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New education programme will contribute to solving demographic challenges

The demographic development is crucial for how we organise society, and from next year a new master’s programme at SDU will educate demographers who can contribute to tackling the challenges. It will be Denmark’s only education programme in demography.

An increasing number of elderly people, a falling mortality rate, a falling birth rate and fewer people of working age.

For some time, Denmark has been facing significant demographic changes which will affect many aspects of society, including healthcare, pensions, the education system and the labour market.

In this connection, demography and data will play a key role if we are to ensure a good foundation for public and private investments, reforms and transitions, and in both the private and public sectors there is a demand for employees who are skilled in working with population projections.

From September 2024, students will be able to study demography at SDU – an education programme that until now has only been available outside Denmark’s borders.

Great need for the programme

Peter Møllgaard, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, is delighted that SDU will host Denmark’s only higher education programme specialising in demography:

We are extremely pleased that we can offer a master’s degree programme in Population Studies. The programme is groundbreaking in terms of understanding and accommodating demographic changes and trends, and it meets a need not only in Denmark, but also in large parts of Northern Europe.  Therefore, we are also pleased that the education will be in English, and we expect that there will be international demand for this education programme, which is unique in Europe.

Peter Møllgaard, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences

The education programme will be called ‘MSc in Population Studies’ and zooms in on courses such as programming, quantitative methods, forecasting, data management and interpretation of population statistics.

Who can apply for the programme?

Students can apply for the MSc in Population Studies if they have a bachelor’s degree in:
  •  Sociology
  • Political Science
  • Biology
  • Social Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Business Economics
  • Public Health Science
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics-Economics
  • Economics
  • Medicine

The candidates will be able to study, quantify and predict population structures and demographic changes – and, equally importantly, to communicate the consequences of the changes to politicians and decision-makers.

Support from KL

A number of organisations have also expressed their interest in the new education programme.

This is the case for the KL – Local Goverment Denmark, where Morten Mandøe, who is a chief economist with executive responsibility for the municipalities’ finances, management and administration policy, employment and integration, welcomes the programme.

— When I first heard about this education programme, I was just so happy and thought ‘Yes, that is exactly the education programme we have been missing!’ If you look at how much demographics have been changing in recent years and how much this means for the way we organise our society, employees with strong skills in demographics are needed.

— In KL, we use analyses of population development to plan welfare services, funding bases and necessary transitions for the municipalities. It is crucial for us that this education programme has a strong theoretical foundation but is also aimed at practice and enables the candidates to translate theories and data into relevant insight for the people who have to make the decisions that are of such significant importance to our society, says Morten Mandøe.

Admission of 20–25 students

The new programme will welcome its first intake of students in September next year, and the plan is to admit 20–25 students per year.

The programme will be taught by researchers from the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics, also known as CPop.

Would you like to know more about the MSc in Population Studies?

Visit the programme's website here

Editing was completed: 14.04.2023