European Doctoral School of Demography



The EDSD is an eleven-month sponsored program that is offered every year aiming to provide students in the first year of their doctoral studies with an appropriate high-level education in demography. Students will acquire a solid knowledge base on the causes and consequences of demographic change, population data, statistical and mathematical demography, as well as modeling, simulation, and forecasting. The School’s courses are structured in such a way that the students work on the precise formulation of a thesis topic and early steps of their dissertations.

Many of the School’s courses concentrate on strengthening the quantitative and programming skills of the students. The language of the School is English.

In the 2019/20 academic year, the School will be held at two different locations. The preparatory courses (September and October 2019) will be offered at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany. The core courses (from November 2019 until end of July 2020) will be held at the Centre for Demographic Studies (Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics – CED) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

Masters Degree in Demography

Upon successful completion of the program and presentation of a thesis, the students enrolled in the EDSD will receive an official European Master in Demography delivered by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

For more information, visit the current EDSD 2018/19 program in Odense, Denmark: EDSD 2018/2019

Contact information:


Preparatory courses in Rostock

The courses in Rostock consists of (1) Measures and Models in Demography, (2) Basic Mathematics for Demographers, (3) Basic Statistics for Demographers and (4) Computer Programming for Demographers.

The aim of the preparatory courses is to prepare the students for the core courses at CED in Barcelona.

Core courses in Barcelona

The program at CED consists of six courses on (1) Causes of Demographic Change, (2) Consequences of Demographic Change, (3) Statistical Analysis for Demographers, (4) Mathematical Demography, (5) Demographic Data and (6) Demographic Modeling, Simulation and Forecasting. In addition, computer, graphic and presentation skills are taught. Students devote 20% of their time to thesis research.

Student will be also offered the opportunity to attend CED’s Social statistics and Population Seminars held weekly.


WEEK 1 (November 4-7) Introduction to Demography an overview. Data Quality and Types Albert Esteve
WEEK 2 (November 11-14)Dealing with Data Tim Riffe
WEEK 3 (November 18-21) Historical Demography Lionel Kesztenbaum
WEEK 4 (November 25-28) Fertility, family and the life course (causes)Daniele Vignoli
WEEK 5 (December 2-5)Fertility, family and the life course (consequences)Brienna Perelli-Harris
WEEK 6 (December 9-13)CausationMaarten Bijlsma
WEEK 7 (December 16-20)Event History Analysis 1Jutta Gampe
WEEK 8 (January 13-17)Event History Analysis 2Carlo G. Camarda
WEEK 9 (January 20-24)Event History Analysis 3Carlo G. Camarda
WEEK 10 (January 27-31)Event History Analysis 4Jutta Gampe
WEEK 11 (February 3-7)Demography and Inequality (Theory and Research).Diederik Boertien
WEEK 12 (February 10-13)Agent-Based modeling and simulationFrans Willekens
WEEK 13 (February 17-21)MigrationElena Ambrosetti
WEEK 14 (February 24-28)Migration and HealthPhilippe Bocquier 
WEEK 15 (March 2-6)Theories of MigrationClara Mulder
WEEK 16 (March 9-13)Stable Populations Hal Caswell
WEEK 17 (March 16-20)Mortality 1 (causes)Virginia Zarulli
WEEK 18 (March 23-27)How conditions in early life affect outcomes in later life Tommy Bengtsson
WEEK 19 (March 30 to April 3)Digital DemographyEmilio Zagheni
WEEK 20 (April 14 to April 16)Sequence AnalysisSergi Vidal
WEEK 21 (April 20-24)Measuring the generational economyBernhard Hammer
WEEK 22 (April 27-30)Decomposition techniques in health research José Manuel Aburto
WEEK 23 (May 4-8)Multilevel Data AnalysisKonrad Turek
WEEK 24 (May 11-14)Mortality 2 (Consequences)James W. Vaupel
WEEK 25 (May 18-21)Heterogeneous Populations – from discrete to continuousJames W. Vaupel
WEEK 26 (May 25-29)Age-period-cohort ModelsBendix Carstensen
WEEK 27 (June 1-5)Introduction to Population ProjectionsMarie-Pier Bergeron Boucher
WEEK 28 (June 8-12)Demographic forecastingUgofilippo Basellini
WEEK 29 (June 15-19)Alternative measuresVladimir Canudas Romo
WEEK 30 (June 29- July 3)Thesis work
WEEK 31 (July 6-10)Thesis work
WEEK 32 (July 13-18)Thesis work
WEEK 33 (July 20-24)Final Presentations


How to apply

To be eligible for admission to the program, a student should hold an above average Master’s degree in demography, mathematics, statistics, public health, economics, sociology, geography, biology, computer science, history or another relevant field.

Participants must have a curious mind and a deep interest in demography and population development either of humans or of species across the tree of life, and a demonstrable competence in English.

EU citizens must have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for the duration of the program. In case of being selected as a successful candidate, non-EU citizens will have to apply for student visa in Spain and Health Insurance.

Application deadline is April 15, 2019 for start date in Sept 2019. Successful candidates will be announced in June 2019.

To apply e-mail the following documents to

  • CV detailing educational and work history, language abilities, plus any scholarly publications.
  • One recent letter of recommendation.
  • Motivational letter (up to 5 double-spaced pages) introducing yourself and presenting your professional interests, background (beyond what is obvious from your CV) and plans. Explain how you expect EDSD could promote your future career. Include a detailed description of your quantitative skills (mathematics, statistics, and computer programming).
  • Official transcripts and degree certificates of your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English or English translation.
  • TOEFL (internet-based: 100, computer-based: 250, paper-based 600) or CAE test scores. Alternatively, a degree taught in English or a declaration of why you are proficient in English.