• Duration: 1 academic year full time, 2 academic years part time (60 ECTS credits)
  • Calendar: From September to June
  • Tuition fee
  • Places: 25
  • Course types: Research
  • Doctoral studies to which it grant access: PhD in Political and Social Sciences
  • Language: English
  • Location: Campus de la Ciutadella
  • Title acquired by the students once the Master is fihished: Master's degree in Sociology and Demografphy
  • RUCT code 


Coordinator of the program: Dr. Luis Ortiz Gervasi

The master's degree programme trains social scientists and professionals to conduct high quality research on key socio-demographic aspects of modern societies. In these times of economic and social turmoil it is more necessary than ever to understand how social and demographic dynamics affect individuals and families, and if their impact varies across different social groups and strata. The master's degree programme provides state-of-the-art theoretical and methodological tools with which to answer questions such as:

What impact has the economic crisis had on social inequalities and social cohesion? How has it affected individuals' living and working conditions, and their health? What effect has it had on individuals' opportunities for educational and occupational mobility? Which strategies have individuals and families adopted to cope with the economic crisis, and how do they affect family and marriage dynamics and youth emancipation? Which role do women play today in the household economy and what impact does it have on gender relations and the society at large? Does the economic downturn affect all groups, social classes, countries, and welfare states in the same way? Is it possible to grow and maintain social cohesion? With which policies?

The contents of the master's degree helps students answer these and other important questions relevant for understanding social organization from a dynamic perspective, identifying the opportunities, needs, and problems that affect individuals at different stages of the life cycle. Using a comparative and international perspective, the programme equips students with the tools necessary to better identify the role that cultural and institutional factors play in explaining social dynamics and structural imbalances.

The main objective of the master's degree is to provide solid research training to social scientists and social science professionals. Students will learn how to formulate and empirically test alternative theories and hypotheses on the main socio-demographic changes affecting modern societies and their inequality structures.

The approach used in the master's degree is both analytical and empirical. First, students will learn how to apply the latest theoretical developments used by the scientific community to better understand the structure and dynamics of modern societies. Second they will learn how to apply state-of-the art methodological tools to test the validity of their theoretical propositions.

The master's degree programme combines theoretical and methodological tools from demography and sociology. On the one hand, the programme focuses on the main demographic dynamics (fertility, mortality, aging, migratory flows, etc.) that affect human populations at large and some of their key institutions like the family, school, or work, with the help of the best statistical tools available to researchers today. On the other hand, the programme applies multidisciplinary methodological tools to analyze the key social phenomena that ensue from social relations of rivalry, power, and cooperation (poverty, social cohesion, social mobility, etc.).

The result is an original and unique approach that takes into account how demographic and social dynamics interact with each other so as to better assess the direction in which modern societies are heading.

General.  Capacity for:

  • managing, analyzing, and synthesizing data and information
  • working in interdisciplinary teams and communicating in English with the international scientific community
  • generating new ideas autonomously and paying attention to quality

Specific. Capacity for:

  • recognizing the socio-economic structure of modern societies
  • understanding the most important demographic dynamics affecting societies along individuals' life cycles: fertility, mortality, family formation, migratory flows, aging, etc.
  • identifying the most important social phenomena characterizing modern societies: class and gender stratification, social mobility , economic inequalities, etc.
  • analyzing and synthesizing the main issues regarding a research question
  • finding bibliographic references and data suited to answering a research question
  • choosing appropriate variables and building valid and reliable indicators
  • organizing and planning research
  • using advanced methods and techniques of analysis
  • adapting to new problems and questions
  • designing and evaluating policies for solving social problems, identifying their weaknesses and strengths
Students must complete 60 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System)

Compulsory courses:  30 ECTS (6 courses)
Optional courses:       10 ECTS (2 courses)
Final Master thesis:    20 ECTS
Check the complete Syllabus of the courses offered for this edition.


Each course is 5 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System) except otherwise specified. The Master is taught entirely in English.


Compulsory courses

  • Techniques of Statistical Analysis I
  • Techniques of Statistical Analysis II
  • Demographic Changes and Social Dynamics
  • Analysis of Social Inequalities
  • Social Policy and the Welfare State
  • Family, Gender and Society


Optional courses

  • Health and Inequality
  • Research and Data Analysis Seminar
  • Employment Policies and Labour Market
  • Migration and Society
  • Fundamentals of Political and Social Research
  • Qualitative Research Methods 
  • Master Thesis Seminar


Research Component

  • Final Master Thesis (20 ECTS)


Due to regulations of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, it will not be possible to open up the optional courses with less than 10 students enrolled in them. The students who had eventually chosen an optional course with an insufficient number of students will be invited to choose any alternative optional course among those available. 

Check the complete Syllabus of the courses offered for this edition.


Courses 2020-2021



You can see here the 2020-21 timetable.

Once the academic year has begun, students will be informed by e-mail of any changes in this timetable.

The master thesis is worth 20ECTS (1/3 of the credits of the programme), and it is carried out in the final term of the program under the supervision of one member of the academic staff. The thesis must be an original piece of empirical work presented in the format of a scientific article aimed at publication. The thesis must contain a justification of the importance of the research question, a relevant background of the work already done on the topic, clear objectives and hypotheses, an explanation of the data used or collected, a methodological section describing the techniques of analysis, a section presenting the main results of the research, and concluding remarks summarizing the main findings and discussing their relevance.