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Courses master Population Studies

Are you interested in studying contemporary population issues like ageing, integration of migrants, health inequalities and global population growth? In how individual choices concerning life events like family formation, residential choice and health care use are embedded in the contexts in which people live? In the master programme Population Studies students develop the theories, methods and skills required to become a versatile demographer.

> Master Population Studies

> Double Degree Social Demography

> Double Degree Demography and Social Inequality

What will you learn?

The programme of the master Population Studies consists of the following courses in 2019/2020 (click on the course titles for more information).

Population, Health and Place (5 EC)

Health influences every life stage, affects 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.

Working with data in Population Research (5 EC)

The course provides an overview of different demographic data sources, both quantitative and qualitative techniques of data collection, and measures and methods used in the analysis of population-level demographic data. Data sources that we introduce you to include census, register data, and surveys. The covered techniques of data collection include surveys, focus-group discussions, in-depth interviewing, and observation. In addition, we discuss the population pyramid, demographic 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 collect demographic data, how to interpret often used demographic measures, and how to conduct demographic analyses. In addition, a critical attitude will be taken, with a focus on ethical issues and data quality issues.

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.

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 STATA, (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.

Contemporary Population Issues (5 EC)

This course focuses on the issues of population growth, climate change, and food security. We will discuss various mechanisms underlying these contemporary population issues from a macro-level perspective. Students will become aware of the science-policy interface as they discuss the issues from the perspectives of various stakeholders and develop a policy brief for a particular country. At the end of the course, the students will represent their country in a United Nations simulation game addressing this contemporary population issue.

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.

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 are organized for input, feedback and the development of competences and skills.

Electives (10 EC)

Examples of potentially interesting elective modules are Economic Geography (including a field trip), Spatial Economics or City Matters (including a field trip). For an overview of other possible courses within the university, please visit course catalogue Ocasys.

Billie de Haas, MSc
Billie de Haas, MSc

Programme coordinator

Master Population Studies:

Billie de Haas, MSc

Last modified:01 November 2019 10.02 a.m.