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MSc in Migration Studies

Enquiries about the MSc in Migration Studies should be addressed to the MSc Course Co-ordinator, msc-migrationstudies@qeh.ox.ac.uk.

This interdisciplinary nine-month masters introduces students to key concepts, research and analysis in the economics, politics, sociology and anthropology of migration. It enables students to understand the nature of both internal and international migration and its role as an intrinsic part of broader processes of development, social change and globalisation, in order to gain a more theoretical and comprehensive understanding of human mobility.

Offered jointly by the Oxford Department of International Development and the School of Anthropology, the course draws on the intellectual resources of its two parent departments and the three world-leading migration research centres at Oxford (COMPAS, IMI and RSC).

The degree has four main taught components, in addition to a 15,000 word dissertation:

  • International migration in the social sciences
  • Migration, globalisation and social transformation
  • Thematic and regional options
  • Methods in social research

Core lectures and seminars cover:

  • Key concepts in the economics, politics, sociology and anthropology of migration, public policy and migration law; different approaches to migration studies; types of human migration and mobility; and the history and development of migration studies.
  • Theories of migration; migration and development; migration and socio-cultural change; the role of states, migration policies and legal pluralism; diasporas, transnationalism and creolisation.
  • A theoretical, substantive and practical understanding of qualitative and quantitative social science research methods appropriate to the study of migration.
  • A fortnightly critical discussion class on keywords: a key to migration debates and social thought.

In addition, students select two options courses. Options offered on the MSc in Migration Studies in 2013-14 include:

  • Citizenship, belonging and the legal system
  • Ethnographies of transnationalism and diasporas
  • Labour immigration policy and the rights of migrant workers
  • Latin American and Caribbean migration and diasporas
  • Migration and development
  • Migration and displacement in Africa
  • Mobility, governance and the state

The options vary from year to year and students may also select from the options offered by the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, as well as from a range of regional options.

We also run a short, optional field trip each year – a focal point for many key issues in migration studies. This is an opportunity to meet representatives from international and local NGOs, as well as local scholars and their students.

The course is assessed on the basis of one essay of 5,000 words; two written exams; a portfolio of three pieces of coursework; and a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.

A student wishing to read for the MSc in Migration Studies has to be accepted first by the Departments and then by a College. At least a good upper second class honours degree in a social science is normally required. However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first class degree or its equivalent (such as a 3.8 GPA in the USA). It is also possible for students who have not specialised in a social science to read for the MSc in Migration Studies. Special consideration may be given to those with professional backgrounds in the migration field, such as those who have worked in relevant government departments, international agencies or civil society organizations.

Please refer to the How to Apply page and the Graduate Studies Prospectus for information on application deadlines and English language requirements. It is essential for applicants to apply early and respect the deadlines.

The MSc in Migration Studies prepares students to work in an expanding area of international and policy concern. It also offers students social science training that will facilitate progression to doctoral studies in the University of Oxford and elsewhere.

For further information on the kinds of careers our students pursue, see the ODID Graduates page.

Introduction

This interdisciplinary nine-month masters introduces students to key concepts, research and analysis in the economics, politics, sociology and anthropology of migration. It enables students to understand the nature of both internal and international migration and its role as an intrinsic part of broader processes of development, social change and globalisation, in order to gain a more theoretical and comprehensive understanding of human mobility.

Offered jointly by the Oxford Department of International Development and the School of Anthropology, the course draws on the intellectual resources of its two parent departments and the three world-leading migration research centres at Oxford (COMPAS, IMI and RSC).

Structure

The degree has four main taught components, in addition to a 15,000 word dissertation:

  • International migration in the social sciences
  • Migration, globalisation and social transformation
  • Thematic and regional options
  • Methods in social research

Core lectures and seminars cover:

  • Key concepts in the economics, politics, sociology and anthropology of migration, public policy and migration law; different approaches to migration studies; types of human migration and mobility; and the history and development of migration studies.
  • Theories of migration; migration and development; migration and socio-cultural change; the role of states, migration policies and legal pluralism; diasporas, transnationalism and creolisation.
  • A theoretical, substantive and practical understanding of qualitative and quantitative social science research methods appropriate to the study of migration.
  • A fortnightly critical discussion class on keywords: a key to migration debates and social thought.

In addition, students select two options courses. Options offered on the MSc in Migration Studies in 2013-14 include:

  • Citizenship, belonging and the legal system
  • Ethnographies of transnationalism and diasporas
  • Labour immigration policy and the rights of migrant workers
  • Latin American and Caribbean migration and diasporas
  • Migration and development
  • Migration and displacement in Africa
  • Mobility, governance and the state

The options vary from year to year and students may also select from the options offered by the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, as well as from a range of regional options.

We also run a short, optional field trip each year – a focal point for many key issues in migration studies. This is an opportunity to meet representatives from international and local NGOs, as well as local scholars and their students.

The course is assessed on the basis of one essay of 5,000 words; two written exams; a portfolio of three pieces of coursework; and a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.

Entry Requirements

A student wishing to read for the MSc in Migration Studies has to be accepted first by the Departments and then by a College. At least a good upper second class honours degree in a social science is normally required. However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first class degree or its equivalent (such as a 3.8 GPA in the USA). It is also possible for students who have not specialised in a social science to read for the MSc in Migration Studies. Special consideration may be given to those with professional backgrounds in the migration field, such as those who have worked in relevant government departments, international agencies or civil society organizations.

Please refer to the How to Apply page and the Graduate Studies Prospectus for information on application deadlines and English language requirements. It is essential for applicants to apply early and respect the deadlines.

Careers

The MSc in Migration Studies prepares students to work in an expanding area of international and policy concern. It also offers students social science training that will facilitate progression to doctoral studies in the University of Oxford and elsewhere.

For further information on the kinds of careers our students pursue, see the ODID Graduates page.

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Photo: J Boersch-Supan, MPhil 2006-08

Related Information


Teaching Awards

The following academics, who teach on the MSc in Migration Studies, have won Oxford University Teaching Awards:

International Development: increasing well-being and reducing inequality in global society