Global Demography (Master)

Verschwommene Menschen auf einer Stiege

© Pixabay/Brian Merrill

In a world of over 8 billion people, studying population change is essential for a proper understanding of the problems of today, and for tackling the challenges of tomorrow. Demography affects each and every aspect of our lives – from the world economy and social policy, to city planning and climate change. Demographic analysis is key to understanding the complex dynamics shaping the future social landscape.

The principal aim of the master’s programme in Global Demography at the University of Vienna is to give students a strong scientific grounding in the analysis and forecasting of demographic developments across the globe – in particular, fertility, mortality and migration trends. Guided by leading experts in the field, students will be given the opportunity to explore the multidimensional ramifications and implications of demographic change on economic, social, and environmental issues.

Students enrolled in the Global Demography master’s programme will explore the international demographic literature, learn important methodological tools, and gain an array of transferable skills reaching beyond academia. A graduate of the Global Demography programme will thus be able to successfully deal with large volumes of complex scientific data, evaluate their practical meaning, and apply the findings to advance research and influence regional and global policymaking. Alumni will be well-prepared for a large variety of careers in academia, international organisations, NGOs, think tanks and research centres, national planning and statistical agencies, government bodies, and consultancy.

Master of Science

Degree Programme Code: 066 945

4 semesters / 120 ECTS credits

Language: English

Selection procedure


More information about the programme

Study Programme

The Global Demography master’s programme is structured as follows:

  • Module 1: Demographic Theories, Global Demographic Trends and Drivers (24 ECTS)
  • Module 2: Demographic Methods and Statistics for Social Scientists (20 ECTS)
  • Module 3: Population and Global Human Capital (16 ECTS)
  • Module 4: Population Change and Sustainable Development (12 ECTS)
  • Module 5: Demographic Research Projects (18 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (25 ECTS) + Master’s examination (5 ECTS)

Students will be supervised and co-supervised by the scientific staff of the Department of Demography at the University of Vienna: Wolfgang Lutz, Eva Beaujouan, Erich Striessnig, Endale Birhanu Kebede and Sonja Spitzer.

Students will also benefit from co-supervisions by leading scientists from the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna) among them: Isabella Buber-Ennser, Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, Anne Goujon, Samir KC, Michael Kuhn, Marc Luy, Raya Muttarak, Sergei Scherbov and Tomas Sobotka.

Five Concepts

which you will deal with during your studies:

  • Past and future of global population changes
  • Multidimensional population dynamics
  • Fertility, mortality and migration - the “big three” of Demography
  • Population, health and environment
  • Human capital, economic development and wellbeing

... and many more.

Five Skills

which you will master during your studies:

  • Calculation and interpretation of demographic indicators
  • Statistical methods for the study of population
  • Multidimensional population projections
  • Linking theories to methods
  • Academic writing and critical thinking skills 

 Overview of the programme structure & topics

Here you find the current offer of courses for this programme to gain better insight into the topics and structure. For more information please click on the respective level.

After Graduation

This master’s programme qualifies students for a wide range of career paths:

  • Leading doctoral programmes worldwide
  • National and regional statistical agencies
  • Local, municipal and national planning bodies
  • International organisations, NGOs, think tanks, research centres
  • Data-heavy and/or analyst roles in the public and private sector
  • Consultancy