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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 modules plus a compulsory methods module and choose a further 5 modules chosen from a wide range.

Compulsory modules

Module codeModule titleUCL Credit value

Approaches to Global Migration: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

15 credits
This core module 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)
Module codeModule titleUCL Credit value

Issues in Global Migration

15 credits
This core module 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.
Module codeModule titleUCL Credit value

Social Science Research: Methodologies and Methods

15 credits
This core module is designed to equip students with the range of knowledge and skills needed to complete a substantive piece of independent, social scientific research in geography. Research is an adventure. That is the central premise of this module. Doing research is a precarious and challenging process. Things go wrong as much as it goes right. Good research requires perseverance, inventiveness, a willingness to try different angles. It is as much craft as it is science. It is something that cannot be learnt only through books and reading. Done well, with rigour and enthusiasm, it is a hugely rewarding activity. You will learn the basics of doing good qualitative social research, what goes into making good qualitative research, and how to go about developing, designing, managing and completing a qualitative research project.


Optional or Elective modules

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

Module codeModule titleUCL Credit value Term Taught
GEOG0155 Social Science Research: Methodologies and Methods (Part 2) - compulsory for research route students 15 credits Term 2
GEOG0080 Public and Private Modernities 15 credits Term 1
GEOG0129 Gender, Generation and Forced Migration 15 credits Term 1
CMII0149 Movement, Bordering, Race-Making 15 credits Term 1
AMER0027 Histories of Exclusion: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America 15 credits Term 1
HIST0362 Empire and its Afterlives in Britain Since 1940 15 credits Term 1

The Caribbean from the Haitian Revolution to the Cuban Revolution 15 credits Term 1
CMII0157 Race in Theory 15 credits Term 1
SOCS0001 Critical Theoretical Debates about Global Childhoods and Society 30 credits Term 1
CMII0154 Topics in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies 30 credits Term 1&2
LAWS0232 International Human Rights Law 45 credits Term 1&2
SEES0087 Security, Identity, Polarity: The Contemporary Debates 30 credits Term 1, 2 & 3
GEOG0167 Migratory Activisms, Creative Citizenships 15 credits Term 2
GEOG0100 Postcolonial Cultural Geographies 15 credits Term 2
GEOG0078 Geographies of Material Culture 15 credits Term 2
GEOG0086 Advanced Geopolitics 15 credits Term 2
GEOG0099 Cities and Climate Change 15 credits Term 2
ANTH0195 Migration and Health 15 credits Term 2
GLBH0004 Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health ** 15 credits Term 2
ANTH0106 Anthropology of Development 15 credits Term 2
CMII0034 Questions of European Integration 30 credits Term 2
CMII0054 Global Politics of Gender, Sexuality and Security 15 credits Term 2
ELCS0061 Black Europe 30 credits Term 2
PUBL0023 Equality, Justice and Difference (subject to availability in Department of Political Science) 15 credits Term 2
SOCS0002 Children's Rights in Global Perspectives 30 credits Term 2
SOCS0067 Social Theory and the Study of Contemporary Social Problems 30 credits Term 2
HIST0370 Public History, Slavery and Britain's Colonial Past 15 credits Term 2
CMII0159 Researching Race 15 credits Term 2
GEOG0149 Urban Policy 15 credits Term 2
IEHC0039 Homeless and Inclusion Health 15 credits Term 3
IEHC0070 Ethnicity, Migration and Health 15 credits Term 3
CPAS0054 Education and Identities: Citizenship, Rights, Narratives 30 credits Term 3
EDPS0136 Minorities, Migrants and Refugees in National Education Systems 30 credits Term 3

**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.

Colleagues who contribute to core teaching on the programme include:


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.