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, including a relevant language as part of the specialisation.
The degree prepares you to proceed to advanced postgraduate research or to work as practitioners in fields related to migration, refugees and humanitarian relief.
The MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies is designed to those who:
- wish to know more of the transnational nature of the modern world
- wish to engage with critical theories to understand the management of mobility and the impact of humanitarian relief
- wish to understand the role of migration in the major political and cultural processes of the contemporary world
- come from other disciplines, such as Law or Politics, and now wish to incorporate an anthropological perspective on issues of migration and diaspora
The 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.
This programme has a first-rate graduate employability record. See Employment for more information.
Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Programme Convenor, Dr Ruba Salih, at an early stage of their application to seek advice on the most appropriate options for study. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Former MA student Jorge Rodriguez Solorzano testimonial:
"My time in the Migration and Diaspora Studies MA programme at SOAS helped me expand my intellectual and creative horizons in very exciting ways. The programme’s interdisciplinary structure allows students to pick up many skills along the way and facilitates access to opportunities to engage in extracurricular projects, such as the London in Motion Documentary Film Workshop. The programme is headed by a compelling group of scholar-teachers. These foster an approach to the study of mobility and migration that is unique among Anthropology departments: you will read Paul Gilroy, Avtar Brah and Didier Fassin in the same module! In addition to pursuing exciting coursework in Anthropology, I took a rigorous full-year course in Modern Standard Arabic and also joined a module in Postcolonial thought with a phenomenal professor in the Law department. Professionally, the MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies is highly regarded in the academy, in the UK and transnationally. I am set to start a PhD in Anthropology in my top school in the U.S. this fall, which would have been unthinkable without this enriching intellectual experience. SOAS itself is an incredibly dynamic institution because of the global composition of its study body and the inherently political ethos of the school. Finally, the dissertation component of the MA trains you to be an independent researcher while giving you room to explore. I would definitely recommend this department to prospective students, particularly if you hope to continue on to a PhD". (Jorge Rodriguez Solorzano,PhD student Columbia University)".
Start of programme: September only
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.
- One calendar year (Full-Time)
Two or three years (Part-Time, daytime only)
The expectation in the UK is of continuous study across the year, with break periods used to read and to prepare coursework.
We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their course of study.
Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.
The programme consists of 180 credits in total: 120 credits of modules and a dissertation of 10,000 words at 60 credits. Students are expected to take all core and compulsory modules listed below, and 30 credits from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology list below. The remaining credits can be selected from the relevant lists in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology or relevant options from other departments or a language module. See below for a detailed programme structure.
* 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 the Anthropology and Sociology list below, to the value of 30 credits.
Guided Module(s) from any of the lists below, OR from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 60 credits.
Students must complete a Dissertation (10,000 words) worth 60 credits.
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
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: https://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/
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.
A Masters in Migration and Diaspora Studies helps you to understand the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised.
Postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including analytical and critical skills; ability to gather, assess and interpret data; high level of cultural awareness; and problem-solving.
A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
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.