Research Master in Sociology and Demography
The master's programme in Sociology and Demography trains professionals to conduct high-quality research on key socio-demographic aspects of modern societies. In these turbulent times, it is more important than ever to determine which dynamics affect individuals and families and how the financial crisis is impacting various groups. This programme provides students with state-of-the-art methodological tools to answer questions such as: What impact has the crisis had on social inequalities and social cohesion? How has it affected people's living and working conditions? How has it affected their health? What effect has it had on people's chances for educational and occupational mobility? What strategies have people chosen to deal with the crisis and how have they affected family structures, marriage and young people's ability to strike out on their own? What role do women play in the household economy today and how has it affected gender relations? Has the crisis hit all social classes, countries and welfare states equally hard? Is it possible to grow without sacrificing social cohesion? With what policies?
The programme's content allows students to explore these and other important questions related to social organization from a dynamic perspective, identifying the opportunities, needs and problems that arise for individuals in different stages of their lives. It moreover does so from a comparative international perspective in order to address the role of social and institutional factors in explaining imbalances and social dynamics.
The master's programme's primary aim is to provide solid research training to social science professionals. Students will thus learn to formulate and empirically test alternative theories on the main socio-demographic changes and the origin of inequalities in modern societies.
The programme's approach is both analytical and empirical. To this end, students are trained in the most widely used theoretical approaches taken by the scientific community to gain insight into current socio-demographic structures and dynamics. At the same time, however, they learn to test the validity of their theoretical hypotheses using the latest analytical techniques.
The programme covers theoretical approaches and analytical techniques from both demography and sociology. On the one hand, it explores the demographic dynamics (fertility, mortality, ageing, migratory flows, etc.) affecting both human populations at large and key institutions within them (such as the family, school or work) using the best statistical techniques available today. On the other hand, it uses multidisciplinary research techniques to examine the most important social phenomena (poverty, social cohesion, social mobility, etc.) arising from social relations of rivalry, power and cooperation.
The result is a unique and innovative approach that looks at the interplay between demographic and social dynamics in order to further our understanding of the directions in which modern societies are headed.
Who is it for?
This master's programme is aimed at university graduates and professionals seeking world-class research-oriented training in the field of the social sciences based on a socio-demographic approach that takes into account both the population dynamics and social structures of advanced societies. Candidates must certify completion of an undergraduate degree equivalent to 240 ECTS credits and a strong command of English (e.g., a score of 220 on the TOEFL), as all subjects for the programme will be taught in that language.
This master's programme is research-oriented. Students must complete a total of 60 credits, in accordance with the following breakdown: 30 credits' worth of compulsory subjects, 10 credits' worth of optional subjects, and a compulsory final research project worth 20 credits. All subjects are worth 5 credits each.
- Compulsory subjects (30 credits)
- Analysis of Social Inequalities (5 credits)
- Family, Gender and Society (5 credits)
- Demographic Changes and Social Dynamics (5 credits)
- Social Policy and the Welfare State (5 credits)
- Statistical Analysis Techniques I (5 credits)
- Statistical Analysis Techniques II (5 credits)
- Optional subjects (10 credits)
- Migration and Society (5 credits)
- Labour Economics (5 credits)
- Fundamentals of Political and Social Research (5 credits)
- Qualitative Research Methods (5 credits)
- Research Seminar and Data Analysis
- Master's Degree Final Project (20 credits)
Knowledge, skills and competencies acquired
- Manage, analyse and synthesize information.
- Participate in interdisciplinary teams and communicate with the international scientific community in one's native language and in English.
- Generate new, quality ideas independently.
- Identify the socio-demographic structures of modern societies.
- Grasp the most important demographic dynamics affecting the life cycle: fertility, mortality, family formation, migratory flows, ageing, etc.
- Understand the main social phenomena affecting modern societies: social stratification and mobility, inequalities, reconciliation of household and paid work, etc.
- Analyse and synthesize the state of affairs with regard to a given research topic.
- Find suitable sources of data.
- Select relevant variables and build reliable indicators.
- Organize and plan research.
- Use advanced statistical methods and techniques.
- Adapt to new issues and problems.
- Design and evaluate public policies for addressing social problems, identifying weaknesses and conflicts.
The multidisciplinary training offered by the research master's programme in Sociology and Demography, along with its emphasis on quantitative research methods, prepares students for successful careers in the following fields:
- Doctoral programmes in the social sciences.
- Research and management at international organizations.
- Analyst work for public and private social science research centres both in Spain and abroad.
- Analyst work for local, regional and national governments, non-governmental organizations, etc.
- Institutional consulting.
- Analyst work at demographic research centres and statistics institutes.
- Socio-labour audits.
- Current public affairs analysis and/or journalism.
The training provided moreover constitutes a sound basis for students who would like to pursue doctoral studies. Some of the programme's graduates have gone on to brilliant careers at such internationally renowned universities as Princeton, Yale, Stockholm and the London School of Economics. The master's programme is also quite useful for students seeking to pursue empirical research careers at international organizations, public authorities, or private organizations interested in analysing socio-demographic changes and the challenges they pose for social policy. To this end, it prepares students for a successful career as a:
- Specialist in the sociology of the family.
- Specialist in the sociology of migration.
- Social welfare specialist.
- Specialist in assessing social needs and the impact of social policy.
- Job market analyst.
- General management specialist.
- Advisor to politicians and parliamentary groups.
Remember that in order to be successfully enrolled, the presentation of an official English certificate is an essential admission requirement. Only applicants whose mother tongue is English do not need to pre¬sent an English certificate. Official results must be sent directly by the examining institution to the school’s Admissions Department and must comply with the required minimum scores:
- TOEFL CBT: > 235
- TOEFL PBT: > 575
- TOEFL IBT: > 100
- CAE: C1
- IELTS: > 6.5
Applicants who, at the time of the application, still do not possess an official English certificate or who are in the process of obtaining it must include this information in their admission applications. Applicants who have completed their full Bachelor’s Degree at an English-speaking university must submit written evidence that the language of instruction of their studies was English.