For more information about Population Studies at University of Groningen, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MSc

How long you will study
12 months

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
February, September

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Population Studies at University of Groningen

Are you interested in population issues like ageing, integration of migrants and poverty? The MSc Population Studies trains you in theories, methods and skills needed to comprehend population dynamics.

Essential to understanding population dynamics is the study ofdemographic behaviour of people, in terms of their life events,e.g. birth, marriage, divorce, health, migration, and death. Themaster programme focuses on these demographic events, on howdecision-making regarding these life events is influenced by thehistorical, economic, societal, cultural, and medical context, andon how these demographic events have an impact on population-leveltrends.

You will learn about:

  • Pressing population issues as population ageing, integration ofmigrants, health inequalities and poverty
  • Individual decision-making processes behind demographic events,such as family formation, residential choices and migration, andhealth care use
  • Collecting and interpreting demographic data
  • Methods and techniques to analyze demographic data: life table,population projections, advanced survey analysis, qualitativeresearch methods
  • Population policies and intervention programmes

The field of Population Studies reflects on and deals withcurrently relevant demographic topics and related societal issues.The study is simultaneously concrete and broad.

Are you interested in population issues like ageing, integration of migrants and poverty? The MSc Population Studies trains you in theories, methods and skills needed to comprehend population dynamics.

Essential to understanding population dynamics is the study ofdemographic behaviour of people, in terms of their life events,e.g. birth, marriage, divorce, health, migration, and death. Themaster programme focuses on these demographic events, on howdecision-making regarding these life events is influenced by thehistorical, economic, societal, cultural, and medical context, andon how these demographic events have an impact on population-leveltrends.
You will learn about:

  • Pressing population issues as population ageing, integration ofmigrants, health inequalities and poverty
  • Individual decision-making processes behind demographic events,such as family formation, residential choices and migration, andhealth care use
  • Collecting and interpreting demographic data
  • Methods and techniques to analyse demographic data: life table,population projections, advanced survey analysis, qualitativeresearch methods
  • Population policies and intervention programmes

The field of Population Studies reflects on and deals withcurrently relevant demographic topics and related societal issues.The study is simultaneously concrete and broad.

After your studies

Job prospects

The Master Population Studies trains you to become a versatiledemographer. As a demographer you are competent in describing andanalyzing both the population dynamics of different countries orregions and the demographic behaviour of individuals or populationgroups. Also you are an expert in predicting the likely demographicdevelopments for the future.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the master programme,you are capable of reflecting on how the context in which we liveaffects individual demographic behaviour and leads to differentpopulation dynamics, which again has societal consequences.Individual demographic behaviour and population dynamics arecrucial to understand because of their effects on the economy, theenvironment, social networks, social cohesion, health andhealthcare, pension reforms and social security, family life andwellbeing. Governments, for example, use demographic knowledge in their policy-making, for planning purposes (schools, housing,health care) or in the localisation of potential problems. Also,for development cooperation, demographic information is crucial.Demographers have a good understanding of contemporary societalproblems and issues that affect people in their daily life.

During the programme we offer support for your careerpreparation. 

More information about the CareersCompany 

More information about the UG CareerServices

See where our alumni end up in this graphic!

The Master Population Studies trains you to become a versatiledemographer. As a demographer you are competent in describing andanalyzing both the population dynamics of different countries orregions and the demographic behaviour of individuals or populationgroups. Also you are an expert in predicting the likely demographicdevelopments for the future.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the master programme,you are capable of reflecting on how the context in which we liveaffects individual demographic behaviour and leads to differentpopulation dynamics, which again has societal consequences.Individual demographic behaviour and population dynamics arecrucial to understand because of their effects on the economy, theenvironment, social networks, social cohesion, health andhealthcare, pension reforms and social security, family life andwellbeing. Governments, for example, use demographic knowledge in their policy-making, for planning purposes (schools, housing,health care) or in the localisation of potential problems. Also,for development cooperation, demographic information is crucial.Demographers have a good understanding of contemporary societalproblems and issues that affect people in their daily life.

During the programme we offer support for your careerpreparation. 

More information about the CareersCompany 

More information about the UG CareerServices

See where our alumni end up in this graphic!

Download brochure

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course startsFebruary, SeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

http://www.rug.nl/education/tuition/fees/master-degrees

Entry requirements

Bachelor-Master connections

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
SociologyAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Human Geography and Urban and Regional PlanningAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Spatial Planning and DesignAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Liberal Arts and SciencesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

Direct access with Philosophy, Politics & Economics andCognition and Behaviour. Conditional access with Health & LifeSciences. No access with other majors.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
certified competences

Applicants should be fluent in English and meet one of the following conditions:

  • English at VWO level
  • Comparable to IELTS International English Language TestingSystem (Academic version) 6.5, with minimum scores:
  • Listening 6.0
  • Reading 6.0
  • Writing 6.0
  • Speaking 6.0
  • Exemptions: Native English speakers or diploma holders fromUnited States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UnitedKingdom, Ireland.
knowledge minimum

Applicants should have an Academic Bachelor degree with somebackground knowledge in Population Studies, incl. at least 10 ECTSin statistics or equivalent statistical knowledge. We assume thatthis represents active knowledge of at least variance, associationand correlation measures, chi-square tests, bivariate andmultivariate linear regression, the basics of matrix algebra and the basics of integration & differentiation, as well as someexperience with EXCEL and with syntax writing within statisticalsoftware programmes, such as SPSS, STATA and R. Applicants shouldhave an interest in research.

previous education

Students should have a Bachelor's degree in a discipline relatedto population studies. These disciplines have direct access:

  • Human Geography and Urban and Regional Planning
  • Spatial Planning and Design
  • Sociology
  • Social Psychology
  • Epidemiology
  • Global and Public Health
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Gerontology
  • International Relations
  • Development Studies
  • Statistics
  • Economics

The direct access is conditional on sufficient English commandand the knowledge minimum.

For all disciplines mentioned above achieved at a university ofapplied science, you can do a pre-master of max 30 ECTS.

professional experience

Not required

other admission requirements
  • The Admissions Board may require students that do not match theknowledge minimum, come from other disciplines, or come fromuniversities of applied sciences to follow additional coursesbefore being allowed to enter the degree programme. This premasterof maximum 30 ECTS (2 demography courses, 2 methodology/writingcourses, 2 statistics courses) will be assessed individually.
  • Applicants are advised to follow (courses of) the Minor inPopulation Studies (http://www.rug.nl/(...)tion-studies?lang=en)and/or the Web class Population Studies (see below) before enteringthe Master Programme, to obtain a good impression of the MasterPopulation Studies and the population issues covered
  • For the web class Population Studies please go towww.rug.nl/nestor and log in with username frw-Webclasspopstudiesand password webpopst2014!

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
knowledge minimum

Applicants with a Dutch or foreign certificate of highereducation that indicates that they have knowledge, understandingand skills at the level of a university Bachelor's degree and whocan demonstrate the following specific knowledge, understanding andskills will be admitted to the degree programme:

  • knowledge of the subject of Population Studies at the level ofholders of a certificate from the Bachelor's degree programme in'Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning'
  • knowledge representing 10 ECTS in statistics courses or thestudent's statistical knowledge should be equivalent to that, shownby active knowledge of at least variance, association andcorrelation measures, chi-square tests, univariate and multivariatelinear regression, the basics of matrix algebra and the basics ofintegration & differentiation.We assume that this includessomeexperience with EXCEL and with syntax writing within statisticalsoftware programmes, such as SPSS, STATA and R.
  • Applicants should have an interest in research.
language test

Applicants should be fluent in English and meet one of the following conditions:

  • English at VWO level
  • Comparable to IELTS International English Language TestingSystem (Academic version) 6.5, with minimum scores:
  • Listening 6.0
  • Reading 6.0
  • Writing 6.0
  • Speaking 6.0
  • Exemptions: Native English speakers or diploma holders fromUnited States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UnitedKingdom, Ireland.
previous education

Students should have a Bachelor's degree in a discipline relatedto population studies. The disciplines listed above have directaccess. These disciplines also have direct access:

  • Social Psychology
  • Epidemiology
  • Global and Public Health
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Gerontology
  • Development Studies
  • International Relations
  • Statistics
  • Economics

The direct access is conditional on sufficient English commandand the knowledge minimum.

For all disciplines mentioned above achieved at a university ofapplied science, you can do a pre-master of max 60 ECTS.

professional experience

Not required

reference letterNo further information
other admission requirements
  • The Admissions Board may require students that do not match theknowledge minimum, come from other disciplines or come fromuniversities of applied sciences to follow additional coursesbefore being allowed to enter the degree programme. This premasterof maximum 60 ECTS (2 demography courses, 2 methodology/writingcourses, 2 statistics courses and for students from universities ofapplied sciences, a Bachelor's thesis) will be assessedindividually. Contact: master coordinator Billie de Haas.
  • Applicants are advised to follow (courses of) the Minor inPopulation Studies (http://www.rug.nl/(...)r-population-studies)and/or the Web class Population Studies before entering the MasterProgramme, to obtain a good impression of the Master PopulationStudies and the population issues covered
  • For the web class Population Studies please go towww.rug.nl/nestor and log in with username frw-Webclasspopstudiesand password webpopst2014!

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5

What students think about University of Groningen

    If I had to choose a Master's programme again, I would be on a flight to Groningen.

    Ana Quintana, Mexico, Strategic Innovation Management

    I gained a Bachelor's degree in Management & Marketing in Mexico City before I came to the Netherlands to undertake my Master's programme. During my Bachelor's studies, I spent a semester in Canada and I wanted to expand my international (study) experiences before starting work. I was keen to focus on innovation which is not usually offered in Mexico hence the combination of Innovation and Strategy in one programme directed me to Groningen.

    My Master's thesis dealt with Innovation in family businesses and I now benefit from the intense research modules offered during the programme. Now I am working as a Promotion Manager in charge of the several customer loyalty programs offered by one of Mexico's biggest hotel chains. Although the Master's program was rather theoretical, I feel that it prepared me very well for my current job. 

    There was nothing about Groningen that I did not like: the city is just beautiful. I especially enjoyed going everywhere by bike, the variety of offers for students and, of course, the Queensday (now Kings Day) celebrations. Groningen has everything to make (foreign) students feel at home.

    Looking back a year after my return to Mexico, I feel that I especially enjoyed getting to know Dutch culture. In addition, the courses offered and the beauty of the city made my stay in Groningen an unforgettable experience. If I had to choose a Master's programme again, I would be on a flight to Groningen.

    I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of law

    Lejla Terzimehic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Global Criminal Law

    Thanks to the European Commission Scholarship and the Talent Grant from the University of Groningen, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of law that I am most passionate about, at one of the oldest and most prestigious European universities.

    Being very intellectually challenging, the master programme truly met my expectations. Sharing knowledge with my colleagues, all coming from different legal traditions, and learning from inspiring professors enriched me with the skills I hadn't attained during my previous education.

    What I found to be the most beneficial is that the Dutch education system which, taught us to develop a critical opinion on law-related issues. Moreover, this master programme had a unique approach in tackling controversial contemporary legal issues. Due to its strong comparative emphasis, it encouraged us to keep at constant track with our national law, which is of a huge significance.

    Both the master and a 6-month long internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for The Former Yugoslavia strengthened my belief in Justice. Furthermore, besides this academic benefit, I believe that studying abroad unequivocally broadens our horizons and tests prejudices we even are not aware of.

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