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 studying contemporary population issues like ageing, migration and global population growth? In the master programme Population Studies students learn the theories, methods and skills required to become a versatile demographer.

open_in_newstudy website

typeregulier, 60 EC
start1 februari, 1 september
taalvolledig English
opleidingsduur12 maanden voltijd
numerus fixusnee

Essential to understanding population dynamics is the study of people’s demographic behaviour, such as birth, health, migration, and death. The master programme focuses on these demographic events, on how decision-making regarding these life events is influenced by the economic, societal, cultural, and geographical context, and on how these demographic events have an impact on population-level trends.

You will learn about:

* Contemporary population issues as population ageing, integration of migrants, health inequalities and global population growth
* Individual decision-making processes behind demographic events, such as family formation, residential choices and health care use
* Collecting and interpreting demographic data
* Methods and techniques to analyse demographic data: life tables, population projections, advanced statistical analysis, and qualitative research methods
* Population policies and intervention programmes

The field of Population Studies reflects on and deals with contemporary demographic topics and related societal issues. The study is simultaneously concrete and broad.

The Master in Population Studies is also interesting for mid-career professionals working at, for example, statistical offices or demographic departments of government agencies.

For further information, watch a webinar with prof. Clara Mulder about Migration and Family, and the Master Population Studies or visit the web class Population Studies (https://www.rug.nl/nestor and log in with username frw-Webclasspopstudies and password webpopst@050).

We also offer two double degree programmes: with the University of Cologne in Germany (Demography and Social Inequality) and with the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain (Social Demography). You can also combine the Master in Population Studies with our top-rated Research Master in Spatial Sciences.

Waarom aan de RUG?

Our programme is unique in its combination of analytical and social demography, its combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and its international, multidisciplinary and strong scientific orientation. 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.


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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 and https://wiso.uni-koeln.de/de/studium/master/double-masters-programmes/demography-and-social-inequality/
Demographic Data and Analysis
5 EC
Population, Health and Place
5 EC
Qualitative Research for Policy & Practice
5 EC
Migration, Families and Households
5 EC
Population Projections & Sustainability
5 EC
Optional Courses
5 EC
Master's Thesis Population Studies
20 EC
Advanced Statistical Analysis
5 EC
Optional Courses
5 EC


taal van onderwijs100% en
onderwijsopzet50% zelfstudie
25% theorie
25% praktijk
literature study, oral presentation, computer exercise, research, research project, tutorial, individual assignment, practicum, self study
study guidance
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 https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/study-advice?lang=en

Toelating en kosten


1 februari 2024

aanmelding deadline : 15 januari 2024
collegegeld nog niet bekend

1 september 2023

aanmelding deadline : 15 augustus 2023
wettelijk tarief : € 2314 (€1157 in het eerste jaar)
instellingstarief : € 17000
niet-EU/EER studenten : € 17800

1 september 2024

aanmelding deadline : 15 augustus 2024
collegegeld nog niet bekend


If you are not directly admissible you can follow a pre-master programme. See more information in the pre-master guide: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/pre-master/

English on VWO level or one of the following equivalents:

  • IELTS overall band 6.5, no less than 6.0 on each section
  • TOEFL internet based:

Overall: 90
Reading: 18
Listening: 18
Speaking: 20
Writing: 21

  • Cambridge English: Cambridge certificate C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency (formerly known as CAE/CPE)
  • European Baccalaureate, English level L1 or L2
  • Please note that TOEFL MyBest Scores are not considered in the Admissions procedure

De stad


Ibn Battuta
Ibn Battuta is the Faculty Association of Spatial Sciences
Becoming a member of Ibn Battuta means you can join the social drinks, foreign trips, lectures and all other activities organized by the Association. At these events you come into contact with students from all years, which is a great way to make friends that can last a lifetime! Ibn Battuta also organizes informative and career-focused activities. Our informative activities, such as lectures, In-Housedays and the Career Day will help you to orient on your future.

aan het woord: studenten en docenten

Jelmer Bouter
I never thought of studying demography until I read an article in the newspaper

I have a bachelor's degree in History from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. During the programme I realised that history isn't really for me. I decided to complete the bachelor anyway, but would not apply for a master's programme until I was absolutely certain what I wanted to do. I started working full-time and thought about what I wanted to study.In conversations with friends, demography was often mentioned, but I never thought of studying that until I read an article in the newspaper...
From the programme coordinator I learned that I had to do a pre-master to meet the admission requirements, which was also a good opportunity for me to decide if I really wanted to enroll in the master. I lived in Rotterdam at the time and traveled to Groningen for lectures.When friends and family would ask what I wanted to do after completing the master Population Studies, I jokingly said I would like to work at CBS Statistics and spend my days working with numbers and statistics. Now that I have (happily) attended guest lectures by people from NIDI, CBS Statistics and SERAC, I am looking for an internship opportunity at CBS Statistics. It all seems to fall into place now.Jelmer talks about his decision to study Population Studies in this video (in Dutch)

lees verder ...
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...
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 RUG
Population Studies
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
7 eerstejaars
85% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
2/3 RUG
DDM Demography and Social Inequality
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
7 eerstejaars
85% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
3/3 RUG
DDM Social Demography
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
7 eerstejaars
85% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
disclaimer: bovenstaande cijfers en beoordelingen zijn aangeleverd door de opleidingen zelf. Wij kunnen de juistheid niet garanderen.

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 at the University of Groningen we offer support for your career preparation.

Throughout the year we offer support for practical career preparation and employability skills. Workshops are given about leadership, job interviews and how to present yourself. More information about the FSS Career Services.

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 to identify potential problems. Also, in international 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

Potentiële beroepen

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


Reinier Schoep

Study advisor

E: study.advice.fss@rug.nl
T: 050-3633906
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