side with leading scientists. You will be considered a member of one of these cutting-edge research groups and in that way gather invaluable hands-on research experience.

Fields of research
Within CPE 4 departments with different fields of research take part:

  1. Public Health
  2. Epidemiology
  3. Psychiatry
  4. Health Psychology

Examples of research questions:

  • How do people function at work having survived cancer?
  • What is the effectiveness of a family centred approach in preventive child health care?
  • What is the impact of mental health on the school-to-work transition of young adults?
  • Can mindfulness support people in dealing with chronic disease?
  • How can patients learn to become more resilient (how can they break out of a negative mental loop)?
  • Do patients and their partners experience less depressive symptoms when they are able to share their worries?
  • How do partners deal with one of them having a chronic or life-threatening disease?

What do our students say?

“I think the best part of CPE is that you really feel what is like to be a researcher. You can dedicate a large percentage of your study time to your research project, allowing you to really focus on doing research. In a year’s time, you become an expert on your topic. Additionally, writing a PhD proposal is an integral part of this Master, making it much easier to continue your studies with a PhD.

My research during my Masters - and now in my PhD - looks at how lifestyle choices influence employment outcomes. For example: how do exercise and dietary choices affect sick leave? What I love about this is how practical it is. Sometimes research seems very theoretical, but for my research, it’s immediately clear how it can be used to make people’s lives better.”

- Patricia Ots, former CPE student, now a PhD researcher at the Graduate School of Medical Sciences

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‘There are sixteen students of ten different nationalities in my year. The professors and researchers that teach us, encourage us to share ideas and to do background research on our own initiative. With success. Every student is motivated and involved.’

- Manon Schallig, CPE student

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‘It is important to share science. Topics that we research in Groningen can be of great importance to other countries and vice-versa. Talking about it leads to new perspectives and maybe even opportunities for further research by like-minded researchers.’

- Matheus Silva Gurgel do Amaral - former CPE student, now a PhD researcher at the Graduate School of Medical Sciences

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact

Contact

  • Admissions Office
    Email: cpe umcg.nl
  • 
						Testimonial of Cian Mitchell

    The quality of the master is unmatched, and this is the perfect course for enthusiastic and motivated students, who want to be challenged and encouraged to reach the next step in their professional careers!

    – Cian Mitchell
    Read more

    I am so happy that I chose the research MSc in Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology at the University of Groningen, and could not recommend it highly enough!

    My experience

    From day one, the CPE office and staff welcome students with open arms, providing genuine assistance and guidance – which is highly encouraging as an international student who is new to the city and the university! The small-scale nature of the course allows you to develop great friendships with classmates while working together, while being taught by (and working alongside) some of the best minds in academia! The quality of the master is unmatched, and this is the perfect course for enthusiastic and motivated students, who want to be challenged and encouraged to reach the next step in their professional careers!

    Research project

    My research focused on the association between diet and respiratory health outcomes – which I conducted while embedded within the department of Epidemiology at the UMCG. Within the department, I got the opportunity to work alongside other MSc students, PhD candidates, as well as professors – all of whom show interest in your work, and make a genuine effort to help you in any way they can.

    Preparing for your future

    I undertook this MSc in the hopes of increasing my career prospects for the future. The CPE programme offers a ‘fast-track’ opportunity to compete for PhD positions as part of the course, but also encourages students to explore opportunities outside of academia. As a graduate of the MSc, I have recently accepted an offer to join a professional Data & AI graduate programme within the tech industry – an opportunity I was well-prepared for as a result of both the technical (research methods and statistics) and practical (communication, presentation) skills I learned as part of the CPE programme!

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Lisa Maeder

    Within this programme, top researchers and experts within their fields are teaching the courses. As the cohorts are small, the courses are very interactive.

    – Lisa Maeder
    Read more

    Mental and physical health have a reciprocal relationship and thus influence each other.

    Often, the related disciplines do not sufficiently collaborate to acknowledge this reciprocal relationship. I wanted to acknowledge this relationship and that many different aspects, such as social, psychological, and medical aspects, play a significant role in physical and mental conditions. Because of this, I applied for the Research Master in Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology as it acknowledges these relationships and highly emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach among disciplines within research.


    Within this programme, top researchers and experts within their fields are teaching the courses. As the cohorts are small, the courses are very interactive. As the Research Master students of the Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology Research Masters come from different academic backgrounds related to Health Sciences, discussions always include many different perspectives, which widens the perspective.


    Another unique aspect of the Research Master is that the students pick their Master Theses topics and supervisors - not vice versa. Within interviews, the students interview the potential supervisor to check whether they are a good match.


    Within the Master Thesis projects, which make a big part of the whole programme, students can learn in-depth about medical and mental conditions, data collection, storage and processing, and advanced statistics. Within my Master Thesis project, in which I compared the prevalence of Functional Disorders across ages, I learned an advanced statistical method I had always been interested in learning.


    The Research Master ideally prepared me for my future career in research as it provided me with the necessary knowledge and taught me the relevant research skills. I found a PhD position within the department I wrote my Master Thesis, and I am excited to continue my research journey in Groningen!

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Thaint Thaint Thwe

    What I find the most fascinating about the CPE programme is that we all came from different educational and cultural backgrounds and met together in the same place, with the same goal which is to tackle health issues in a multidisciplinary approach.

    – Thaint Thaint Thwe
    Read more

    As a Burmese student, the transition from Burmese education system to Dutch was very tough for me in the beginning but throughout these 2 years, the CPE programme helped me grow both academically and personally, I must say.

    The CPE programme itself is multidisciplinary in nature and it enabled me to view and solve health problems in multidisciplinary perspectives and sharpened my critical thinking skills. I got a chance to work together with senior researchers who are the top researchers in their field. What I find the most fascinating about the CPE programme is that we all came from different educational and cultural backgrounds and met together in the same place and with the same goal, which is to tackle health issues in a multidisciplinary approach. We, CPE students, are freely allowed to design our own projects for the master thesis project and PhD proposal and our supervisors are very supportive and attentive. Most importantly, the CPE programme trained me to be ready for real world research experiences. Overall, I had wonderful and unforgettable experiences working together with my fellow CPE students and supervisors.

    Close
Student profile

Are you highly motivated to become a top-researcher and learn all the scientific methods to get unbiased answers to your questions? Would you describe yourself as curious, critical and inquisitive? Are you an analytical thinker who is able to translate complex problems into 'to the point' and testable hypotheses and do you have an affinity with statistical analysis methods? Then the top rated research master Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology is just the programme for you!

Study support

Each student is assigned to a mentor who is responsible for the evaluation of the student's progress, abilities, and limitations. The mentor and student have at least one scheduled meeting every three months.