Double Degree Universitat Pompeu Fabra & Tilburg University

International Master in Sociology and Population Studies


The International Master in Sociology and Population Studies is a Double Degree Program offered jointly by the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (Spain) and the Department of Sociology of Tilburg University (Tilburg,the Netherlands). After the successful completion of the program students will graduate as:

The Double Degree Program combines the strengths of two of the highest-ranked Social Science Departments in Europe to offer a high level research training in Sociology and Population Studies. The program emphasizes the study of modern societies from a structural and dynamic perspective, so as to identify the main forces and challenges faced by key social institutions (families, schools, neighborhoods, jobs, etc.). The program, which is entirely offered in English, is taught by top researchers and academics from the two participating universities during an 18-months period, the first half in Barcelona and the second in Tilburg.

Five reasons to choose the Double Degree in Sociology and Population Studies

  1. Complete two degrees in less time than it would take to earn them separately.
  2. Distinguish yourself from other students and have a unique international experience.
  3. Unique combination of two related subject areas with different approaches.
  4. Opportunity to study at two outstanding academic institutions in a challenging, high quality, small scale and international educational setting with enthusiastic and accessible teaching staff.
  5. Highly relevant topics and therefore good job and (international) career opportunities.

Contents and Structure

The International Master in Sociology and Population Studies is a one-and-a-half-year, 90 ECTS program that combines the contents of two Master programs: the Master of Research in Sociology and Demography offered by the UPF and of the Master of Sociology offered by TiU. Each of these masters carries 60 ECTS. In order to graduate from the double degree program students have to fulfill the course and research requirements of each separate master. They  will gain 30 ECTS because the thesis requirements of both programs are combined into one. Hence, students only need 90 ECTS rather than 120 to graduate from the program and obtain the two master degrees. They also do it in a shorter time—in one-and-a-half rather than two academic years.

The first two trimesters of the first year of registration in the program (from late September to mid-December and from early January to early April) are spent in Barcelona at UPF, doing the coursework corresponding to UPF’s Master of Research in Sociology and Demography, and preparing a master thesis proposal. In the third term of the first year, students start their coursework and master thesis at Tilburg University, corresponding to TiU's MSc Sociology. They will continue both in their second year.  The thesis must be completed and defended at Tilburg University by the end of January.


Details on course and master work are as follows:

First 3/4 year: Coursework and Master’s thesis preparation at Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  • 40 ECTS of the Master of Research in Sociology and Demography

View courses at Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  • Demographic Changes and Social Dynamics: 5 ECTS
  • Techniques of Statistical Analysis I advanced group: 5 ECTS
  • Analysis of Social Inequalities: 5 ECTS
  • Gender, Family and Society: 5 ECTS
  • Research and Data Analysis Seminar  (grade in year 2): 5 ECTS
  • Techniques of Statistics Analysis II: 5 ECTS

Elective (1 out 3):

  • Health and Inequality: 5 ECTS
  • Migrations and Society: 5 ECTS
  • Labour Economics: 5 ECTS

Elective (1 out 2):

  • Fundamentals of Research Methods: 5 ECTS
  • Qualitative Research Methods: 5 ECTS

For more information on the courses offered by Universitat Pompeu Fabra, please click here.

Total: 40 ECTS

Second 3/4 year: Coursework + Master’s Thesis at Tilburg University

  • 50 ECTS of the MSc in Sociology

View courses at Tilburg University

Students must have gained 40 ECTS in order to proceed to the second year of the Double Degree.

Students who fail to pass a course will have the opportunity to resubmit the failed coursework or resit the failed exam in the third term of UPF’s academic year (if the course was taken in the first year of the double degree) or in January-February of the second academic year (if the course was taken at TiU). Exact dates will be determined by the coordinators of the double degree program in the corresponding institution. 

The Master's thesis will be written under the supervision of an UPF or TiU faculty member. The second reader will automatically be someone at the other institution and will act as a second grader. The Master’s Thesis will be defended at TiU in February of the second academic year.



To apply to the program students must:

  • hold a university degree (undergraduate and/or graduate) in a –preferably- relevant discipline, e.g. the field of social sciences, law, humanities or health sciences, and have a graduation date no later than 1 September 2018;
  • have adequate knowledge of research methods and statistics, as demonstrated by having registered and passed at least one statistical course during their BA studies
  • have demonstrated their English language proficiency (C1 CEFR) by submitting the results of either TOEFL (minimum 577 paper based / 90 internet-based), IELTS (minimum 6.5 overall, no part less than 6.0), or Cambridge Proficiency or Cambridge Advanced (A-B-C). Tilburg University students can also take the institutional English proficiency test, wheras UPF students can take the UPF-PCCL. In case a student fulfills all requirements, but has a B2 CEFR level in English, he can start the program under the condition that he follows a compulsory course in English during the first year at UPF;.
  • provide two relevant and personalized reference letters.
  • have proven their sufficient motivation through a letter.

Application deadlines

Deadlines for applications are:

  • EU/EEA students: 15 July 2018
  • Non-EU/EEA students: 15 July 2018 (or later if in line with visa regulations)

Non EU/EEA students must be aware that they will need to request a visa for the appropriate time of student residency in each country. Obtaining a visa from one country does not guarantee obtaining a visa from the other.

Maximum number of students: The maximum number of students to enroll in the double degree program will be five (5) in each academic year.

Application procedure

All applications will be looked at by both institutions. If accepted, students will receive one joint admission letter. Double Degree students are not admitted to the separate master programs offered within the double degree, but to the complete joint program only. To graduate, they must pass all the requirements of the double degree program.

To apply to the double degree through UPF, visit UPF's application page.

More information about the procedure can be found here.

Tuition fees

Registration and tuition fees start academic year 2018-2019

For EU/EEA students

Year 1: 2018-2019

  • UPF
    Students are registered as UPF students. Students pay €2.635*
  • TiU
    Students are registered as TiU students. Students pay € 1.138

Year 2: 2019-2020

  • UPF
    Students do not need to be registered at UPF. Students do not pay UPF tuition fee.
  • TiU
    Students are registered as TiU students**. Students pay € 813*

For Non-EU/EEA students

Year 1: 2018-2019

  • UPF
    Students are registered as UPF students. Students pay €3750*
  • TiU
    Students are registered as TiU students. Students pay € 7.538. Tuition fee waivers are available for excellent non-EU/EEA students

Year 2: 2019-2020

  • UPF
    Students do not need to be registered at UPF. Students do not pay UPF tuition fee.
  • TiU
    Students are registered as TiU students**. Students pay € 5.417*

*Indicative tuition fees. Students pay for 50 ECTS, for more information on UPF’s tuition fees, please click here 

**Provided that the student graduates within 17 months (before 1 February 2020)

Students can request any of the scholarships available to regular students registered in UPF's Research Master in Sociology and Demography (click here for information on these scholarships and how to request them) and in TiU's MSc in Sociology. However, due to the significant fee discount that students registered in the double degree enjoy the regular one year master students will have precedence over the former. If granted a type B scholarship, this would be only for the first year (the one spent at UPF) and only for about half the fees that EU students pay during this first year in the double degree (€1,000).


Ruud Luijkx 2

We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the Double Degree program in Sociology and Population Studies. Please do not hesitate to contact our academic program director Ruud Luijkx by e-mail.

Michiel van Rijn

Would you like to hear more of the experiences of our students? Please contact Michiel van Rijn, our former student of the Double Degree Program in Sociology and Population student, by e-mail.


All Master's programs

Want to know more?