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Sociology: Migration and Ethnic Studies (track)

Sociology: Migration and Ethnic Studies (track)

The Master's programme Migration and Ethnic Studies explores the dynamics of human mobility in the twofold context of globalisation and the persistence of nation-state boundaries. It examines how these dynamics translate into ethnic stratification, economic inequality, and cultural diversity in both countries of departure and countries of destination.

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The core and elective courses of the Migration and Ethnic Studies Master's programme review a wide array of issues, including

  • Nation-state formation, borders, migration industries and the politics of migration control
  • Migration decisions, networks and movements
  • Refugees and asylum in a time of multiple crises
  • Citizenship, migrant (il)legality and regularisation
  • Migrants in employment and in labour movements; migrant entrepreneurship
  • How immigrants and their descents reshape cities; migrants in urban space, housing and education
  • Transnational identities, gender, sexuality and class; marriage migration.
  • Ethno-racial categorisation, racism and discrimination.
  • Cultural, religious and ethnic diversity

Migration is discussed from a broad sociological perspective. The programme provides you with the competences to identify and analyse social phenomena. You will learn to go beyond applying or illustrating available theories of migration, integration and ethnicity, and gain the practical skills needed for both challenging existing models, and building new, innovative ones out of rigorous empirical work.

During the programme, guest speakers from a variety of disciplines including sociology, anthropology, political science, and geography, as well as practitioners such as lawyers, documentary makers, labour organisers and government officials will be sharing their knowledge with you.

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Student profile

You are expected to develop your capacity to work independently and to become knowledgeable scholars, thinking critically about dynamics of migration and integration beyond media and policy stereotypes. A taste for empirical research combined with an aptitude for well-grounded theorisation are appreciated, and will be cultivated in programme members.  


You will learn how to identify and analyse social phenomena by comparing them with other concrete cases taken from history or cross-national comparative research. That way, you will learn to go beyond just applying or illustrating available theories of migration, incorporation, and ethnicity. You will also gain the practical skills for both challenging existing models, and building new, innovative ones out of rigorous empirical work, from the perspective of fundamental and applied research.

Focus on research

Teachers in this Master's are predominantly international, originating from various European and North American countries. Most of them are researchers at the prestigious Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, one of the foremost centers for migration studies in Europe and beyond. Students are encouraged to take part in conferences, public lectures, and workshops sponsored by IMES.

Ambition in research?

For students interested in this field of study, we also offer a two-year Research Master’s programme in Social Sciences.

Research Master Social Sciences

What is a Research Master's programme?

Degree certificate

Migration and Ethnic Studies is a track of the accredited degree programme Sociology. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Sociology and the title Master of Science (MSc).

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Key facts

Sociology: Migration and Ethnic Studies (track)
Degree programme MSc Sociology
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time
Credits 60 ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 66601