Population Studies

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

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Deze opleiding

!Deze opleiding communiceert alleen in het Engels.
We tonen daarom de Engelstalige opleidingsinformatie.
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.

open_in_newstudy website


diplomaMSc Population Studies
typeregulier, 60 EC
start1 februari, 1 september
taalvolledig English
opleidingsduur12 maanden voltijd
heeft geen numerus fixus
geen honoursprogramma
Master Population Studies Groningen

Waarom aan de Rijksuniversiteit?

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 enthusiastic and dedicated teachers. Within the Netherlands, Groningen is the only university offering an MSC in Population Studies.
Our Master Population Studies ranks second among all Geography and Planning related Master studies that are provided in the Netherlands, with an overall score of 8 out of 10. The ranking is an annual publication of the 'Centrum Hoger Onderwijs Informatie' and reflects a critical comparison of studies, partly based on students' evaluations over the years 2012 and 2013.

Open dagen en meeloopdagen

Masterweek Groningen
Van 19 t/m 23 maart 2018 organiseren de faculteiten op verschillende dagen een mastervoorlichting op locatie. Aanmelden kan vanaf eind februari 2018.
Master Event Spatial Sciences Groningen


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opbouwFor more information about the courses in this programme, please visit http://www.rug.nl/frw/education/master-info-frw/courses-master-population-studies. This is the programme for academic year 2017-2018.
Population, Health and Place
5 EC
Working with Data in Population Research
5 EC
Optional courses MSc Population Studies
10 EC
Life Tables and Population Projections
5 EC
Migration, Families & Households
5 EC
Master's Thesis Population Studies
20 EC
Advanced Statistical Analysis
5 EC
Contemporary Population Issues
5 EC


taal van onderwijs100% en
onderwijsopzet50% zelfstudie
25% theorie
25% praktijk
For any questions about your study planning, choice of study and personal circumstances that influence your study, you can contact the study advisors of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. For more information, see http://www.rug.nl/frw/education/more-education/studiebegeleiding.

Toelating en studiekosten

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1 februari 2018
aanmelding deadline : 15 januari 2018
wettelijk tarief : € 2060
instellingstarief : € 2060
niet-EU/EER studenten : € 14350
1 februari 2019
aanmelding deadline : 15 januari 2019
collegegeld nog niet bekend
1 september 2018
aanmelding deadline : 15 augustus 2018
wettelijk tarief : € 2060
instellingstarief : € 2060
niet-EU/EER studenten : € 14350
1 september 2019
aanmelding deadline : 15 augustus 2019
collegegeld nog niet bekend

Applicants with a Dutch or foreign certificate of higher education that indicates that they have knowledge, understanding and skills at the level of a university Bachelor's degree and who can demonstrate the following specific knowledge, understanding and skills will be admitted to the degree programme:

  • knowledge of the subject of Population Studies at the level of holders of a certificate from the Bachelor's degree programme in 'Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning'
  • knowledge representing 10 ECTS in statistics courses or the student's statistical knowledge should be equivalent to that, shown by active knowledge of at least variance, association and correlation measures, chi-square tests, univariate and multivariate linear regression, the basics of matrix algebra and the basics of integration & differentiation.We assume that this includessome experience with EXCEL and with syntax writing within statistical software programmes, such as SPSS, STATA and R.
  • Applicants should have an interest in research.

Applicants should be fluent in English and meet one of the following conditions:

  • English at VWO level
  • Comparable to IELTS International English Language Testing System (Academic version) 6.5, with minimum scores:
  • Listening 6.0
  • Reading 6.0
  • Writing 6.0
  • Speaking 6.0
  • Exemptions: Native English speakers or diploma holders from United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland.

Students should have a Bachelor's degree in a discipline related to population studies. The disciplines listed above have direct access. These disciplines also have direct access:

  • Social Psychology
  • Epidemiology
  • Global and Public Health
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Gerontology
  • Development Studies
  • International Relations
  • Statistics
  • Economics

The direct access is conditional on sufficient English command and the knowledge minimum.

For all disciplines mentioned above achieved at a university of applied science, you can do a pre-master of max 60 ECTS.

Not required

reference letter

estimated monthly costs

bron: Nibud
303kamerhuur in Groningenrond het landelijk gemiddelde
158collegegeldop basis van € 1906 per jaar
80studieboeken en -spullen
77uiterlijkkleding, kapper, schoenen
132vrije tijdstappen, uit eten, vakantie
42vervoernaast de OV-kaart

€ 1171totale maandelijkse uitgaven landelijk gemiddelde is € 1181
Hiernaast staat een overzicht van de gemiddelde kosten die een uitwonende student heeft. Niet iedere student heeft met iedere kostenpost te maken. Het totaalgemiddelde is dus niet gelijk aan de optelsom van alle kostenposten.

Bekijk ook de uitgebreide toelichting: wat kost studeren?

Studenten en studentenleven


? studenten volgen deze opleiding
?% daarvan is vrouw
? eerstejaars gestart in 2012
?% daarvan is vrouw
28510 studenten aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
51% daarvan is vrouw
bron: HBO-raad/VSNU


Ibn Battuta
Faculteitsvereniging van de Faculteit Ruimtelijke Wetenschappen van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

Op kamers in Groningen

55216studenten studerend
31914studenten woonachtig   
€ 303gemiddelde kamerprijs
kamer betaalbaarheid
21 m2gemiddelde kameroppervlak
kamer beschikbaarheid
bron: Nationale Studenten Enquête

aan het woord: studenten en docenten

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...
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.

lees verder ...
Auke Vlonk
afgestudeerd in 2008 werkzaam als Researcher and Advisor bij Aimtrack
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.

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

lees verder ...
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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1/3 Rijksuniversiteit
Population Studies
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
2/3 Rijksuniversiteit
DDM Social Demography
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
3/3 Rijksuniversiteit
DDM Demography and Social Inequality
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
disclaimer: bovenstaande cijfers en beoordelingen zijn aangeleverd door de opleidingen zelf. Wij kunnen de juistheid niet garanderen.

Feiten en / studie in cijfers

bron: Nationale Studenten Enquete 2015
algemeen oordeel4.6


De Nationale Studenten Enquete is het grootschalige onderzoek van de overheid onder studenten in Nederland naar de kwaliteit van opleidingen aan hogescholen en universiteiten.
In 2015 hebben meer dan 200.000 studenten hun oordeel gegeven over hun studie en instelling.

Population Studies aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen is beoordeeld door 7 respondenten. Gemiddeld waarderen ze de opleiding met 4.6 uit 5.

Na de studie

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Career options include, working at:
  • local planning and government offices (e.g. muncipality, GGD)
  • (inter)national statistical offices (e.g. Statistics Netherlands, Eurostat)
  • demographic and interdisciplinary research institutes (e.g. NIDI, PBL, Oranjewoud, SCP, RIVM)
  • universities (e.g. RuG, Uva, UU, EUR, Tilburg, Wageningen, abroad)
  • agencies of the United Nations Development Group (UNFPA)

* non-governmental organizations (Healthnet TPO, doctors without borders)
* private companies (e.g. as data manager or communication expert)

During the programme we offer support for your career preparation. The Career Services are provided by the Careers Company and the UG Career Services.

More information about the Careers Company: http://www.rug.nl/frw/career
More information about the UG Career Services: http://www.rug.nl/careerservices

See where our alumni end up in this graphic!

Beroepsperspectief / arbeidsmarkt

The Master Population Studies trains you to become a versatile demographer. As a demographer you are competent in describing and analyzing both the population dynamics of different countries or regions and the demographic behaviour of individuals or population groups. Also you are an expert in predicting the likely demographic developments for the future.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the master programme, you are capable of reflecting on how the context in which we live affects individual demographic behaviour and leads to different population dynamics, which again has societal consequences. Individual demographic behaviour and population dynamics are crucial to understand because of their effects on the economy, the environment, social networks, social cohesion, health and healthcare, pension reforms and social security, family life and wellbeing. Governments, for example, use demographic knowledge in their policy-making, for planning purposes (schools, housing, health care) or in the localisation of potential problems. Also, for development cooperation, demographic information is crucial. Demographers have a good understanding of contemporary societal problems and issues that affect people in their daily life.

During the programme we offer support for your career preparation. 

More information about the Careers Company 

More information about the UG Career Services

See where our alumni end up in this graphic!

current job market

vergeleken met andere studies

zoektijd baangoed
salaris na 1,5 jaar gemiddeld
kans op een vaste baan slecht
bron: Elsevier beste banen 2015

Potentiële beroepen

  • coördinator sociologisch onderzoek
  • directeur onderzoeksinstelling sociale wetenschappen
  • gedragswetenschapper
  • leidinggevende sociaal-wetenschappelijk onderzoek
  • methodoloog
  • projectleider-coördinator sociaal-wetenschappelijk onderzoek
  • sociaal-wetenschappelijk onderzoeker
bron: CBS


Saskia Enuma

Study advisor

E: study.advice.fss@rug.nl
T: 0503633906
Drs. Nienke Harteveld

Study advisor

Meer informatie?
Bezoek de website van deze opleiding.

open_in_newstudy website