Overview and entry requirements
Our MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies is a broad-based degree for students who want to receive research training in migration and diaspora, as well as humanitarian and refugee studies. This two-year intensive language pathway is directed at students who wish to combine knowledge of migration and diaspora with expertise in a regional language. It prepares students to apply their knowledge in a specific region by achieving proficiency in a language.
Like the MA Migration and Diaspora Studies, this programme is engaged and practice oriented and offers the possibility of creative assignments along with conventional assessment forms. It is enthused by the belief that knowledge and practice produced by diaspora and migrants' grassroots organisations, activists, practitioners and artists should be intertwined with academic knowledge, and validated as part of a real decolonising effort.
Students enrolled in the MA programme have the unique chance to carry out internships while studying through the module 'From Theory to Practice and Back: Work-placements in Migration Research'. The internships aim to bridge theory and practice in the fields of migration, diaspora and humanitarian practice.
The course is available exclusively to students enrolled in the MA Migration and Diaspora Studies. The course is organised in the form of internships and independent study projects, along with some class seminars in collaboration with the organisations, with whom we partner. Students have the opportunity to work with a broad range of organisations operating in areas as varied as migrants' support and refugees’ legal protection, activist and political campaigns and networks, as well as galleries and art collectives promoting diaspora and BAME cultures, identities, and arts. You may also be interested in this degree if you come from other disciplines, such as Law or Politics, and now wish to incorporate an anthropological perspective on issues of migration and diaspora.
Combine Migration and Diaspora with Intensive Language
Intensive Language pathways: Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Persian, South East Asian Languages (Burmese, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese), Swahili, Turkish.
Why study MA Migration and Diaspora Studies and Intensive Language at SOAS
- SOAS ranked 5th in the UK in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Anthropology, and 16th worldwide
- The MA Migration and Diaspora Studies programme has a first-rate graduate employability record
- increase your knowledge of the transnational nature of the modern world
- engage with critical theories to understand the management of mobility and the impact of humanitarian relief
- understand the role of migration in the major political and cultural processes of the contemporary world
- unique opportunity of internerships to bridge theory and practice
The MA Migration and Diaspora Studies and Intensive Language degree offers students a chance to pursue their specific areas of interest by selecting from optional modules:
- a broad-based perspective enhancing your knowledge in light of continuing contemporary research
- a specific area, allowing you to study diaspora and migration issues in depth in relation to a particular discipline or region.
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 issues.
Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Programme Convenor, Dr Ruba Salih (firstname.lastname@example.org) at an early stage of their application to seek advice on the most appropriate options for study.
See Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.
- 2 years full time, 4 years part time
May be combined with:
MA Migration and Diaspora Studies can be combined with the following Intensive Language pathways:
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.
- Year 1: 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.
- Year 2: students 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, that is, to attend lectures for this module (without attending seminars or submitting any assessments). The module does not count towards the total of 315 credits.
The structure of the programme can be adjusted for those who wish to take the programme part-time over a period of four years and/or for those who have a previous background in Anthropology. For more information email: email@example.comK
The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics offer information on the Intensive Language part of the programme.
Year 1 (two years full time)
* NOTE: Students are required to audit the lectures for Ethnographic Research Methods, but it will not count towards the required 180 credits. Students who wish to take this module for credit may do so as part of their guided options.
Guided Module(s) from any of the lists below, OR modules from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 30 credits.
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)
Guided Module(s) from any of the lists below, OR modules from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 60 credits.
Students take 30 credits in the selected language.
All students are required to take the compulsory dissertation module worth 60 credits.
List of Modules (subject to availability)
Anthropology and Sociology
* These courses are open only to students with previous Law background or work-related knowledge. Pre-approval from module convenor required.
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
SOAS has a large range of options on migration and diaspora related issues across the school. Teaching methods and assessment vary across these options, and their availability will depend on appropriate staff being available in the relevant academic year.
In addition, students are required to attend the weekly seminars held by the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, where they will hear international scholars give papers on a variety of migration and diaspora related topics. The seminars provide an invaluable backdrop for the transdisciplinary approach of the programme overall. Students are also encouraged to apply to the London in Motion workshop:
The student learning experience is also be enhanced by the public lectures, films and workshops the Centre organises.
During the academic year, modules are delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and/or seminars. Students can expect an average of two hours of classroom time per week for each module. Outside of the classroom, students explore topics of the module through independent study and through personal exchanges with teachers and fellow students. In some cases, modules are taught by several teachers within the department to provide students with an array of perpsectives on the subject. All modules involve the active participation of students in the discussion of ideas, viewpoints and readings.
The MA Migration and Diaspora culminates in a 10,000-word dissertation, based on original research on a topic of the student's own choosing and developed in discussion with a supervisor.
All students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language.
Aims and outcomes
- introduce students to important areas of contemporary social theory which deal with issues of migration, globalisation, the postcolonial world, and cultural transformations
- ground students in the historical basis of these issues
- encourage transdisciplinary thinking on issues of migration
- enable students to translate theoretical perspectives for practical application in the material world
- provide students with a near proficient ability in a language
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Students from SOAS’ Department of Anthropology and Sociology develop an in-depth understanding of the world. Employers value our graduates’ cultural awareness and global perspective, as well as their skills in analysis, data interpretation and problem-solving.
Recent Department of Anthropology and Sociology graduates have been hired by:
- Allen & Overy
- British Council
- Hackney Migrant Centre
- IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development)
- IOM- UN Migration
- Media 52
- New York Times
- Social Mobility Foundation
- The Week
- United Nations Development Programme
- World Bank Group
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A Student's Perspective
This approach to teaching in the Department, in which theory is balanced with real life examples often results in passionate and thought provoking debates. If you miss a class, you miss out on an experience.