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Courses double degree master Social Demography

What impact did the recent economic crisis have on individuals' living and working conditions, on individuals' study and career choices, on social inequalities and social cohesion? The International Master in Social Demography is a Double Degree Program offered jointly by the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) of Barcelona and the Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen.

> Double degree master Social Demography


What will you learn?

The programme of the double degree master Social Demography consists of the following courses in 2017/2018.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain (first year)

For more details of all of these courses, please click here.

Demographic Changes and Social Dynamics (5 EC)

The course introduces the key topics on demographic change and social dynamics, both from a macro-level and from a micro-level perspective. A particular emphasis is put on the issues of changing life courses.

Lecturer: Pau Baizán

Family, Gender and Society (5 EC)

The course follows a comparative, theoretical and applied perspective, and has two main aims. First, it attempts to cover recent theories and empirical studies on the role of families as institutions providing both welfare and reproducing social inequalities. The ability of families to provide welfare is strongly related to the national institutional context and, therefore, family policy or social policies closely related to family issues will be discussed. Second, it attempts to help students to link theories with empirical analysis. The students will be asked to propose an ideal theoretical model to predict a socio‚Äźdemographic event, and they will translate the theoretical model into an empirical application with real data.

Lecturer: Teresa Martín

Analysis of Social Inequalities (5 EC)

The course is intended to cover recent debates, controversies, and research on social inequality. It will concentrate on recent theoretical and empirical developments in the sociology (but also economics) of social stratification and social inequality in the advanced industrial and postindustrial societies.

Lecturers: Gösta Esping-Andersen and Marco Albertini

Social Policy and the Welfare State (5 EC)

The aim of the course is to provide students with a clear idea of the diversity of European social policies, of their historical and political origins, and to allow for the assessment of their performance. The course will also provide an in-depth account of current welfare reforms, in light of their historical development.

Lecturer: Bruno Palier

Techniques of Statistical Analysis I (5 EC)

The course is aimed to provide the basic statistical knowledge for the use and the analysis of quantitative data in empirical social science research. The main topics covered are descriptive statistics, statistical inference, and linear regression. In addition, students will learn using the statistical software Stata which will be used to illustrate the concepts and techniques introduced in the lectures, and with which students will work in the lab sessions.

Techniques of Statistical Analysis II (5 EC)

This course provides an introduction to regression analysis in the social sciences. The course builds on students’ knowledge of basic statistics to deepen their understanding of linear regression techniques, placing special emphasis on problems associated with model specification and solutions to other violations of regression assumptions. The course also provides an introduction to regression with independent and binary dependent categorical variables with logistic and probit models.

Master thesis

Students are required to perform an empirical thesis, between 7,000 to 11,000 words, in an "article" format, i.e., developed and presented as if it were to be sent to a professional journal for publication. More information.

Electives (10 EC)

For an overview of possible courses, please visit the course catalogue.

University of Groningen, the Netherlands (second year)

Migration , Families & Households (5 EC)

This course encompasses the three main types of residential relocations: residential mobility, internal and international migration, in relation to family and household dynamics. A life course perspective is used to determine how migration of individuals (at the micro level) is shaped by events in individual lives, such as leaving the parental home, marriage, divorce, child birth and retirement. It also examines how life events of significant others such spouses, children and parents shape migration decisions of the individual. The course contextualizes the manner in which the decision to migrate is influenced by the family and the household (at the meso level) and the housing and labour markets as well as welfare regimes (at the macro level). The course takes a critical view on the inequalities people experience either on migration or due to migration both within and outside family and household settings.

Lecturers: prof. Clara Mulder, dr. Michael Thomas, R. Rutigliano

Contemporary Population Issues (5 EC)

This course handles the most current population issues (such as population decline, ageing and migration flows) on macro and micro context. We will discuss the research that has been done on these topics, but also take it to the level of policy and practice. How are research, policy and practice on population issues related and what can we learn from it? Through discussions, lectures, and group projects, students will learn about population policies and practice and about the role of science in the development, implementation and evaluation of these policies and practice.

Lecturers: dr. Billie de Haas, dr. Tobias Vogt

Population, Health and Place (5 EC)

Health influences every life stage, effects the ageing process, and is shaped by the geographical context. This module is about the dual link between health - both at the individual and population level - and place or geography. In the course, we adopt both a global and a local perspective. At the population (macro) level, we study questions such as: What is the importance of the (geographical) context to population health? What are geographical differences in health and trends therein over time? But also at the individual (micro) level we will unravel the interlinkages between health and the life course. In so doing, we look, for example, at how ageing and health are perceived in different cultural contexts; or at the inequalities that people experience when ageing in a nursing home, or when living with a disability.

Lecturers: prof. Fanny Janssen , dr. Louise Meijering, prof. Hinke Haisma, dr. Tobias Vogt

Working with data in Population Research (5 EC)

The course provides an overview of different demographic data sources, techniques of data collection, and analytical measures. Data sources that we introduce you to include census, register data, and surveys. The covered quantitative and qualitative techniques of data collection include surveys, focus-group discussions, in-depth interviewing, and observation. The concepts, measures and methods used in the analysis of macro-level demographic data that we discuss include population pyramid, rates, probabilities, age standardization, decomposition methods, fertility analysis, mortality analysis and migration analysis.

Focus is on practical issues, such as which data to use for which research question, how to actually obtain demographic data, how to interpret often used demographic measures, and how to conduct demographic analyses.

Lecturers: prof. Fanny Janssen , Mateus Reus Pons , Antje Bieberstein , dr. Billie de Haas,

Life Tables and Population Projections (5 EC)

In this course, students are introduced to three main demographic techniques used in the social sciences: the life table, population projections and survival analysis. After this module, participants (a) know the fundamental ideas behind these techniques, (b) are able to apply the techniques, using Excel and SPSS, (c) can interpret the most important outcomes of the techniques, and (d) know how the life table technique can be applied to a whole range of topics within the social sciences.

Lecturers: prof. Fanny Janssen , prof. Leo van Wissen , Sergi Trias Llimós , dr. T. Emery

Advanced Statistical Analysis (5 EC)

This course focuses on models for the description and analysis of demographic events and social relationships, such as linear regression, logistic regression and event history models. You will obtain substantial knowledge and practical experience concerning statistical models for the analysis of discrete and continuous time processes in life domains such as fertility, employment, migration, and health.

Lecturers: prof. Clara Mulder , dr. Mark van Duijn

Master Thesis Population Studies (20 EC)

The Master's thesis topic is integrated in the research themes of the Population Research Centre or the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute. This comprises topics such as population decline, population ageing, global migration, life of migrants, healthy ageing in society, families, households, residence, causes of death, lifestyle, child health, nutrition, access to health care, place making of elderly. Master thesis seminars, instructions and milestones will be organized for input, feedback and the development of competences and skills. During the National Demographic Conference the students will meet established professionals in the field.

Lecturer: dr. Billie de Haas

Electives (10 EC)

Examples of potentially interesting elective modules are Population & Development, Geographical Information Systems, 'Arbeid en Levensloop'. For an overview of other possible courses within the university, please visit course catalogue Ocasys.


dr. Billie de Haas
dr. Billie de Haas

Programme coordinator

Master Population Studies:

dr. Billie de Haas

Last modified:24 January 2018 10.25 a.m.