The objective of the international one-year MSc programme in Population Studies is to train young professionals in the theories, methods and skills required to comprehend population dynamics.
Essential to understanding population dynamics is the study of demographic behaviour of people, in terms of their life events, e.g. birth, marriage, divorce, health, migration, and death. The master programme focuses on these demographic events, on how decision-making regarding these life events (e.g. its timing) is influenced by the historical, economic, societal, cultural, and medical context, and on how these demographic events have an impact on population-level trends.
You will learn about:
- Pressing population issues as population ageing, integration of migrants, health inequalities and poverty
- Individual decision-making processes behind demographic events, such as family formation, residential choices and migration, and health care use
- Collecting and interpreting demographic data
- Methods and techniques to analyze demographic data: life table, population projections, advanced survey analysis, qualitative research methods
- Population policies and intervention programmes
The field of Population Studies reflects on and deals with currently relevant demographic topics and related societal issues. The study is simultaneously concrete and broad.
Why in Groningen?
Our programme is unique in its combination of analytical and social demography, its combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, its structured progress through the research process, and its international, multidisciplinary and strong scientific orientation - as officially being recognized. Interactive ways of teaching are being employed by very enthousiastic and dedicated teachers. Within the Netherlands, Groningen is the only university offering an MSC in Population Studies.
The program has been developed for future professionals in business, government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and academia. Demographers are competent in reflecting on how the context in which we live affects population dynamics (migration, fertility, mortality, ageing, etc.) and vice-versa. This can be either through analyses of large data files for demographic data and trends, or through in-depth qualitative analysis of people's life.
The career perspectives are good. Many of our alumni continue into a PhD, whereas international mid-career alumni mostly acquire a higher position within the institute they were working.
Our alumni gain employment at:
- (interdisciplinary) research institutes
- universities (lecturer, PhD student)
- (inter)national statistical offices
- national planning and government offices
- United Nations agencies
- NGO's, like Doctors without Borders
- private companies (e.g. as data-manager or communication expert)
The Master's thesis topic is integrated in the research theme of the Population Research Centre: “Population and Wellbeing in Context”. This comprises topics such as population decline, population ageing, global migration, life of migrants, healthy ageing in society, families, households, residence, causes of death, child health, nutrition, access to health care, place making of elderly.
The master programme clearly reflects the major characteristics of the research programme by focussing on both the macro (population) and micro level (the demographic behaviour of people); by adopting multi-disciplinary perspectives (demography, epidemiology, anthropology, geography, social ageing, nutrition); by teaching both quantitative and qualitative research methods; by focusing on the translation of research into policies or interventions.
The students are being taught the theories, methods and skills that the different teachers apply in their research. They participate in seminars and discussion groups in an active research environment including guest lectures and seminars by established professionals from other demographic institutions.
Part of the Master Programme is the participation in the Dutch Demography Day - a conference for demographers - and an excursion to the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute in The Hague.