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Demography, Ph.D.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #801 (QS) ,
School of Governance, Law and Society is the only place in Estonia that provides a possibility to gain doctoral degree in demography. Our research themes cover all major demographic processes both in contemporary and historical perspective (including fertility and partnership, mortality and health, population aging, foreign-origin population, historical demography).


What Do We Expect from an Applicant?

We are looking for applicants with Master’s degree or its equivalent, who have a clear interest in population studies and who are eager to gain experience in working with quantitative datasets. Prior independent research experience and publications are considered as advantage, participation in international cooperation is recommended. We expect that a candidate is willing to connect his/her research topic with issues relevant to Estonian population development.

Why Study Demography at Tallinn University?

The School has invested considerable effort in the development of internationally comparable population databases from which PhD-students also benefit. Student’s participation in international conferences and research collaboration is supported. The study programme and research support are flexible and based on individual needs. We recommend participation in the European Doctoral School of Demography (EDSD) that is a one-year rotating study programme carried out by leading demography centres in Europe.  

What are the Career Options After the Studies?

A PhD in demography enables the graduate to work: 1) as researcher or head of R&D projects; 2) as top specialist, primarily in public sector where high level population-related competence is required (including healthcare, education, social security, pension systems, regional planning).

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Languages
    • Estonian
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses Included:
  • Survey Based Data Analysis
  • Reviewing and Opponency of Research Thesis
  • Specialisation Studies
  • Advanced Seminar on Population Development
  • Introduction to Stata
  • Applied Activities on Speciality
  • Research Related Professional Activity
  • Data Processing
  • Foundations of the Historical Demography
  • Applied Population Forecasting

                English Language Requirements

                You only need to take one of these language tests:

                • Minimum required score:


                  The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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                • Minimum required score:


                  The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

                  Schedule TOEFL®
                • Minimum required score:


                  The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

                  Schedule IELTS
                • Minimum required score (Grade C):


                  C1 Advanced is a Cambridge English Qualification. It reports on the Cambridge English Scale between 142 and 210. You will receive a separate score for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and for Use of English. These five scores are averaged to give you an overall result for the exam. Universities and colleges may ask you to achieve a specific score, either overall or for a particular skill.

                  Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

                • Minimum required score:


                  PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) is a language test that enables students to demonstrate their writing, listening, speaking, and reading skills when applying to study in English. Delivered and marked by computer, it reports on a scale between 10 and 90.

                Academic Requirements

                • Application cover printed from the online application system
                • Copy of a Bachelor’s degree certificate or equivalent + transcript of records 
                • Copy of a Master’s degree certificate or equivalent + transcript of records 
                • Plan for the doctoral thesis signed by the prospective supervisor
                • Proof of English Proficiency
                • Copy of the identification page of passport
                • Admission exam includes: 1) discussion based on the plan for the doctoral thesis that is agreed with the prospective supervisor (attention is paid to the relevance of the topic for research priorities of the Institute); 2) estimation of candidate's CV and publications.

                    Tuition Fee

                    • International

                      Tuition Fee
                      Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 48 months.
                    • EU/EEA

                      Tuition Fee
                      Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 48 months.
                    We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

                    Living costs for Tallinn

                    • 598 - 950 EUR/month
                      Living Costs

                    The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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