From 1994, the year in which the branch of Demography was created within the PhD in Geography, to date, the PhD in Demography has been the culmination of a process aimed at offering a response to the demand for high level preparation in the area of population studies.

The programme is highly specialised and yet is also situated at a crossroads of the subject map for Spanish universities. So during the sixteen years that it has been offered the PhD in Demography has attracted a large range of students from different backgrounds: geography, sociology, economics, mathematics, political science and others.

The demand for the type of PhD training that we are referring to is not just local, but also national and international. Since it is the only one of its kind to be offered in Spain the PhD in Demography at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona it attracts students from a range of different backgrounds: graduates from the UAB represent only 39% of PhD students while those from other Spanish universities 36% and from foreign universities 25% according to registration figures to date.

In 2004-2005, the PhD in Demography obtained the Quality award from the Ministry of Education and Science in the first round of Quality PhD awards (MCD-2004.00193 ). This distinction has been maintained constantly until now and for 2013-2014 it has received the prestigious Pathway to Excellent Award.

Since its creation, the PhD in Demography also forms part of international networks for lecturer exchange and PhD student mobility. Our students have participated widely since the creation in 2005 of the European Doctoral School of Demography (EDSD), and also the PhD mobility network DEMO-DOC, which includes the participation of the universities of Lund, Rostock, Groningen, La Sapienza and the UAB.

Candidate profile

Applicants should possess the following characteristics.

  • Excellent academic record.
  • Bachelor's degree in a related discipline and a research-oriented official master's degree in Demography or a similar area, or a wish to undertake an original research project aimed at generating new knowledge within one of the programme's lines of research.
  • Match-up between the research proposal and one of the programme's lines of research.
  • Good level of English and sufficient skills in other languages needed for doctoral research and academic communication in the present context of internationalisation of research.

Professional opportunities

This PhD programme provides the following principal career options:

  • Training of researchers and lecturers in research centres and universities.
  • Specialist staff and advisers in study centres operated by public administration, companies, international organisations, foundations, NGOs, associations, etc.

Objectives and justification

The main objective of this PhD programme in Demography is to prepare researchers in both the fields of basic and applied research related to the topics of population.

This PhD programme offers the necessary training to be able to guarantee knowledge and critical analysis as well as the associated methodology and communication skills to carry out original research and the transmission and communication of the results of the scientific research to the academic and professional community. In order to achieve the objectives and obtain the qualification of PhD it is compulsory to produce a doctoral thesis consisting of a piece of original research.

The doctoral programme in Demography also has a clear objective of international projection of the research and training of its PhD students. Throughout its existence, the PhD in Demography formed been the basis for the constitution of several international training and mobility networks for both students and academic staff. This activity has enabled even greater international projection of the programme and has also made it possible to organise scientific conferences and seminars in demography offered by specialists in the different universities and national and foreign research centres.


Joaquín Recaño Valverde

Composition of the academic tribunal for the PhD programme

PhD Programme Coordinator: Joaquín Recaño Valverde
Secretary: Andreu Domingo Valls
Representatives of the research lines of the PhD programme in Demography:

  • Albert Esteve Palós
  • Mariona Lozano Riera
  • Juan Antonio Módenes Cabrerizo
  • Iñaki Permanyer Ugartemendia
  • Joana Maria Pujadas Mora



Training and teaching coordinator: Inés Brancós Coll
Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
08193 Bellaterra
Phone: 93 581 30 60



This PhD programme has been awarded the Excellent Accreditation seal by the Catalan Quality Agency (AQU). To obtain this accreditation, the following items have been assessed: quality of the training programme, relevance of public information, teaching staff, learning support systems, quality of the results of the training programme and the SGIQ. You can consult more information in the 'Quality' section of this page.

Number of places available: 10
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:
Catalan, Spanish, English
Organising universities and institutions:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Associated departaments or institutes:
Department of Geography
Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Social Sciences and Law

Need more information? Contact the programme manager filling in this form: *Required fields

Once the form has been sent in you will get a confirmation e-mail

Additional information: