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About us Faculty of Spatial Sciences Education

Minor Population, Development and Wellbeing

Academic year 2024-2025, semester 1b

Offered by: Department of Demography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences

ECTS: 15

Coordinator: dr. Stephen Adaawen


Population issues are crucial to societies all over the world. Almost every day media report on population-related issues such as population aging, population decline and growth, migration, and their consequences for society in terms of the labor and housing market, pensions, health care provision, the integration of immigrants, and the well-being of individuals. Changes in household formation and dissolution (leaving the parental home, marriage, divorce) are important to individual well-being and the demand for housing. Worldwide, population growth and its sustainability are big issues; migration flows have a profound impact on societies and the multi-cultural identities of individuals; the HIV epidemic has severe consequences for the population structure in sub-Saharan Africa and survival strategies of families; increasing obesity has a severe impact on population health.

Aim of the programme

The Minor Population, Development and Wellbeing is an English-taught minor that aims to provide students with academic insight into this wide spectrum of population issues. The focus of the Minor is on recent demographic trends, the causes and consequences of these trends, and the context in which they take place. The main disciplinary background of the Minor Population, Development and Wellbeing is social demography, but insights are also obtained from human geography & planning, sociology, economics, anthropology, public health, gerontology and epidemiology.

Upon completion, students know about recent demographic trends and processes, their socio-cultural background, the role of social and institutional change, and the consequences of the trends on the development of society, ranging from the Netherlands, Europe, to societies worldwide. They also know about important theoretical perspectives (e.g. the first and second demographic transition, the life course perspective), and methodological issues.

For whom?

The minor is open to every third-year student and to international students interested in population issues, demography, and population geography. The minor is closely linked to a number of other disciplines, and is therefore of interest to students from, for instance, Sociology; Epidemiology; Psychology; Planning; Human Geography; Public Health; Medical Sciences; Cultural Anthropology; International Relationships; and Gerontology.  

Students who would like to enter the Master programme in Population Studies, or one of our two DDM programmes: Social Demography (with UPF, Spain) / Demography and Social Inequality (with University of Cologne), at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, are encouraged to follow the Minor Population, Development and Wellbeing.

Inclusion of the recommended course Sociale Welvaart in this minor enables Dutch-speaking students to meet the Sociology content-knowledge entry requirements for the double degree programme Demography and Social Inequality taught by University of Cologne and University of Groningen.

Course registration

Register for the minor in Progress (under Minors in the first menu and then Spatial Sciences). Please see the deadlines and more information on the Minor website. For academic year 2024-2025 the registration opens on 24 May 2024, 12.00 pm and the deadline is 5 July 2024 23.59 pm. Register for the courses seperately. The course registration for Healthy Ageing and Population and Development is with Spatial Sciences:

  • The registration of the courses of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences for semester 1b opens on 16 September and closes on 13 October, 23.59 pm.
  • Choose Spatial Sciences in the Menu on Progress, and then Minor Population, Development and Wellbeing course units 2024-2025
  • Enroll for both courses

Global Development Studies and Sociale Welvaart are taught by other faculties, please note that they might have different course registration periods. You have to register for those courses at the faculties they are taught at.


The courses in this minor do not only approach population, development and wellbeing from an academic perspective but also from the perspective of policy and practice, for instance through guest lectures. The assignments include writing an argumentative essay and a country report, which enables students to develop practical skills that are required by future employers such as municipalities and non-governmental organisations.

Course programme

Minor Population, Development and Wellbeing

Population and Development


Semester 1b

Healthy Ageing: A socio-demographic perspective


Semester 1b

Choose 1 out of 2:

Global Development Studies (recommended course*)


Semester 1b

Sociale Welvaart (recommended course* for Dutch-speaking students interested in the DDM Demography and Social Inequality, maximum of 15 minorstudents allowed in this course) Please note: this course is only offered in Dutch!

5 ECTS Semester 1b

*It is possible to replace these courses with another course after permission of the coordinator of the minor.

The courses of the Minor Population, Development and Wellbeing are usually very well evaluated and students find it very interesting to gain insight into global and local population issues.

The course ‘Population and Development’ addresses recent demographic trends, their socio-cultural background and the consequences for societies worldwide. ‘Healthy Ageing: A socio-demographic perspective’ goes more in depth into the demographic processes of ageing and its relation to health, taking an interdisciplinary and societal perspective. For more information about the courses see Ocasys (link in the overview above).

Last modified:28 May 2024 10.15 a.m.