The MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies is a broad-based degree for students who want to receive specialized research training in Migration and Diaspora Studies, including a relevant language, which will prepare them to proceed to advanced postgraduate research in Migration and Diaspora Studies at SOAS or elsewhere.
The programme encourages a transdisciplinary approach to issues of migration and diaspora, providing historical depth as well as perspectives from anthropology, sociology, and postcolonial studies. The programme also works closely with a number of departments across the school, such as Development Studies, the Centre for Gender Studies as well as Law and Politics, which also run migration and diaspora related courses. Most of these courses are available as options on the programme, making it a unique MA in terms of both its breadth and depth.
The MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies is considerably enriched by the SOAS Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, which runs seminars, films and public lectures and also hosts a number of international scholars. The Centre is also a part of a migration research network of London colleges including LSE and UCL. Students on the programme therefore have unparalleled access to a critical body of scholars and scholarship on migration and diaspora related issue.
It can also be taken with an intensive language pathway over two years, therefore making this programme unique in Europe.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
Who is this programme for?:
- Students who wish to know more of the transnational nature of the modern world;
- Students who wish to continue their anthropological study at a postgraduate level and engage in critical contemporary theory;
- Students who wish to understand cultural transformation from a global perspective;
- Students who come from other disciplines, such as Law or Politics, and now wish to incorporate an anthropological perspective on issues of migration and diaspora.
- Students with a degree in social anthropology wishing to pursue more specialist migration and diaspora related topics along with regional or language-based study
- Students without a previous degree in Anthropology looking for an MA conversion degree to serve as a qualification for pursuing a further research degree in issues relating to migration and diaspora.
The two-year intensive language pathway is directed at students who want to engage with a country in a professional as well as academic way, as the intensive language courses will enable them to reach a near proficient knowledge of the language.
- Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)
- 2 years full time, 4 years part time
- UK/EU fees:
- Overseas fees:
Fees for 2020/21 entrants. This is a Band 1 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page
May be combined with:
The following Intensive Language pathways are available with the MA Migration and Diaspora Studies
Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 255 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 60-credit dissertation as outlined below.
In their first year, students on the two-year Intensive Language programmes take 60 credits of intensive language instruction and 60 credits in the discipline. During the summer, they participate in a Summer School abroad. In the second year, they take another 30 language credits as well as 60 credits in the discipline; they also complete their dissertation in the discipline.
Students are also required to audit 15PANH002 Ethnographic Research Methods, i.e. to attend lectures for this module (without attending seminars or submitting any assessments). The module does not count towards the total of 315 credits.
For information on the programme structure for the four-year part-time version of the programme, please see the pdf programme specification at the bottom of this page.
Please see the relevant web pages in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics for information on the Intensive Language part of the programme.
Year 1 (two years full time)
A module(s) from the list of Anthropology & Sociology options below to the value of 30 credits.
15PANH002 Ethnographic Research Methods (non-credit bearing component)
This will not count towards the total of 315 credits, but students are required to audit this module, i.e. to attend lectures (without attending seminars or submitting any assessments).
Students take 60 credits in the selected language.
Students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language.
Year 2 (two years full time)
Modules from the list of Anthropology & Sociology options below or from the list of options in other departments below to the value of 60 credits.
Students take 30 credits in the selected language.
List of Modules (subject to availability)
Anthropology and Sociology
Modules in Other Department
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
Teaching & Learning
All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.
More information is on the page for each module.
Aims and Outcomes
- To introduce students to important areas of contemporary social theory which deal with issues of migration, globalisation, the postcolonial world, and cultural transformations.
- To ground students in the historical basis of these issues
- To encourage transdisciplinary thinking on issues of migration
- To enable students to translate theoretical perspectives for practical application in the material world.
- To provide students with a near proficient ability in a language.
- Students will be expected to grasp the key debates in migration and diaspora studies from a critical perspective
- To understand the global/historical/political and cultural background within which issues of migration and diaspora occur.
- A critical understanding of the ways that migration has shaped the modern world, and the implications of this for future research.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
- The development of analytical and theoretical skills based on a detailed understanding of the social science literature on migration and diaspora.
- To approach theories and debates from a critical and reflexive basis.
- To develop their presentation skills and their ability to articulate arguments coherently in order to promote class discussion and critical engagement with ideas and practices.
Subject-based practical skills
- Communicate effectively in writing, in academic English
- Retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources including print and other forms of mass media
- Listen to and discuss ideas introduced during seminars.
- Students with no knowledge of media technologies will have the opportunity to learn photographic and film making techniques through the Media unit.
- Practice research techniques in a variety of specialized research libraries and institutes
- In the two year intensive language pathway, to acquire/develop skills in a language to Effective Operational Proficiency level, i.e., being able to communicate in written and spoken medium in a contemporary language
Students will be expected to learn to:
- Plan, organise and write masters’ level essays and dissertations.
- Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
- Understand unconventional ideas.
- Present (non–assessed) material orally.
- Function as a student and researcher in a radically different environment.
- Be able to apply for funding to do a PhD.
- Be prepared to enter a Social Science PhD programme.
- An ability to work, and be at ease in, a multicultural environment
Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.
This is a Band 1 tuition fee.
Fees for 2020/21 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 2 year full-time programmes have 2 years of full-time fees - the fee in the second year will be higher than the fee for the first year (the full time fee below is for the first year only).
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section