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The MSc in Migration Studies is an intensive nine-month graduate taught degree that analyses migration from a global perspective and as an integral part of development and social change. Taught by world-class researchers to introduce key migration concepts, methods and theories across the social sciences, and prepare students for further research or for a career in policy and international development.


The course provides a broad, theoretical understanding of human mobility and the role of both internal and international migration in the wider processes of development, social change and globalisation, as well as an overview of the major debates and literature on contemporary migration from different disciplinary perspectives. You will gain skills in critical analysis and research, and should develop an ability to contribute new perspectives to the study of migration. You should also gain an understanding of the dilemmas facing policy-makers at both national and international level and the ability to help transfer theoretical knowledge to policy-oriented research.


In the first and second terms you will follow three core courses:

  • International Migration in the Social Sciences
  • Migration, Globalisation and Social Transformation
  • Methods in Social Research

These will be supplemented by a fortnightly discussion class, Keywords: a Key to Migration Debates and Social Thought.

In the second term, you will choose two option courses from a list which changes from year to year, and in the final term, you will write a dissertation of up to 15,000 words. For further information, click here

To read the 2016/17 Handbook, click here


The MSc is taught by world-class researchers from Oxford’s internationally renowned centres researching voluntary and economic migration: the International Migration Institute (IMI) and the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS).

Teaching on the degree is problem-focused and delivered through a combination of lecture courses, classes and tutorials, seminars, student-led presentations, essays and library work. You will be expected to prepare for each lecture, class or tutorial by reading a selection of recommended book chapters, articles and working papers. Class sizes are small – generally between 5 and 26 students – encouraging active participation and enabling students to learn from each other.

A general supervisor will support your academic development throughout the course, with regular one-to-one term-time meetings to oversee progress. The general supervisor guides work on the dissertation in the first term; and depending on your choice of dissertation subject, you may also be allocated a dissertation supervisor with greater expertise in the chosen field, to guide the dissertation-writing process in the second and third terms. In addition, you will have a college advisor whom you may consult on issues concerning your personal wellbeing.

The MSc is currently convened by Dace Dzenovska.


On-course assessment, which will not count towards your final degree, will take the form of regular presentations and short essays. The degree is formally assessed by a 5,000-word core-course essay at the start of the second term, a research methods portfolio of 6,000 words and two written examinations on one core and two options courses at the start of the third term, and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words at the end of the third term.

Course-related enquiries


Postgraduate Courses Coordinator
t. +44 (0)1865 281701