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International study programme

Double Master's Programme in Demography and Social Inequality

in cooperation with the University of Groningen

Key facts

Partner: University of Groningen
Programme structure: First year at the University of Cologne, second year at the University of Groningen
Degrees: Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Sociology: Social Research from the University of Cologne
Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Population Studies from the University of Groningen
Duration: 4 semesters
Start: Fall term (October in Cologne)
Language: English



The Double Master's programme offered jointly by the University of Cologne and the University of Groningen is an innovative and unique programme that will allow you to gain valuable international experience. Through this programme, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the theories, methods and practices of social research in both academic and practical settings. You will explore topics such as social inequality, migration, and cultural diversity, and develop the skills and knowledge needed to address complex social issues in today's rapidly changing world.

  • Explore topics such as migration, education, health, income and changing family structures in the context of demographic change and social inequalities
  • Receive a strong training in a range of quantitative methods and data analysis tools
  • Gain the skills to apply these methods and tools to answer complex research questions related to demographic change and social inequality
  • Develop interdisciplinary research skills and gain knowledge about key demograhic phenomena such as migration, fertility and aging
  • Get a better understanding of pressing social issues related to demographic change and social inequality
  • Learn how to use social and demographic research to inform policies and interventions aimed at promoting social cohesion and reducing inequalities

Benefit from the expertise of two leading universities and enjoy the advantages of an interdisciplinary approach. On successful completion of your studies, you will be awarded both master’s degrees: a Master of Science in Sociology: Social Research from the University of Cologne and a Master of Science in Population Studies from the University of Groningen.

"Immediately after completing the programme, I felt confident in applying what I had learned to academic or research questions. The programme is interdisciplinary and unique. I particularly benefit from the extensive training in research methods, which I can now apply to socially relevant questions."

Ellen Heidinger, Research Associate & PhD student at the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), DIW Berlin and graduate of the programme

Our partner: The University of Groningen

The University of Groningen is one of the most prestigious universities in the Netherlands. It is also one of the leading research universities in Europe. The university is known for its large international community and a global outlook. The city of Groningen - like Cologne - is a great place to study, with a very pleasant student atmosphere.


The courses offered by the two universities offer a wide range of topics and complement each other very well. The double degree is integrated into the regular master's programmes. It includes courses from both and is based on credit transfer.

Get an idea on the content of the courses:
UoC module catalogue
RUG course catalogue

Part of the study programme is to write a master's thesis, which you will work on in your second year of studies.

"I chose the programme because I wanted to deepen my knowledge of quantitative social research and at the same time learn about demographic issues. I particularly enjoyed writing my thesis at both universities, as I was able to apply the methodological skills I had acquired during the Master’s programme in Cologne to the population-related issues I was dealing with in Groningen. In addition, the experience of two different university systems contributed a lot to my personal development.”

Leonie Diffené, Student of the programme


Would you like to know more about the programme? Contact the Programme Manager by phone or email.

Xenia Elbrächter
Programme Manager
Phone: +49 (0)221 470-7702
Email: Contact form