Postgraduate Education in Toxicology
General information on the programme

The Postgraduate Education in Toxicology (PET) programme comprises the following theoretical courses, each of which will be given in a period of approximately one or two weeks. The workload of each module is 1 credit point per week (= 1.5 ECTS credit).

General Toxicology
Molecular Toxicology
Cell Toxicology
Organ Toxicology
Medical and Forensic Toxicology
Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis
Laboratory Animal Science
Food Toxicology
Occupational Toxicology
Reproductive Toxicology
Legal and Regulatory Toxicology
Risk Assessment
Risk Communication

The courses or modules will generally be taught once a year or every other year and each can be attended separately. However, it is strongly recommended to finalise the course on General Toxicology first. This course is meant for those applicants that did not obtain sufficient general basic knowledge on toxicology, e.g. via an appropriate master programme. If this basic knowledge is not obtained, either via such a master programme or by successfully completing the course on General Toxicology, registration for other courses may be denied.

Participants completing the theoretical programme will be given the opportunity to take part in two consecutive apprenticeships of six months each, in order to obtain practical experience in applied research, risk assessment, consultancy and/or the management of toxic substances. The participant, the organization offering the apprenticeship, and the PET coordinator will jointly decide how this opportunity for individual specialization can best be exploited.
You will find a summary of each module under Course schedule.

An overview of the full range of courses and their interconnections is given in the figure below. For more information about a specific course click on the course icon.

General objectives for the programme: (outcomes, competences, skills)

The programme consists of a series of courses (one or two weeks) that collectively aim to provide participants the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge, insights and skills in the interdisciplinary field of toxicology. The programme builds upon, broadens and deepens the knowledge, insights and skills gained at the master level. The programme aims at providing candidates with sufficient theoretical background to act as a professional toxicologist in accordance with the requirements for registration as a toxicologist by the Dutch Society of Toxicology (NVT) and EUROTOX (the European Society of Toxicology).

Admission to the programme is open to all who have a sufficient background in biology or chemistry, e.g. by having obtained a university degree in biomedical, natural, veterinary or agricultural sciences. The course on General Toxicology is meant for those applicants that did not obtain sufficient general basic knowledge on toxicology, e.g. via an appropriate master programme. If this basic knowledge is not obtained, either via such a master programme or by successfully completing the course on General Toxicology, registration for other courses may be denied.

Courses focus on:
- toxicological mechanisms at different levels of biological integration, from molecule to ecosystem
- application of toxicological principles in different areas (e.g. food, occupation, environment, including risk assessment and risk communication)
- different technological approaches (pathobiology, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity research, toxicogenomics, laboratory animal science).
Each course has its own specific objectives in terms of outcomes, competences and skills. These objectives can be found in the descriptions of these courses.

Collectively, successful completion of the courses will allow a candidate to:
- have knowledge of the toxicology of compounds in terms of their primary mechanisms and the concomitant resulting modes of action at the different levels of biological integration;
- have insight in the different aspects of toxicology related to its application in the toxicological risk analysis process;
- have appropriate insight in the skills needed to 1) do toxicological research and 2) to applying this in the different application areas of toxicology (viz. the specific areas of chemical application as well as the risk analysis process)
- will be able to ethically apply the science of toxicology and communicate with fellow toxicologists and non-experts.

All courses are in English.

Most courses are one week, with some exceptions.

Each theoretical module will be organised locally by a department of one of the participating universities under the educational and organisational responsibility of that department.
Coordination of the overall programme and organisation of the apprenticeships has been delegated to the Programme Coordinator.
The financial administration and the programme secretariat are located at Wageningen University.
The PET Board ("Commissie van Toezicht") consists of professors at the toxicology departments in the participating universities as well as representatives from industry, government ministries, research institutes, and the Netherlands Society of Toxicology. On behalf of the participating universities the board supervises the organisational and financial aspects of PET and the quality of the curriculum.

Target groups
The PET programme distinguishes three target groups:
a) Those wishing to use the programme as a vocational postgraduate training in toxicology. In general, these participants will take all courses and do both apprenticeships.
b) Those enrolled in a PhD programme in toxicology. In general, these participants will choose those modules that will increase their theoretical knowledge in areas of toxicology not directly related to their field of research.
c) Those working in industry or government in fields related to toxicology. In general, these participants will select one or more modules in order to increase their background knowledge.

-The fee for the theoretical courses given under the responsibility of the PET management for most of the courses is € 2,600.- per 2-week modules and € 1,300.- for 1-week modules.*
-Those enrolled in a university PhD programme may apply for a reduced fee of € 600.- per two-week module and € 300.- for 1-week modules (except Laboratory Animal Science)
-In principle these reduced fees of € 300,- applies only for PhD students in one of the 8 Dutch Universities that cooperate in the PET programme. However, we could offer a reduced fee of € 500,- for PhD students from other Universities also from outside The Netherlands. A prerequisite would then be that we have convincing proof of the student status, e.g. by an accompanying letter of the PhD supervisor.
-Participation in the complete PET programme costs € 17,000.-
In individual cases, a discount may be given, depending on the source of finan­cing.
-The fee charged for the module "Laboratory Animal Science" is depending on whether candidates register for course A (3 weeks, meant for those actively involved in animal experimentation) or course B (one week). The fee for course A is € 1250.-, as charged by Laboratory Animal Science, UU. Course B will cost € 1300.-, PhD students my apply for a reduced fee of € 570.

When a registration is cancelled between one month and two weeks before the starting date or the course, half the amount of the course fee will be charged, thereafter the full cost will be charged.

* For some courses special rates apply, please see our website for further information.

The syllabi, summaries or overhead sheets relating to the various courses are included in the fee. For some courses a handbook will be used during the course, see the information for separate courses.
-Board and lodging and travelling expenses are not included in the fee.

Application is open to all graduates with a university degree in biomedical, natural, veterinary or agricultural sciences, and who have a sufficient, relevant background in biology and chemistry.
Applications (application form and CV) should be submitted in writing (or by e-mail) to the PET secretariat:

Ms G.A. Dijker
Postgraduate Education in Toxicology
Wageningen UR
P.O. Box 8000
NL-6700 EA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0)317-48 26 56

Additional information
For additional information on the Postgraduate Education in Toxicology, please contact the Coordinator
(Dr. H.P.M. Vijverberg) at the above address. It is also possible to e-mail (
phone (+31-317-48 26 56) or fax (+31-317-48 49 31)

Jaarverslag 2012 (in Dutch only)