UCL Department of Geography
MSc Global Migration
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MSc Global Migration


Migration in today’s globalised world stands at the heart of key national and international debates: over migrants’ and asylum seekers’ rights and citizenship, state security and border management, development in the global South, ageing populations in the West, the globalization of skilled labour markets and other issues.

UCL researchers are actively engaged with debates on a broad range of migration topics, from the latest developments in domestic, European and international law, analyses of state and global migration regimes, intersections between migration, health and disease, explorations of identities and cultural change, to ethnographic, visual and literary representations of migration and displacement. Migration research at UCL has a strong international dimension, benefiting from extensive networks across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Students on the Global Migration MSc benefit from this expertise with a programme that is interdisciplinary in scope.

The course combines policy and theoretical debates over migration. It is aimed at students who wish to work with migrants and asylum seekers in different parts of the world, who aspire to posts in UN, EU, national policy think-tanks, government research and policy departments, NGOs, community-based and grassroots organizations, and at students wishing to pursue doctorates in the interdisciplinary field of migration studies.


    1. to equip suitably qualified students with the advanced skills, methods, concepts and theories essential for the study of Global Migration in an interdisciplinary context at postgraduate level;
    2. to give students the opportunity to apply these advanced methods, concepts and theories in both general and more specialised contexts relating to the processes, policies and politics of migration;
    3. to introduce students to new and intellectually demanding areas of Global Migration;
    4. to foster and develop students’ ability to think critically;
    5. to foster students’ ability to carry out independent research.


Tibetan Buddhist Monastry, Vancouver, Claire Dwyer 2010Students take the following 2 core courses plus a compulsory methods course and choose a further 5 courses chosen from a wide range.

Core course 1: GEOGG201 Approaches to Global Migration: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

This core course introduces key theoretical concepts.  It provides an overview of the interdisciplinary field of migration studies, with lectures discussing:

  1. Migration flows and processes (including economic, demographic and ethnographic approaches)
  2. State policy, legal and institutional frameworks (including approaches to the law, policy and its evasion)
  3. Culture and identity (including approaches to integration, transnationalism and diaspora)

Core course 2: GEOGG202 Issues in Global Migration

This core course introduces topical issues in migration studies, of global scope. The course content is flexible to reflect shifting contemporary concerns.  It may include topics such as: remittances and diaspora engagement, home town associations, migration and sexual health, reproduction and fertility, trafficking and smuggling, detention and deportation, global care chains, religious transnationalism, debates over multiculturalism, integration and the representation of migrants, race and ethnicity. The range of topics will be chosen to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the MSc programme, and will complement and extend the approaches course, allowing key concepts to be applied to issues of current controversy.

Compulsory Methods Course: GEOGG040A Social Sciences Part 1

Optional or Elective modules.

Students take an additional total of 75 credits units from the range of optional or elective courses available. While these will usually be taken from the list below students may, with the agreement of the course convenor, substitute other  UCL course choices.

All 15 credits unless otherwise stated.

  • ANTHGE03 Population and Development
  • ANTHGS16 Anthropology of Nationalism, Ethnicity and Race
  • ANTHGE06 Anthropology and Development
  • ECONG037 Economics of Migration (economics prerequisites)
  • LAWSG169 International Migration Law and Governance (not running 2014-15)
  • LAWSG122 International and European refugee law (not running 2014-15)
  • LAWSG068 Comparative Human Rights Law (30 credits)
  • LAWSG030 International Human Rights Law (30 credits)
  • LAWSG152 Human Rights in Europe (30 credits)
  • CIHDG038 Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health**
  • EPIDGS21 Ethnicity, Migration and Health
  • PUBLG033 Equality, Justice and Difference
  • PUBLG007 Global Justice and Human Rights in an International Order
  • SEESGH71 Transnational Cultural Exchange: Methods and Approaches

* titles and options may change

**these are 3/4 courses shared between undergraduate and graduate students. Such courses may not make up more than 25% of the taught modules chosen.

The titles and availability of these courses are subject to  change and  their listing here is not a guarantee that they will be available each year.


Most taught modules are assessed through a varied range of coursework tasks, although a few option courses may be assessed by examination.

Assessment of the taught component of the course comprises 60% of the overall final degree.


The research dissertation (of up to 15,000 words), submitted in mid September, counts for 40% of the overall assessment.  For examples of recent dissertations by Global Migration MSc students, please click here.


Zimbabwean migrants joing London citizens in a rally for migrant rights. JoAnn Mcgregor, 2010.jpgThe MSc in Global Migration draws on the recognised international expertise at UCL in the field of migration. UCL has two established research units, the Migration Research Unit (MRU) within the Department of Geography, and the Centre for Research on Economic Analysis of Migration (CREAM) within the Department of Economics. Cutting edge research on migration also takes place across UCL including work on African diasporas in the Equiano Centre (Geography) and historical research at the Centre for Transnational History.

The programme for the Msc in Global Migration is interdisciplinary in scope, and offers the best of migration teaching and dissertation supervision from across UCL Faculties.  The departments involved include: Geography, Anthropology, Laws, Economics, SSEES, Development Planning, Public Policy, Institute of Child Health, Institute of the Americas, European Institute and others. This range makes the programme unique among migration studies programmes.

Students on the MSc in Global Migration benefit from a vibrant network of migration activities both across UCL and beyond through UCL’s co-leadership of the London Migration Research Group seminar series. There are also many other migration networks in London offering opportunities for volunteering and participation.



Fees and Applications


Paul Wells, Winner UCL Migration Photography Competition, 2013.jpg

Fees information is at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/money/2014-2015_fees


Information on a variety of sources of funding for graduate study can be obtained via the UCL Admissions Scholarships homepage.

There are a number of funding schemes available to support you for the duration of the MSc.  Applicants are advised to explore funding opportunities as early as possible. This is a short  general list of funding opportunities available to taught postgraduate students; for other opportunities you might like to visit http://www.postgraduatestudentships.co.uk/.

UCL Graduate School: http://www.grad.ucl.ac.uk/funds/

UCL Graduate Scholarships and Awards: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships

ESRC funding at UCL: http://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/admissions-and-teaching/postgraduates/phd-research/phd-applications-and-funding/ (includes the 1+3 scheme, but please contact Claire Dwyer directly if you are applying for this: claire.dwyer@ucl.ac.uk)

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Chevening Programme

Offers approximately 1,000 scholarships to overseas students undertaking taught postgraduate study or research at a UK Higher Education Institution: http://www.chevening.org

Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Plan (CSFP)

Available to prospective postgraduate students from Commonwealth countries: http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/

Ford Foundation International Fellowships Programme

For students from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Russia: http://www.fordfoundation.org/grants/individuals-seeking-fellowships

Marshall Scholarships - Marshall Commission

Taught postgraduate funding for US citizens: http://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Fulbright Traditional Postgraduate Student Awards

US-UK Fulbright Commission

Provides awards to US citizens to fund the first year of a masters or doctoral degree or to pursue research at an educational institution within the UK.

Thomas Wall Trust

For UK nationals only.  The Trustees support both full-time and part-time courses and will look favourable at part-time courses which allow the applicant to continue with paid employment to help meet the costs.


The deadline for most of these awards is the start of March each year, though for some awards as much as 12 months notice is required. Please follow links for further details.

You are also strongly encouraged to contact your own Ministry of Education or Education Department, who will have details of most funding schemes and who will be able to advise you of your own government's conditions for studying abroad. You should also contact the nearest British Council office in your own country, who will have details of scholarship schemes and provide information and advice on educational programmes and living in the UK. If there is no British Council office, then contact the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. There is additionally funding available from sources such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Commission, whom you should contact directly. For further information on studying in the UK as an overseas student please contact the UCL International Office.

The programme can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two years.

Entry requirements

Potential applicants are expected to have a first or upper-second class Honours degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.


For funding details please visit www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships

How to apply

To apply online, request a Graduate Application Pack or download the application materials from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate-study/application.

For further information

Academic enquiries to: Dr Claire Dwyer – claire.dwyer@ucl.ac.uk

Admissions enquiries to: Ms Fiona Mannion – f.mannion@ucl.ac.uk

Further Information

Programme staff are from the departments of: Geography, Anthropology, Economics, Laws, Development Planning Unit (DPU), School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (SSEES) Institute of Child Health, History, Spanish and Latin American Studies.

MSc Global Migration FlyerMSc Global Migration Handbook
A short brochure can be downloaded here. A more detailed course handbook can be downloaded here.