MPhil specialising in Demography

Welcome to the Master’s programme in demography to be taught at the University of Cape Town! The programme we have assembled is, we believe, the best of its kind in Southern Africa, and comparable to that offered by many prestigious overseas institutions.

The manual which can be downloaded below takes the place of the faculty handbook, and gives full details of courses and other information necessary for the year. While the manual aims to be as comprehensive and error-free as possible, please resolve any contradictory instructions with the programme convenor.

We trust that you will enjoy your time at the University, and that you find the course both rewarding and challenging.

Download the MPhil in Demography Course Manual.


  • Programme Objectives

    On completion of the programme, a successful graduate will be able to demonstrate professional competence in the core areas of demographic analysis and research. Included in this is the clear demonstration of a capacity to apply and develop methods of demographic analysis that are both theoretically informed, and appropriate to the research (and research context) pursued. The core competencies are indicated by the material suggested in the course outlines. Particular emphasis is placed on training demographers capable of working with developing countries’ data and in other situations where data are either non-existent or inadequate.

  • Programme Structure

    A master’s degree by dissertation and coursework. The dissertation will account for 50% of the marks awarded for the degree. The degree awarded will be a MPhil. Students with a weighted average in excess of 75%, including at least 75% for the dissertation, will be awarded the degree with distinction. Students will, in general, graduate in June of the year following first registration. In exceptional circumstances, students may, particularly if they have prior demographic training, be able to complete the course in one academic year.

  • Prerequisites

    An honours degree with at least a full first-year university mathematics course, and second year statistics, or their equivalent. Some or all of these requirements may be waived at the discretion of the Programme Committee.

  • Coursework

    The coursework component of the degree is comprised of a number of courses. All courses will run over a semester. 1st semester courses will be examined in June, and 2nd semester courses in November/December. A course outline is presented below, showing the courses to be taken and the relative weight to be given to each.