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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



  • Study with an emphasis on topics related to demographic changes and dimensions of social inequalities
  • Receive a strong training in quantitative research methods and data analysis tools
  • Learn how to apply these methods and tools to research questions related to migration, education, health, income and changing family structures
  • Develop interdisciplinary research skills and gain in-depth views of human demographic behaviour
  • Get a better understanding of current issues related to social inequalities and cohesion

Benefit from the expertise of two top-ranking universities. After successful studies, you will graduate with 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.

"Right after graduating from the programme, I felt confident to apply my knowledge in academia or other research settings. The programme is interdisciplinary and unique. I particularly benefit from the extensive research methods training which I am now able to apply to socially relevant questions."

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

Info session

Join our upcoming online info session on Wednesday, 15 March, 18:00-18:30 to learn more about the programme (registration is open). The language of the session will be German.

Our partner: The University of Groningen

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


The courses available at the two universities complement each other very well, providing a wide range of topics. The double degree is integrated into the regular master's programmes and incorporates courses from both.

Get an impression of 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 during your second year of studies.

"I chose the programme because I wanted to deepen my knowledge in quantitative social research while learning about demographic issues. What I particularly liked was writing the thesis at both universities, as I could use the methodological skills I had acquired during the Cologne Master’s to address population-related questions I was dealing with in Groningen. Apart from that, experiencing two different university systems contributed a lot to my personal development.”

Leonie Diffené, Student of the programme


Would you like to know more details about the programme? Get in touch with the Programme Manager by phone (Mon-Thu), email or schedule an in-person appointment on campus.

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

Advising hour: Wednesdays, 10am-12pm. Please schedule an in-person appointment on campus here.