This innovative new programme in the Department of Development Studies offers students the opportunity to combine study and analysis of critical perspectives on development and the increasingly important and related field of migration studies.
The MSc in Migration, Mobility and Development will focus attention on the political economy of migration from a historical perspective, major trends in migration theories, and different forms of and approaches to the study of migration and displacement. The programme draws on the expertise of staff in development, migration and forced migration contexts from the Development Studies department, and encourages inter-disciplinary dialogue with other relevant departments and centres within SOAS.
The programme’s 20-week core modules will focus on the migration–development nexus, broadly conceived and defined. It will also expose students to a range of interlocking theoretical approaches which set out to account for constructions of and responses to migration and migrants, as well as to the scope and scale of migratory processes. Broadly, Term 1 provides analysis of the institutional, political, social and economic contexts where migration takes place and considers differentiated/mitigated effects. Term 2 builds on this to discuss types of migration via case study and other material, placing more emphasis on migrants’ perspectives and how these are mitigated by ‘contexts’.
Topics and themes include:
- Sedentarism and the study of migration
- Polities & economies of migration
- Nations, states and territory
- (Illegal) workers in the global economy
- Place and emplacement
- Transnational migrants & mobile lives
- Development and migration
- Diasporas and development
- Refugees and internally displaced persons
- Development-induced displacement
- Environment and refugees/displacement
- Climate change-related migration
- Policy responses to migration
- Transformations North and South
The MSc in Migration, Mobility and Development will provide a thorough analytical grounding in international migration including different types of forced and voluntary migration, facilitating the development of specialized knowledge of particular case studies, as well as overall trends and theoretical frameworks. A rigorous academic programme, it will also give students the confidence to think in policy relevant terms and will be equally valuable to those proceeding to professional employment in the sector with international organizations, NGOs and government bodies, and for students intending to go on to carry out PhD research.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
Who is this programme for?: The degree has been developed to meet the needs of people working, or hoping to work, in international agencies, humanitarian organisations, and NGOs and students intending to go on to carry out PhD research.The programme attracts applicants with a variety of academic and working backgrounds. We welcome those who have worked in the field of migration and / or development, but we also welcome applications from students without relevant work experience who can demonstrate a strong interest in the major themes of the programme and a strong first degree, preferably in a social science.
- Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). Relevant work experience may also be considered.
- One calendar year (full time).
Two or three years (part time, daytime only).
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.
MaterialsSOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.
Teaching & Learning
Our teaching and learning approach is designed to support and encourage students in their own process of self-learning, and to develop their own ideas, responses and critique of international development practice and policy. We do this through a mixture of lectures, and more student-centred learning approaches (including tutorials and seminars). Teaching combines innovative use of audio-visual materials, practical exercises, group discussions, and weekly guided reading and discussions, as well as conventional lecturing.
In addition to the taught part of the masters programme, all students will write a 10,000 word dissertation. Students develop their research topic under the guidance and supervision of an academic member of the Department. Students are encouraged to explore a particular body of theory or an academic debate relevant to their programme through a focus on a particular region.
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.
Pre Entry Reading
Bakewell, O., 2010. 'Some Reflections on Structure and Agency in Migration Theory', Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-20 Available through Informaworld
Bartram D., Poros M., and Monforte P, 2014. Key concepts in Migration London: Sage
Castles S. & Miller M., 2009. The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World, 4th edition. New York: Guilford Press. Available in SOAS Library.
Chant, S. (ed.), 1992. Gender and migration in developing countries. London: Belhaven Press. Available in SOAS Library.
Cohen R., 2006. Migration and its enemies. Global Capital, Migrant Labour and the Nation-State Aldershot: Ashgate
Cortina J, Ochoa-Reza E., 2014. New Perspectives on International Migration and Development. Columbia University Press: New York
Faist T., Fauser M. & Kivisto K, 2011. The migration-development nexus: A transnational perspective. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh E., Long K., Sigona N. (eds), 2014. The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies OUP: Oxford
Gardner, K. and Osella, F. 2003, ‘Migration, modernity and social transformation in South Asia’, Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. 37, No. 1-2, pp. v-xxviii Available through SAGE Premier
Glick Schiller N. & Faist T., 2010. Migration, development, and transnationalization: A critical stance. New York: Berghahn Books
Harvey D., 1982. The Limits to Capital. Oxford: Blackwell
Harzig C. and Hoerder D., 2009. What Is Migration History? Cambridge: Polity Press.
IOM World Migration Reports
A postgraduate degree in Migration, Mobility and Development from SOAS provides graduates with a portfolio of widely transferable skills sought by employers, including analytical skills, the ability to think laterally and employ critical reasoning, and knowing how to present materials and ideas effectively both orally and in writing. Equally graduates are able to continue in the field of research, continuing their studies either at SOAS or other institutions.
An MSc in Migration, Mobility and Development 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 Department of Development Studies benefits from world-leading migration specialists engaged in an array of innovative research projects.