[skip to content]

James Ingram

The programme is structured so that students are given a huge choice of options covering a wide geographic, thematic and conceptual scope. This breadth and the inter-disciplinary nature of the programme guarantee that students bring diverse academic knowledge and professional experiences to tutorials and the postgraduate community. Further, the seminars and events organised by the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies really complement the course, convening scholars and students from various disciplines to discuss migration and diaspora issues.

MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies

Prior to studying at SOAS, I had several years post-bachelor’s work experience in the human rights and asylum sectors, along with a typically fragmented diasporic identity. I was aware that I was struggling to fully understand the subject of my work within an interconnected context of culture, history, and political economy. I knew that for both personal and professional ends, this broad interdisciplinary MA would enable me to develop a rigorous analysis, and normalise my understanding of my own family’s post-migration values. Having worked in Kenya and Cambodia, SOAS seemed like the perfect place for me to continue my studies and learn about the world without being forced to narrow my interests. And SOAS did not disappoint, providing an unparalleled vibrant and multicultural setting for the study of migration and diasporas.

The range of academic expertise and specialised postgraduate courses show why the Department of Anthropology and Sociology continues to be so popular. The programme is structured so that students are given a huge choice of options covering a wide geographic, thematic and conceptual scope. This breadth and the inter-disciplinary nature of the programme guarantee that students bring diverse academic knowledge and professional experiences to tutorials and the postgraduate community. Further, the seminars and events organised by the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies really complement the course, convening scholars and students from various disciplines to discuss migration and diaspora issues. Working with communities at a grassroots level, it is easy to find yourself bound up in a very specific set of circumstances, losing sight of broader contexts. The programme offers students the opportunity to learn how to modulate between local and global trends, planting roots for continued study and specialisation or exploring new professional routes.

The course has been of immense benefit to me in my professional career, for employment and volunteering undertaken both while studying and post-graduation. In my capacity as an advisor to leaders of migrant and refugee community organisations, I feel far better equipped to understand the multiple intersecting challenges of reconciling belonging while negotiating alien and onerous state systems as well as differing cultural, social and economic realities. Through my time undertaking the MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies at SOAS, I indulged old passions, cultivated a range of new interests, developed a strong professional network, a vibrant social network, refined my skills in policy analysis, participatory research, and learned how to thrive in my superdiverse working environments.