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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Graduate Taught  /  MSc Global Migration

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 Programme 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


The Programme can be taken full time over one year, or part time over two years. Students take the following 2 core courses plus a compulsory methods course and choose a further 5 courses chosen from a wide range.

Core course: GEOG0127 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: GEOG0128 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: GEOG082 Social Sciences Research Methods

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.
•    GEOG0155 Social Science Methods Part Two - compulsory for research route students.
•    GEOG0072 Thinking Space
•    GEOG0079 Migration and Urban Multicultures
•    GEOG0088 Public and Private Modernities
•   GEOG0100 Postcolonial Cultural Geographies
•   GEOG0051 Mining Social and Geographic Datasets**
•    GEOG0129 Gender, Generation and Forced Migration
•    Anthropology module - Anthropology of Nationalism, Ethnicity and Race
•    Anthropology module Anthropology of Development
•    Economics module Economics of Migration (economics prerequisites)
•    Laws module Comparative Human Rights Law (30 credits)
•    Laws module Human Rights in Europe (30 credits)
•    Institute for Global Health module Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health**
•    Epidemiology module Ethnicity, Migration and Health
•    Equality, Justice and Difference (subject to availability with Department of Political Science)
•    SSEES Migration in the European Union

* titles and options may change

**these are 3/4 courses shared between undergraduate and graduate students. No more than 25% credit of taught modules may come from such modules.

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 66.7% of the overall final degree.


The research dissertation (of up to 12,000 words), submitted in mid September, counts for 33.3% of the overall assessment.  For examples of recent dissertations by Global Migration MSc students, please see Working Papers.

For information on fees visit UCL's Fees page.


Information on a variety of sources of funding for graduate study can be obtained via the UCL Funding pages.

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;

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.

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.


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.

How to apply

To apply online, please visit UCL's Graduate Study Applications page.

For further information

All admissions enquiries should be emailed to the Geography Office.


Graduate careers are diverse and include social work, NGOs, education, public administration, international bodies. Take a look at our Careers page to see where some of our students have gone on to work.