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Population Studies

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 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 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.

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 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 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 analyse 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.

More about this programme
  • Programme movie

    Master Population Studies

    – Programme movie
  • Testimonial of Yohannes Dibaba Wado, Ethiopia

    Population Studies in Groningen is known for its research

    I decided to come to Groningen, because the Master's programme in Population Studies offered in Groningen is of good quality, and is known for its research and practice oriented education. Such education is not available in developing countries like my own.

    The topics studied here are very relevant to the real world problems. Although we need to work hard in the one-year Master 's programme, I have not faced problems so far. I enjoyed the intensive guidance from the teachers and enjoyed being in the company of my fellow students, both Dutch students and students from other countries all over the world. Because we are a relatively small group, we can have lively discussions and close contacts. With the knowledge and skills obtained in the Master's programme, I would like to work as a researcher in Population/Reproductive Health issues in Ethiopia. For the moment, I am looking for possibilities to extend my training in Groningen through a PhD position.

    Close
    – Yohannes Dibaba Wado, Ethiopia
  • Testimonial of

    Webclass Population Studies

    To get an impression of the Master Population Studies and the population issues covered visit our Webclass Population Studies. Please go to www.rug.nl/nestor and log in with username frw-Webclasspopstudies and password webpopst2014!

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  • Testimonial of Auke Vlonk

    The future of elderly, housing and health care

    During my study Environmental & Infrastructure Planning (EIP), I minored in demography. It turned out to be very interesting since numbers have always been 'my thing'. After graduating with a Master's in EIP, it was a good choice to enrol in the Master's in Population Studies programme, which equipped me with a relatively uncommon combination of skills and knowledge. It turned out to be one of the best decisions in my life.

    My course mates were very committed and the atmosphere was very good: excellent conditions for obtaining knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods, getting good grades and having fun at the same time. At the beginning of my Master’s, I mentioned to Professor Inge Hutter that I was interested in an internship combined with my Master’s thesis. Thanks to her effort, I could start at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. After completing 5 months of internship, I carried on working there for almost 2.5 years, doing research on perception of infrastructure vicinities, urbanization and the Millennium Development Goals. And … I met my fiancée there.

    I found another opportunity in the Jan van Es Institute, a knowledge institute for integrated primary care. Although I knew almost nothing about primary care, I got the job: mainly because I had experience with population forecasts. Thank you Population Studies! My work entailed performing analyses of different types of research, but mainly on population and demand for (primary) health care. Several health care centres now have a platform which makes available maps and data on current and future expected demand for care (based on population and indicators) and actual demand for care (based on their patients’ data). The platform provides health care centres access to information concerning the distribution of patients, target groups, and so on.

    After three years at the Jan van Es Institute, I began working for AimTrack (September 2014), together with the owner of the platform and the owner of a health and care innovation database. The scope of the platform has been extended from primary care to an integral perspective which covers costs, health, primary care, secondary care and medication. We have also created a model for elderly, housing and long-term care since the Netherlands has to deal with e.g. ageing and rising health care costs. In the model population forecasts are combined with the current income distribution of elderly (extrapolated by using the cohort method) with indicators (by age and income) of long-term care use at home and in institutions (nursing homes). In the model we take policy into account: housing and care have been separated which implies that patients that got care in a care home will have to pay for their (new) residence themselves. Only the patients in nursing homes can ‘stay where they are’. Next to the demand for care, we also try to get a full overview of the supply of institutions, especially regarding construction year and number of places available. The current state of many institutions will not be sufficient to meet the needs and standards of future elderly with middle or high incomes: new or converted real estate will have to be developed in the next decades. The model provides us with strategic data and information regarding demand and supply of elderly, their income distribution, long-term care in the current and future situation. We collect the data and information into reports for every postal code area, municipality and province in the Netherlands. The strategic information is interesting for e.g. care organizations, insurance companies, municipalities and real estate companies.

    The Master of Population Studies degree has equipped me with a large backpack of methodological and theoretical knowledge which I use in my daily work and which also combines policy interventions and daily life practices. Furthermore, by doing an internship I got ‘easily’ enrolled into a working career. I highly recommend students to do an internship (combined with the Master’s thesis) to get to know more about how it is to work, to expand their network and to increase the chance of getting a job soon. If I had not done the Master’s in Population Studies programme, I would not have had the kind of opportunities (personal and career) I have now.

    If you would like to have more information, please do not hesitate to contact me: https://nl.linkedin.com/in/aukevlonk

    Close
    – Auke Vlonk
Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Population Studies
Croho code
60658
Course type
Master
Language of instruction
English (100%)
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Start
February, SeptemberFebruary, September
Programme form
full-time
Faculty
Spatial Sciences